Functioning lightsaber goes on sale

Posted by Emma Woollacott

In official censuses over the last few years, hundreds of thousands of people have listed their religion as Jedi - indeed, it's the second-largest religious affiliation in New Zealand.

But until now, all those would-be Jedi knights have lacked an essential piece of kit - a lightsaber.

Wicked Lasers' Spyder III Pro Arctic is a 1W portable blue laser, which creates a beam 1,000 times stronger than sunlight.

The company warns that it is the most dangerous laser ever created, more than 20 times as powerful as the company's previous top model. It's also only a tenth of the price, at just $200.

"Extremely dangerous is an understatement to the power of 1W of laser power," says the company. "It will blind permanently and instantly, and set fire quickly to skin and other body parts."

No need to worry, though - it comes with a free pair of safety glasses.

Wicked Lasers says the device is designed for use in a home theater projector - not for battling stormtroopers. Anyone wanting to buy one of the things will have to sign one of the company's Laser Hazard Acknowledgement Forms - which in Yoda-esque terms warns buyers that "with greater power comes the need for greater responsibility."