There are Star Wars fans who dream of owning every painfully cool gizmo in the universe that involves plasma and lasers, and there are Star Wars cosplayers who will wield a plastic lightsaber at a con and call it a day. Then there’s Joerg Sprave.
Sprave, the mastermind who creates insane slingshot weapons and eerie replicas of Viking weaponry on his YouTube channel, has now ventured to a galaxy far, far away for his newest creation—Rey’s NN-14 blaster pistol (given to her by Han), which would probably blow someone’s head off if the laser-powered version actually existed. With Solo: A Star Wars Story on the verge of landing in theaters, he thought he would re-create this gift from the space cowboy to not only look authentic, but actually work. Just swap out laser beams for glow sticks.
“I really wanted this to look like a piece of junk, you know, like something that has been found on a scavenger planet and is really something that nobody would pay a lot of money for,” Sprave said of the paint job that really gives it that deserts-of-Tatooine feel, “but [at the same time] looks kind of powerful and mean.”
While the system box is slightly longer than the one onscreen because it needs to accommodate a trio of glow sticks, Sprave used plywood and some serious elastics to build what is technically the first true photon ray gun (on Earth, at least). This upgrade from a Nerf gun even has a practical application for your average nerf herder. Shoot an unlit glow stick against a wall or any hard surface in the dark, and the impact will shock it into lighting up. You will never need to look far to reload your ammo.
Can you realistically wield this at a con? Probably not loaded with glowing projectiles if you wish to get past security, but you can say it has now officially made laser tag obsolete.