In a galaxy very, very close: Canadian YouTuber makes world's first plasma-based, retractable lightsaber
KITCHENER -- From fighting Darth Vader to cutting through walls, lightsabers are the weapon of choice in a galaxy far, far away, but thanks to the brain of a Kitchener, Ont. man, they can be used right here on planet earth.
James Hobson runs the popular YouTube channel The Hacksmith, a channel dedicated to bringing sci-fi technology to life, from Captain America's shield to this lightsaber, which burns at 2,200 degrees Celsius.
"I think this might be one of the most sought-after pieces of sci-fi tech in history, and it shows with the video having over 14 million views already in just six days," Hobson said. The video has since climbed to over 16 million views.
He and his team used oxygen and propane gas to create the cutting torch, which can melt through steel or lead.
Hobson said it's the world's first retractable lightsaber that uses plasma to work.
"It's really, really fun to use," said lead engineer Bogdan Malynovskyy.
"Knowing that there are proportional valves, knowing that there are igniters for things like barbeques, we were able to put all these different technologies together to ultimately create a fully working lightsaber."
Don't count on getting your own plasma-based lightsaber any time soon, though: the prototype cost $40,000 to make.
People clearly love Hobson's working prototypes, which come from movies, video games and comics.
"The beauty of what we do, it actually has a great side-effect of inspiring youth around the world to go into STEM fields," he said.
His videos have drawn more than 10 million subscribers, placing his channel in the top 15 tech channels in the world.