How did the lightsabers in Star Wars work? I have wondered about this since I was a kid—I knew special effects of some kind were involved, but didn't know the details. Now, here's a fifteen-minute film showing exactly how the galaxy's coolest laser-sword was created, filmed, and made to buzz ominously. It involves rotating poles with reflector tape, and later on "shorter sticks" minus the glow. Lots of behind-the-scenes footage and crusty original trilogy material here! Enjoy:
A note for prequel non-fans: The prequel material starts around 13:20, and it is, predictably, way less interesting.