Disney has filed for a patent on a “Sword device with retractable, internally illuminated blade”. The move could signal the company’s intention to develop the most realistic officially licensed lightsaber to date.
Disney has not yet announced a release date for new lightsabers that would use the patent filing’s technology. The company will likely release the new retractable lightsabers in 2019 to coincide with the anticipated opening of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge Disney theme park expansion.
Disney’s patent filing describes the retractable blade design as including “two long plastic semi-cylinders, and these two blade body members are rolled perpendicular to their length, which creates compact cylinders of material of small volume that can be provided on a pair of spools in a hilt.” A flexible lighting strip would illuminate the blade.
The patent pending lightsaber technology could be game-changing in the lightsaber market. Currently none of the officially licensed Star Wars: The Black Series Force FX lightsabers or custom lightsabers use retractable lightsaber blades.
In July 2018, YouTuber Saber Scroll released footage of a work-in-progress custom retractable lightsaber project that he calls “Tri-Guard Retractable LightSaber”. The user has yet to post videos of a completed retractable lightsaber project, however. Although inexpensive lightsaber toys have been using retractable, telescoping blades for years, the telescoping segments are unattractive and easy to break.
It’s unclear how Disney’s patent pending retractable lightsaber technology will affect the custom lightsaber community.
Read the patent filing on Google Patents
COVER IMAGE depicts “Sword device with retractable, internally illuminated blade” (from the Disney patent filing)