In 1977 there were swords and there were lasers and while both appeared in movies, they appeared in very different movies. Then Star Wars happened and the most popular phallic symbol of our age was born.
Ok, that's not really when it was born, the first laser-sword concept was Edmond Hamilton's Kaldar: World of Antares way back in 1933 and it has been used since in sci-fi literature by Fritz Leiber, Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven and M.John Harrison but Star Wars was the first time such a thing had appeared on film and it's introduction to popular culture and the public imagination.
This 15 minute doc, which first appeared on the 2004 Star Wars DVD set, features interviews with George Lucas, actor Mark Hamill, and sound designer Ben Burtt about where the idea came from and the many technical challenges involved in moving it from the idea phase to the screen.
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