Everyone wants a lightsaber, from hardcore Star Wars fans to people who may have never seen a single movie. The urge to wield the legendary Jedi weapon is irresistible. Now, one man really can.
Russian YouTuber Alex Burkan, the man behind the Alex Lab channel, has been officially recognized by Guinness World Records as having made a real three-foot retractable lightsaber with a plasma blade that reaches over 5,072 degrees Fahrenheit; it’s able to cut through steel.
“All my life, I was a great Star Wars fan, and the lightsaber was my most-wanted gadget,” Burkan told Guinness. “For many years, I have collected ideas and spare parts for my lightsaber and power equipment on the internet markets and [from] scrap yards.”
Burkan’s main field of research is hydrogen generation equipment. He learned how to build an electrolyser, a device that creates vast amounts of hydrogen and oxygen from water before compressing the gas without a mechanical compressor. After a lot of experimentation, the YouTuber managed to squeeze these gas components into a lightsaber handle to make his first prototype.
Alex Burkan’s homemade lightsaber lasts for 30 seconds at a time
Another obstacle was making a compact yet powerful hydrogen and oxygen burner that could fit in the handle. “It works for only 30 seconds on full power, the hydrogen torch is not as stable as it could be, and you can easily see it when it moves,” Burkan said. “Sometimes the lightsaber just blows up in your hand because of hydrogen flashback.”
He told Guinness that creating the lightsaber was a daunting task, but he intends to continue attempting to refine the weapon to get it “close to the movie version.”
Of course, it’s a great feeling to get into Guinness World Records with something that you just made with your own hands. The only wish now to make something more epic!”
Burkan isn’t the only YouTuber to try their hand at creating a lightsaber; James Hobson of Hacksmith Industries made the first retractable proto-lightsaber. However, the Hacksmith lightsaber requires an external power source and is powered by back-mounted propane tanks.
Despite being rivals, Burkan says that he and Hobson are in contact with each other and support each other’s projects. “Sometimes, we discuss our current projects. Sometimes we threaten each other with our new inventions, but we always support each other. Things and ideas that unite people all over the world are awesome.”