Chewbacca hands giant light saber to NASA, to carry into space

Luke Skywalker’s original Jedi lightsaber will be carried into space by NASA astronauts aboard space shuttle Discovery this October. Bonnie Burton says:

To commemorate the historic event, Star Wars characters visited the Oakland International Airport where Chewbacca handed the lightsaber over to NASA’s Space Center Houston during a special ceremony on Aug. 28, 2007. Arriving by Escalade and Hummer stretch limos (the Falcon’s in the shop) Boba Fett, Jango Fett, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker, X-Wing pilots, Jedi and stormtroopers (from the Golden Gate Garrison of the 501st Legion) accompanied Chewie for the fun-filled press event which took quite a few travelers and tourists in baggage claim by surprise. NASA’s Space Center Houston Director of Marketing Roger Bornstein greeted the intergalactic guests and warmly thanked everyone’s favorite Wookiee for bringing him Luke’s lightsaber.
Link to story, here are more photos on Flickr.



  1. What a terribly shameful event for all concerned. Woe for NASA, once able to promote itself using its scientific and technical laurels, now reduced to ignoble pandering. All of this dims the serious achievements of the dedicated staff who work hard in the name of science – not warmed over 1970s science fiction.

    Perhaps this is an indication of science and technology in America at large? Forced to piggy-back on marketing to acquire money and recognition.

    – ian
    Winnipeg, Canada

  2. And next week, Sigourney Weaver will present Mr. Bornstein with a bucket of homomorph mouth-slime leftover from the shooting of Aliens IV.

  3. It would appear that both the Rebellion and the Empire prefer to travel with Southwest Airlines. I couldn’t agree more.

  4. And how much are taxpayers being leached to transport this dead weight to space and back? This is mismanagement of the space program.

  5. Boba’s not only spindly legged but also barrel chested, stocky, big-boned or, dare I say it, chubby? He’s stressing out the damn armour! Could it be possible that Mister Lucas himself is in there, in cognito, in Boba?

    I thought it would be better to send up a model of the Falcon and take it out for a wee bit of an EVA – great photo op with the Earth. Ah well, next time.

  6. Not to be a debbie downer or anything, but current shuttle launch costs are about $10000/lb. Money well spent!

  7. How much does the lucas team pay to keep their tired characters in front of the pubic imagination i wonder?

  8. I like star wars and everything…

    but its hard enough to take nasa seriously without men in fursuits wishing them godspeed.

  9. Twenty years from now, the kid who plays Harry Potter will be presenting his wand to America’s first phantasmo-nauts.

  10. So, when they say “Luke’s First Lightsaber”, do they mean the first one he had, I.E. Anakins’s lightsaber, or the first lightsaber Luke BUILT, because that would be the one from Jedi.

    Boing Boing editors, my question must be answered!

  11. @anonymous: < <"Luke's First Lightsaber", do they mean the first one he had, I.E. Anakins's lightsaber>>

    Ooooh, good question! I’ve asked Bonnie from Lucasfilm to weigh in.

  12. To answer a previous question, the lightsaber going up in space is the first one he BUILT himself so that would be the one in “Return of the Jedi.”

    And regarding the headline — the lightsaber isn’t giant it’s just regular lightsaber size. Though it would be cool if it was gigantic! ;-)

    Glad you liked the story and my photos. It was a blast being on the tarmac with Chewie and the usual Rebel Scum and Imperial forces. You should have seen the kids’ faces when we showed up in baggage claim!

  13. Congratulations to all the Republicans who worship at the altar of “lower taxes”. $80 Billion/yr for NASA ($2 B for this mission alone) to play Star Wars. Meanwhile real science, from space science to health science, is taking huge cuts. Its the perfect Bush Administration action (remember play-pilot and “Mission Accomplished”?).

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