YouTubers make functional ‘Star Wars’ protosaber replica

A YouTube team has made a functional protosaber.
Image: YouTube | the Hacksmith

The Skywalker Saga is finally coming to an end. Although “The Rise of Skywalker” has received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike, there’s one thing that all “Star Wars” fans can agree on—lightsabers are awesome.

However, not many people know that there is another weapon from “Star Wars” canon that came well before the kyber crystal-powered lightsaber. Both Jedi and Sith of old wielded the protosaber, a clunky lightsaber-like device with an external power supply. Yes, really. Now, a (sort of) functional protosaber is in hands of the YouTubers behind the channel Hacksmith.

Protosaber Comes to Life

There aren’t a lot of people that would spend time and resources to create a lightsaber. Not that they don’t want one to exist, but the concept of an energy sword existing in the real world is scientifically impossible. However, that didn’t stop the guys at Hacksmith from trying.

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As a result, they created a real-life protosaber that is powerful enough to cut through things. Though it isn’t ready for an acrobatic duel, the protosaber is extremely powerful. The gadget’s external, wearable battery pack puts out an incredible 20kW of electricity. For reference, that’s enough to power about half of a typical North American home.

Hacksmith’s video documents the team’s creative process as they worked to bring the protosaber to life. The behind the scenes look shows what it takes to create a functioning sci-fi weapon.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time that Hacksmith has taken a stab at building a lightsaber. They were pretty successful with attempt number one, but the blade wasn’t durable enough with a power supply housed in the handle. In the time that has passed since that video, the original prototype was damaged.

However, thanks to a “blade” made from a thicker piece of tungsten the “Star Wars” weapon finally got working again. Towards the end of the video, the team showed it in action as it cut through a model head. The weapon slid through easily, just like you’d expect from something with a surface temperature of more than 3000 degrees.

Despite the obvious destructive power, the protosaber is alluring. Perhaps that’s why Jedi had such a hard time resisting the power of the dark side.

Technology from Fiction

The team from Hacksmith worked for over a year to bring the protosaber to life. Considering the complications that come with assembling a battery pack of the size required, that isn’t too surprising.

Still, the results are worth every ounce of effort. As James Hobson (The Hacksmith) wields it in a dark room, it looks like a scene straight out of “Star Wars.”

The protosaber isn’t just a one-off project for Hobson. He and his team are planning to create another version of the weapon and find out what happens when you duel with them. Until that video comes out, fans will have to be content with another big-budget “Star Wars” film from Disney.

Or, check out the entire protosaber video in the player below:


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