A real lightsaber?

Not really.

But, as the country continues in unending grip of Star Wars fever, some people are trying to invent the mythical weapon. One videomaker claims to have almost succeeded

What a lightsaber is

Well, in reality a lightsaber isn’t anything. But in the Star Wars universe, it’s a weapon of great power. By channeling energy through a crystal, a blade of contained, stable plasma is created. This blade can cut through nearly anything given enough time. A light saber is said to be difficult to use and even harder to master, owing to its weight and the way it is balanced.

The original lightsaber props used in Star Wars were … plywood poles. They were wrapped in projection fabric to make them reflective. Then they were colored in post production. The original handle was nothing but part of an old, unwanted camera.

Modern lightsaber reproductions

There have been several companies that have made lightsaber reproductions. Using high-quality materials and employing polycarbonate poles with built-in LEDs, you can get a very realistic look which will help you play act those battles in your back yard better than using a broom handle or whatever you did as a kid.

But, they’re not real lightsabers. Other than the damage you can do by hitting someone with a blunt object, they’re not really dangerous.

Real lightsabers can’t exist

As far as we understand science today, a lightsaber would be impossible. It would take a ridiculous amount of energy to create the blade, the equivalent of several dozen power plants by some estimates. When you did, nothing we know of now could contain it so it would just go off as a bolt of lightning headed toward the most conductive thing. It should go without saying that the whole thing would probably kill you if you tried.

Of course that hasn’t stopped this guy:

He’s calling his device a “protosaber” because it uses a large battery pack rather than being self-contained. Apparently in some of the really arcane Star Wars books, the original sabers were like this too.

But, it isn’t a real, working lightsaber. It’s pretty darn close though. Rather than a beam of light, he puts a crapton of amps into a tungsten pole covered in some sort of filament. The result is a glowing sword that absolutely can be used to beat things into submission. There’s a good chance it would be lethal in a fight, either to the person receiving a thrust or the person wielding it.

Because there isn’t enough dumb stuff on the internet

Look around on YouTube and you’ll find videos of people melting things with giant balls of nickel, people pressing things in hydraulic presses, and just about every other destructive thing you can think of. That’s just the way the internet works. If there’s a thing that can be used to destroy another thing, someone has made a video of it. I have to tell you, I’m pretty sure that’s what the inventors of the world’s most comprehensive information resource had in mind when they invented the Internet. Right?

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 6,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.