After an 8 year hiatus, I went back to Disneyland last weekend. If you’ve read my Twitter profile, you know I’m a Disney Fanatic. Disneyland, for the most part, is still the same magical place as 10 years ago with a few tweaks here and there.
One peculiar thing I did notice though was that at the end of the Star Tours ride, as you exit to the Star Wars Store, there is a DIY Lightsaber Workstation. Parts of Anakin, Darth Vader, Darth Maul and Luke’s lightsaber are scattered around this huge table. You can combine the parts to create your own lightsaber.
This is Young Padawan’s Paradise.
I didn’t get to make my own because I was mesmerized by something else. Something more real: a literal replica of Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber (see below).
This lightsaber is as real as the movie (though you can’t cut through stuff), including sounds! As soon as I saw it, I immediately remembered browsing through MAKE a few years back and spotting this perfect looking lightsaber. It looks the same as the one I was holding in my hands! I don’t know if LucasFilm bought the rights to that lightsaber or they simply copied it, but I can tell you that it is almost the same.
I ended up buying it and now sits on my desk at the office:
The point: In future, we might just be able to build our own mobile phones. Print our own houses. Hack our way to new products and services where the traditional corporation acts more like a facilitator and less like a gateway. When individuals are empowered to enrich society with their own personal genius, new industries are going to be created. New power structures will be erected. And incumbents will be displaced. The MAKER movement is still in its infancy, but it is here to stay.
What does this mean for the future of innovation?