If there’s any weapon that needs to be brought into reality from the realm of science fiction, it’s the lightsaber. Forget about biotic weapons from Mass Effect or Psylocke’s sword or even phasers from Star Trek, the lightsaber is simply “an elegant weapon for a more civilized age.” Plus it makes those cool sounds—bzooooooooo, wyooom, wyoom, kish—and you can stab it into walls and watch them melt, and cut through Sith bodies like butter, and it can probably heat a bath right up. Which is why it’s so exciting to see YouTuber Allen Pan’s final installment of his incredibly inventive build of a real-life version of the iconic light blade.
Pan, a former contestant on MythBusters: The Search , who’s responsible for incredible builds like this scientifically constructed Thor’s Hammer, showed off the prototype for his “Real Burning Lightsaber” back at the end of 2015. Since then, he’s sporadically released three video installments that outline the lightsaber’s build process and, for good measure, also make for some palpably tense moments. (There is a reason Pan says that this is “an incredibly dangerous and frankly stupid thing to build.”) You can watch the first video here and the second video here.
The reason the real burning lightsaber is so dangerous is because it involves a lot of pressurized flammable gases and fire. Essentially, within the handle of the lightsaber is a mix of methanol and acetone, which is propelled out of a nozzle at the top of the handle by butane. The fuel mixture is then lit aflame by a heated coil, and viola, you have a straight stream of fire that looks a lot like a lightsaber.
Even though building and handling the real burning lightsaber is apparently extremely dangerous, the blade itself, paradoxically, is pretty chill. It definitely won’t be melting through any walls, or cardboard Stormtroopers, although its balloon-popping capabilities are perfect for the gentlest of Jedi.
What do you think about Pan’s real burning lightsaber? Let us know below!
Images: Sufficiently Advanced/YouTube
And now, our own Kyle Hill uses science to explain what lightsabers are made of