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Building lightsabers at Disney’s Star Wars land sounds incredible

New details emerge about a wild new retail experience at Galaxy’s Edge

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Star Wars: The Last Jedi - Rey (Daisy Ridley) holds her lightsaber Lucasfilm/Disney
Charlie Hall is Polygon’s tabletop editor. In 10-plus years as a journalist & photographer, he has covered simulation, strategy, and spacefaring games, as well as public policy.

Earlier this month, Disney CEO Bob Iger announced that its two Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park lands would open earlier than expected. The announcement followed a torrent of new information about the twin lands in California and Florida. Today, an article in The Orange County Register adds new details about how guests will be able to build their own lightsaber.

Of course, you’ve been able to build your own lightsaber at Disney parks for years. Back when I visited Disney World about a decade ago you could wander into Tatooine Traders at Hollywood Studios and pick from various parts. Their selection included multi-colored plastic blades and different hilts — all the fixins’. But the set-up looked more like the plumbing aisle at your local hardware store than a high-end experience, and the results were a bit clumsy.

These new lightsabers sound a lot more elegant, complete with modular components and metal parts. There will also be an interactive building experience on par with Olivanders wand shop at Universal Studios.

Lightsaber samples from Savi’s Workshop, a new retail location expected to open at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Lightsaber samples from Savi’s Workshop, a new retail location expected to open at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
Photo: David Roark/Disney Parks

Galaxy’s Edge is set during the current Star Wars trilogy, on a new planet called Batuu, and at a backwater starport called Black Spire Outpost. Hidden somewhere in the Outpost is Savi’s Workshop, where guests will be able to pay a premium for an intimate 20-minute building experience. Each session will be limited to 14 participants and their families.

According to the Register, Savi is a scrapper who has collected bits of old lightsabers from all around the galaxy. Concept art, released last year, shows a dimly-lit facility with a selection of parts set on top of shipping containers in a kind of backroom black market setting.

Guests will be able to choose from four different lightsaber themes. Those include Peace and Justice (Republic era), Power and Control (Sith style), Elemental Nature, and Protection and Defense. The latter two styles are somewhat mysterious. Multiple outlets report that they include fictional components such as Brylark trees, Cartusion whale bones, Rancor teeth, and mysterious inscriptions that even Disney staff are unable to read.

Concept art for Savi’s Workshop.
Disney Parks

What’s clear, however, is that these components will be much higher quality than what was previously available at the parks.

Four colors will be available: purple, blue, green, and red. Illumination will be provided by a simulated Kyber crystal, which guests will add to their creation using a custom process designed by Disney Imagineers.

“We’ve tried recently to start to blur the lines a little bit more and more on what we consider an attraction or a merchandise experience,” Walt Disney Imagineering executive creative director Chris Beatty told the Register. “That’s an exciting thing that we’re starting to see within the Disney parks. It promotes play. It promotes a sense of agency. We’re going to see more and more of this in the future.”

According to a previous article published by Entertainment Weekly, saber hilts will start at $109. Optional detachable blades will be an additional $49. The Register report contradicts this claim, saying that lightsaber pricing is still being sorted out.

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