A retractable lightsaber, sometimes called an extendable lightsaber, is a lightsaber equipped with a blade that extends from and retracts into a lightsaber hilt. A retractable lightsaber mimics the scrolling effect (i.e. the extension and retraction) of the lightsabers depicted onscreen in the Star Wars movies and media.
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Retractable Lightsaber Toys and Costume Accessories
Most retractable lightsabers are inexpensive lightsaber toys or costume accessories designed for children, like Hasbro Bladebuilders lightsabers or Rubies costume accessory lightsabers. Most of these lightsaber toys are referred to as extendable lightsabers. How inexpensive extendable lightsabers work is the wielder grips the hilt, flicks their wrist, and telescoping plastic blade sections extend out of the hilt.
Duel Worthy Retractable Lightsabers
Duel worthy retractable lightsabers currently do not exist. Both the officially licensed Star Wars Force FX Lightsabers and custom lightsabers by major companies like Ultrasabers, Saberforge, Vader’s Vault, etc. use solid, fixed lightsaber blades. Fixed lightsaber blades are generally made from one long tube that’s either removable from the hilt or permanently attached to the hilt.
Future Extendable Lightsaber Technology
In 2018, Disney filed for a patent on “Sword device with retractable, internally illuminated blade”. It’s unclear if and when Disney will manufacture a new type of lightsaber using the patent pending technology. It’s also unclear if the new retractable lightsaber would be a toy or an adult collectible.
Also in 2018, lightsaber enthusiast Saber Scroll released footage on YouTube of a work-in-progress custom retractable lightsaber project called the “Tri-Guard Retractable LightSaber”. Saber Scroll states he intends to develop both a show blade and a dueling blade. Saber Scroll informed his YouTube viewers that he’s “[w]orking on functional prototype and securing funding [and] should have info in the first or second quarter of 2019 regarding purchasing/availability.”