So what exactly is the Mouse up to right now? Thanks to WDWinfo.com, we have an idea. The website found some new patent information that shows Disney’s design for a film accurate extending and retracting lightsaber. Published today by Disney Enterprises, Inc., “Sword Device with Retractable, Internally Illuminated Blade” outlines a lightsaber design which allows the “energy blade” to shoot forth and retract in a way that properly mimics the iconic weapon’s use in the Star Wars franchise.
A brief bit of information from the patent includes…
Briefly, the inventors recognized that there was a need for a new special effects device that can be used as a theatrical prop, toy, or collector’s item that effectively simulates fictional energy swords including the lightsabers found in many popular films. Particularly, the special effects device (or energy sword, lightsaber prop, or the like) is specially configured to provide an extendable and retractable energy blade that appears to emanate from a handheld hilt due to a lighting effect that appears to provide bright hilt-based lighting.
Basically the design is based around the idea of tape measures, only much more durable than a tape measure. The lightsaber includes two spools of tape that when extended, join together to make a more durable blade.The opening of the hilt will basically “zip” the two tapes together. The “tape” (for lack of a better term), will have LED’s on the tape, giving it the color of the blade intended for the hilt.
The patent doesn’t mention anything about audio, but I am sure that if they can make this happen, an embedded speaker and a few audio sounds wouldn’t be too far fetched.
Remember that just because a patent exists, doesn’t mean that this device will ever see the light of day. It’s just that the Disney think-tank is always thinking about bigger and better ways of doing things, so why not patent along the way.