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They may be tiny weapons, but Brigham Young University's holography research group has figured out how to create lightsabers—green for Yoda and red for Darth Vader, naturally—with actual luminous beams rising from them.

Inspired by the displays of science fiction, the researchers have also engineered battles between equally small versions of the Starship Enterprise and a Klingon Battle Cruiser that incorporate photon torpedoes launching and striking the enemy vessel that you can see with the naked eye.

"What you're seeing in the scenes we create is real; there is nothing computer generated about them," said lead researcher Dan Smalley, a professor of electrical engineering at BYU. "This is not like the movies, where the lightsabers or the photon torpedoes never really existed in physical . These are real, and if you look at them from any angle, you will see them existing in that space."

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