Star Wars creator George Lucas, actor Mark Hamill, and sound designer Ben Burtt can be seen in this recently released footage discussing the concept and creation of the lightsaber. George Lucas recalls that Star Wars was influenced by pirate and swashbuckling films of the 1940s, which showcased the romantic side of fighting. The director needed a weapon that would match the Jedi’s ideals. In a clip from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the lightsaber is introduced by Obi-Wan Kenobi, who describes it to be “not as clumsy or random as a blaster. An elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” Originally, Lucas says, Jedi were meant to fight with just swords. But to give the weapon a technological edge, they became “laser swords.”

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