George Lucas Explains How The Lightsaber Was Created
It is probably the most iconic weapon in cinematic history, but very little is known about how the idea of a Lightsaber actuallycame about. That is until now, because George Lucas has revealed how he came up with what is surely the ultimate sci-fi survival tool in a new featurette on the Star Wars Youtube channel. In charting the weapon's creation Lucas is joined by Ben Burtt, the man who gave the Lightsaber its legendary sound, and Mark Hamill, the man who made it so famous. Lucas reveals that Star Wars owed its creation to the romantic swashbuckling of hollywood pirate movies and, as such, the weapon of choice for the epic space saga was initially going to be a simple sword. However, Lucas felt that a sword wouldn't be futuristic enough for warriors that traversed the depths of space and as such, gave the humble sword a bit of sci-fi flair. And thank goodness he did, because no weapon has inspired as much wonder in kids and adults as a lightsaber being wielded by a Jedi Knight.
The featurette includes some brilliant pre-effects footage of what would become legendary lightsaber battles, and it's absolutely fascinating to see how Lucas and the crew gradually perfected the art of bringing a lightsaber onto the big screen. In fact, the technology to rotoscope the laser part of a lightsaber was still being perfected as the first movie was being shot, something that is demonstrated by the early test shots from the battle between Obi Wan and Darth Vader. All of this just serves to drill home what an incredible feat of imagination Star Wars was, and what an icon of science fiction this weapon of the Jedi has become.