The lightsaber is among the most powerful weapons in the galaxy. It can deflect lasers, dismember foes and unite people under a single cause.
But the lightsaber’s most important virtue is this: It fits inside an airplane’s overhead bin.
Yet this Jedi-level convenience comes at a cost for air travelers. The lightsaber counts as a carry-on item. And since you’re typically allowed only one carry-on item (aside from your small personal item that goes under the seat) those who want to put a lightsaber in the overhead bin will have to check any other baggage they have.
Officials from American and Southwest airlines told The Arizona Republic that the 36-inch-long toys will fit in the bin, but they count as your carry-on item.
United Airlines did not respond to an email.
Since the May 31 opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland, guests have formed long lines in front of Savi’s Workshop, where up to 14 people at a time may build lightsabers. They cost is $200, plus tax.
Unlike many lightsabers before it, this high-end version is one piece with a noncollapsible blade, which can make it difficult to pack. The sabers are sturdier than most, but they’re still breakable and should be treated carefully when stowing them.
What happens before you get to your gate? The Transportation Security Administration has long allowed lightsabers on flights, though the policy largely dealt with plastic toys with telescoping blades.
Disney’s lightsabers are more formidable, with metal hilts and solid blades. TSA says the tech-based swords are starting to show up at airports and have been determined to pose no threat. Not even red sabers, the color wielded by such dark lords at Darth Vader and Kylo Ren.
(TSA also permits the Harry Potter-style magic wands sold at Universal Studios in Hollywood and Florida and incapable of casting the very popular seatius upgradium spell.)
Lightsabers built at Savi’s Workshop at Disneyland include a specially designed padded tote, perfect for slinging across your back and walking like a Jedi. Those bearing sabers can draw considerable attention at Galaxy’s Edge and are often asked to show off their creations. Carefully waving a lightsaber is acceptable at Disneyland, but dueling is very dark-side and can get you removed.
RELATED: 10 secrets of Disneyland’s Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Once you get your lightsaber home, it begs the question, “Now what?” Outside of Halloween and comic conventions, most people have little use for an illuminated weapon capable of inflicting no more than light bruising (save for putting someone’s eye out, as any mom would warn).
However, the plasma-like glow of a lightsaber is perfect for setting the mood for a romantic dinner, or it could be the coolest nightlight on the block.
Have any tips on relatively unknown, must-see destinations in Arizona? Reach the reporter at email@example.com or at 602-444-8773. Follow him on Twitter @Scott_Craven2.