Star Wars creator George Lucas, Luke Skywalker actor Mark Hamill, and others from the franchise discuss the origins from the film’s lightsaber. In a nearly 16-minute featurette, debuted on the official Star Wars Youtube channel, Lucas recalls that Star Wars was influenced by pirate and swashbuckling films of the ’40s, and how helped inspire the idea for the iconic weapon.
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.”