Disney Boss Brandishes Deadly Weapon Onstage At SXSW

in Entertainment, Star Wars, Theme Parks

Josh D'amaro shows off real lightsaber at SXSW

Credit: DIsney

What was that noise? It may have been the “Beeeshheww” or “Schvrmmmmmm Kwishuuuuuuu” sound actual real-life lightsabers make, revealed for the first time by Disney Parks and Experiences chairman Josh D’Amaro at SXSW this past weekend.

Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Which noise the lightsabers make precisely is the subject of rigorous Reddit debate and for another day…However, the big news is that today the famous lightsaber sound isn’t solely computer generated or only to be heard onscreen. It is amazingly gobsmackingly real and handheld!

“I have the coolest job in the world,” announced D’Amaro. “I’m holding a real lightsaber.”

D’Amaro then introduced the head of R&D for Disney Imagineering- Lesley Evans, to the stage.

“This is a way to feel like you’re in the film…this is such an iconic moment!”

It wasn’t the only impressive piece of advanced technology unveiled by Disney Parks at SXSW! This animatronic prototype robot is capable of a somersault and getting back up after falling over.


This is so cool! #disney #sxsw #zootopia

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Given that Disney is home to James Cameron’s Avatar: The Way of Water (2022), you’d think they would have learned a thing or two from the killer robot movie franchise that made his name…Experiences are what Disney is focused on at the moment, and if these latest tech innovations are anything to go by, they are on the right track!

The lightsaber unveiling has enthralled Star Wars fans worldwide, with many fans taking to Twitter to express their views. And there´s always a party pooper.

‘Sorry boys…technically, the first ever real lightsaber was designed by Hacksmith studios…with a real plasma blade.’

Plo Koon legacy lightsaber
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

            Related: Disney Quietly Rereleases Fan-Favorite Lightsaber

Okay, the Star Wars fan may have a point; it wasn’t technically a real-life lightsaber with a plasma blade, D’Amaro displayed at SXSW. However, the lightsabers have been developed as props for use onboard Disney’s embattled Galactic Starcruiser experience.

Perhaps the idea of Disney Cast Members brandishing real-life deadly Jedi plasma blades around Disney’s fun-loving Galactic Starcruiser holidaymakers wouldn’t go down too well with Disney’s legal team. The Hotel has enough problems to deal with.

Disney launched its eagerly awaited ´Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser hotel in March 2022. The results have been (thus far) underwhelming. This has been due to many factors, not least the fact it opened with exorbitant ticket prices amidst a global cost of living crisis. Disney’s official website no longer displays the prices for the Starcruiser hotel; however, they had initially started at a whopping $1,209.00 per Guest per night!

'Star Wars': Galactic Starcruiser exterior
Credit: Disney

           Related: Disney Finally Announces All-New ‘Star Wars’ Lightsabers Debuting Soon!

At first glance, it seemed like the perfect fit. After all, Walt Disney World Resort is the place to be if you want to immerse yourself in the “magic”! Whether breathing in the sweet scents of Main Street, U.S.A. marveling at the world showcase at EPCOT, or falling in love with the animals at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, you can live and breathe the “magic” at Disney World.

This was the idea with Disney’s Star Wars “Space cruise ship.” However, it wasn’t thoroughly thought out and has priced itself out of the market for the average Guest to enjoy. One person’s fully immersive experience is another’s forced improvisation and escape-room task.

Moreover, it appears there isn’t enough emotional pull for the demographic of well-off Gen X’er customers (who could afford to go) to embrace the characters utilized at the Starcruiser Hotel. Instead of using notable personalities such as Darth Vader, Yoda, or Han Solo from the old era, they are all from the new generation or completely new, unknown characters. Han would undoubtedly be questioning why he’s been left out.

Harrison Ford as Han Solo in 'Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back' (1980)
Credit: Lucasfilm

It comes as no surprise then Walt Disney World has decided that beginning this fall, the Galactic Starcruiser would drop down to just two “voyages” per week. This results from the near-bare occupancy levels the Hotel has seen since its opening.

Therefore to tempt customers to take a Star Wars “Space Cruise,” Disney now offers new discounted stays at top-tier Disney Hotels immediately before or after their two-night Galactic Starcruiser voyage.

Whether real-life lightsabers and Resort discounts will force an upturn in fortunes for the beleaguered Star Wars hotel remains to be seen.

What are your thoughts on the newly developed real-life lightsaber? Hit us with a comment below…

in Entertainment, Star Wars, Theme Parks

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