Luke Skywalker’s authentic lightsaber brings ‘The Force’ to Myrtle Beach

Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 9:22 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - In a time not long ago at all, and a galaxy not very far away...

Some of the iconic Star Wars magic made its way to Myrtle Beach.

Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber used in “The Empire Strikes Back” is on display at Ripley’s Believe It or Not Odditorium.

“Back when it first came out, my dad went to see it,” said Chuck Inge, a fan recalling his first Star Wars experience. “Asked if I wanted to go, I said, ‘Nah, doesn’t look very good.’ He went, came back, told me all about it. I was like, ‘Oh, can you let me go, too? Can we go back?’ He was like, ‘Eh, alright.’”

Inge “forced” himself to never pass up another opportunity to see a Star Wars movie - he’s seen every one ever since.

He even remembers collecting some of the action figures.

“I had the first set of toys that came when you didn’t get the toy, you just got the box, with like, ‘This is what you’ll get in a few months when we actually make the toys,’” said Inge.

Inge is visiting Myrtle Beach from Pittsburgh and decided to carve out some time to check out the ultimate Star Wars toy.

Of course, the lightsaber wouldn’t be complete without the camera that made the effect possible.

“It was like a laser-type camera they used for massive flashes,” said Ripley’s Boulevard Attractions Manager Dustyn Ivey. “He was able to buy that and then buy the lightsaber prop for about $15-20 for both. That’s how they used some movie magic there to create the lightsaber effect in the films.”

The value of the lightsaber blew up about as fast as the Death Star - Ripley’s bought the prop for $450,000 in 2019.

For Ivey, who didn’t have to pay that hefty sum, it’s certainly worth it to see people’s reactions.

“When they come in here, they’re gassed up, fired up, ready to see it,” he said. “Being able to give them that experience is one of the best feelings in the world.”

Unfortunately, The Force won’t be in Myrtle Beach all summer long.

Luke’s lightsaber will only be at Ripley’s through May 10, but they do have the whip from Indiana Jones and hoverboard from Back to the Future 2 along with a slew of other props to check out all summer long.

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