HOUSTON, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- The space shuttle Discovery will carry young Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber into space to mark the 30th anniversary of the blockbuster “Star Wars” movie series.
The movie-prop weapon -- favored by the Federation’s Jedi knights -- arrived at NASA’s Johnson Space Center Tuesday morning aboard a Southwest Airlines flight from Oakland, Calif., The Houston Business Journal reported.
Actors dressed as Princess Leia; Chewbacca, the hairy Wookie; spunky robot R2-D2; green-armor-clad bounty hunter Boba Fett -- and a few Imperial Stormtroopers -- met the plane to escort a padded aluminum case containing the lightsaber to the space center’s visitor complex where it will be on display through Labor Day.
The force is with the prop, which resembles a fancy flashlight. The lightsaber will remain stowed during Discovery’s 13-day mission to the International Space Station, but there’s no word on whether it will be returned to Lucasfilm, the studio home of "Star Wars," upon its return from orbit.
Previous space shuttles have carried a shred of fabric from the Wright Brothers airplane and some cremated remains of “Star Trek” creator Gene Roddenberry.
Discovery is scheduled to launch Oct. 23 from the Kennedy Space Center at Cape Canaveral, Fla.