The Star Wars Prop That Has Actually Gone To Space

By Britta DeVore | Published

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  • Luke Skywalker’s Star Wars lightsaber has gone to space
  • Astronaut Jim Reilly brought the Star Wars prop
  • The lightsaber was in space for 14 days

The year was 2007, and it was 30 years after the first film in George Lucas’ space epic, Star Wars: A New Hope blew the minds of theatergoers around the world. Leaving a lasting mark on cosmic explorer hopefuls everywhere, the debut movie and the ones that followed it would serve as inspiration for those hoping to reach a galaxy not so far away during their lifetimes.

One such astronaut was Jim Reilly, who successfully took the lightsaber belonging to Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker on a two-week mission.

Luke Skywalker’s Lightsaber Went To Space

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Reilly is now retired, but he remembers the importance for many NASA employees, including himself, in paying homage to the moments that sparked interest in their future careers. The Star Wars prop boarded mission STS-120, embarking on the Discovery Space Shuttle wrapped snugly in foam for its protection.

After its 14-day adventure, the glowing weapon landed safely back on Earth and was passed back to Star Wars daddy – aka George Lucas – where it now likely rests with other props like blasters and models of the Death Star and the Millenium Falcon. 

Lightsaber Not Left In Space

Although the piece of Star Wars history was kept safe from the harsh elements of space during its time floating amidst the stars, other items that have made the long journey likely still remain on the moon’s surface.

For instance, shortly after Neil Armstrong’s first steps on the moon, in 1969, an American sculptor named Forrest Myers joined forces with several other artists to build what’s now known as the Moon Museum. This grouping of drawings went on the Apollo 12 craft and are believed to still be up there all these years later.

Star Wars Props Been Sold Around The World

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The lightsaber’s trek to space is an especially fun one when considering that most of the props from the Star Wars films have been sold to fans around the world.

Of course, this is a great way for folks to bring the magic to their homes and an even better way to raise money for charities, but it’s still really cool knowing that Lucas and the other team members have held onto a select number of these items just in case NASA gives them a ring.

Star Wars Has Changed Over The Years

As for the future of Star Wars, the last film in the sequel trilogy, The Last Jedi zapped onto screens in 2019.

The movie was the third in the follow-up to the original story and was met with tough love from its dedicated fandom as well as critics who were pretty harsh on some of the choices made by the directorial and writing teams.

It was a tough time in the life of the sci-fi action franchise as George Lucas had passed over the reins both vision-wise and by way of story.

Star Wars Fans Tough To Please

The first and third films of the sequel trilogy were helmed by J. J. Abrams, while the second, The Last Jedi, was under the helm of Rian Johnson.

While both filmmakers are revered for their craft, they each had very different ways of doing things therefore not necessarily making the most cohesive trilogy in history.

The Star Wars fandom is a tough one to fully appease and many were quick to voice their complaints with the new direction.

New Star Wars Ideas Coming?

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Now that it’s been five years since the last Star Wars movie arrived in cinemas, Disney and Lucasfilm have been turning their wheels in terms of starting fresh with some new ideas.

While Thor: Love and Thunder director Taika Waititi has long been working on some sort of project in a galaxy far far away, it’s more likely that audiences will first embark on Jon Favreau’s big-screen spin-off of The Mandalorian.