We all know George Lucas has a penchant for tweaking the visual look of the Star Wars universe. But did you know the tendency dates all the way back to 1977?

If you get deep enough into the story of how “Star Wars: A New Hope” came to be, you discover the lightsabers were originally meant to be a practical effect. When it became apparent the technology just wasn’t up to the task yet, Nelson Shin was brought in to create an animated glowing effect.

During an interview with CNN, Shin said: “ [the lightsabers] look[ed] like a fluorescent tube” Which is exactly what they STILL looked like when the trailer was cut in 1977.


At some point between the trailer and the May 25, 1977 opening, Lucas added the color to the lightsabers and the rest was Sith history. Check out the whole trailer below!

Bonus trivia! Practical limitations would come into play again while filming “Return of the Jedi.” It is commonly believed Luke Skywalker’s second lightsaber is green because it was difficult to see the blue against the Tatooine sky. Early art confirms Skywalker still had a blue lightsaber late in the production game.

Mom. Wife. Geek. Gamer. Feminist. Writer. Sarcastic. Succinct. Donna has been writing snark for the Internet in one form or another for almost a decade. She has a lot of opinions, mostly on science-fiction, fantasy, feminism, and Sailor Moon. Follow her on Twitter (@MildlyAmused) for more of all these things.