This Engineer Now Owns the World’s First Official Working Lightsaber

YouTuber James Hobson, aka The Hacksmith, has a long list of tech-geek accomplishments. He’s made real-life replicas of Tony Stark’s Iron Man gauntlet and Wolverine’s bone claws. He’s replicated the Predator’s thermal-vision helmet. And he’s made a series of fan-favorite lightsabers that are both technically impressive and about as close to the real thing as you’re going to get without journeying to a galaxy far, far away.

Until now, though, the Hacksmith and his crew haven’t had a Guinness World Record. Until now. That oversight has been remedied thanks to what may be the Hacksmith’s awe-inspiring creation, a retractable proto-lightsaber that burns at 4,000 degrees. Needless to say, it’s a one-of-a-kind first, and more than enough to earn a spot among the hallowed records of Guinness.

The storied record-keepers just released a video touting the Hacksmith’s achievements. If you’re just joining us, here’s the skinny on the world’s first retractable proto-lightsaber. As we’ve already mentioned, it burns at 4,000 degrees, which is hot enough to cut through steel—just like you’d expect from a real lightsaber. Previous Hacksmith projects often used super-heated metal to create the lightsaber effect, but in this case it’s a concentrated stream of propane gas that does the job, creating a “blade” out of plasma. Yes, it’s the same kind of propane gas you’d use to grill a steak, only here it recreates the iconic look from Star Wars.

The lightsaber’s glowing lethality can even be tweaked: adding salts, calcium chloride, and boric acid, changes the color of the blade. It’s not a look that’s going to be appearing in stores any time soon, but we can now say we officially live in a world where real-life lightsabers exist.

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