The Hacksmith brings us one step closer to the galaxy far, far away

Ethan Glick, Staff Writer

James Hobson, more commonly known as The Hacksmith, builds the first plasma-based retractable lightsaber.

Over the past few years, there has been an increasing number of attempts at building a lightsaber. Since the very beginning, James Hobson (A.K.A The Hacksmith) has been at the forefront of lightsaber building. It started with heating a titanium blade to about 3000℉ and attaching it to a handle. Now Hobson has built the first ever plasma-based retractable lightsaber.

The lightsaber uses compressed liquid propane gas, mixed with oxygen to create the plasma, which is then pushed through a large array of laminar flow nozzles to create a highly condensed beam of pure plasma.

“Even with all of our new equipment and capabilities, we’re still bound by the laws of thermodynamics,” Hobson said.

What he’s saying is that, due to the laws of thermodynamics it is currently impossible to power a lightsaber without an external battery pack. That means the lightsaber is actually more like a proto saber, which, according to Star Wars lore, is an early version of the lightsaber that featured a long cord that ran from the hilt of the saber to a battery pack that could be worn on the waist. However, Hobson’s saber required a tank of propane to be carried around at all times, so he made a backpack that housed all the fuel and electronics for the saber.

The new proto saber heats to a whopping 4000℉ and is capable of melting titanium, concrete and pretty much anything else. Unfortunately, because the blade is made of gas, there can be no lightsaber dueling and no deflection of blaster bolts. 

This is, without a doubt, the closest we’ve come to a real lightsaber and a major feat of technology. 

For the build video go here.

For the test video go here.