You’re not the first person to ask me that. Somewhere around the turn of the millennium, when one of the prequels was coming out, a journalist from Empire mag was put through to me at work with a question about the feasibility of light sabres. We chatted in a bit of detail and I pointed out a few difficulties* which meant that for now at least the idea was not really a viable business proposition. Then I forgot about it.
Next thing I know my brother-in-law, a huge film fan and sometime buyer of Empire, is on the phone saying I’ve been extensively quoted in the mag by Yoda no less (the journalist had written up his side of the Q&A in Yoda-speak). My B-i-L still thinks it’s the most significant technical publication I’ve ever had !
When we finished up on the SDI project I came back to the UK and my closest colleague went to Livermore and built the laser which did this
That’s one inch thick steel. The hole took a few seconds to melt. The eventual plan was to fit the laser and its power source onto a Humvee. The power source was a one magawatt battery (almost more impressive than the laser) !!
*Stopping the beam, sourcing enough power, avoiding being splattered by molten debris, etc, etc …