Wicked Lasers has taken its insanely powerful Spyder III series of lasers and applied them to fannish pursuits – they’ve made a lightsaber that uses a real laser. We can’t really recommend you buy one, though. Special protective eyewear is required just to use it, and any actual swordplay may land you in the hospital. These lasers can set your skin on fire, or more problematically, your retinae – of which most people only get two to last their entire lives, and so far those aren’t replaceable.

What they’ve created is a US$100 addon to their $US300 Spyder light sword. It’s a 32-inch polycarbonate blade with an aircraft-grade aluminium hilt and a magnetic piston that travels the length of the tube when activated, growing and shrinking the sword blade just like the “real thing”. According to the promotional materials, the LaserSaber features “an ultrasmooth magnetic gravity system that can ‘power up’ and ‘power down’ the blade”.

This may sound like a Star Wars fan’s wet dream, but there are some serious, serious caveats involved. One is the following warning, which it annoyingly does not heed in its stuntman-enacted promo video: “Do not participate in any form of fencing or swordplay. Fencing or swordplay will cause serious damage to people, pets or property”, not to mention the standing warnings about wearing protective eyewear. The other problem is that it’s silent, it doesn’t make the signature “vhoom-kRSH!” noises a light saber is supposed to make.

But still, check out this video. Then imagine yourself in an epic battle with Darth Maul and add the sound effects yourself. If you can do that, you don’t actually need a laser that has the potential to blind you instantly. In fact, there’s a  much, much less expensive model that features the blade light growth effect that you can get for under $40 from Amazon. At that price, much less lethal and replaceable in case you break it. If you somehow manage to break the LaserSaber, you’re now potentially looking down the business end of a real retina-punching energy beam.

WARNING: Do not look directly into laser beam with remaining eye.

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