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[b]Jedi Lightsaber From [i]Return of the Jedi[/i] Ready For Launch; Discovery Astronauts To Receive Best Wishes from [i]Star Wars[/i] Fans[/b]
Luke Skywalker's original Jedi lightsaber, the famous movie prop from the [i]Star Wars[/i] saga is now aboard space shuttle Discovery as it waits for its scheduled October 23rd launch at NASA's Kennedy Space Center.
The Jedi lightsaber has been carefully stowed aboard Discovery and will fly into space with the seven STS-120 astronauts to the International Space Station before returning to Earth 14 days later to mark the legendary film's 30th anniversary.
During the two-week mission, [i]Star Wars[/i] fans will be able to leave their best wishes to the space shuttle astronauts at www.starwars.com, the official [i]Star Wars[/i] website. Lucasfilm Ltd. is expecting greetings from around the world which will be collected online and placed onto a CD, which will be presented to the space shuttle astronauts at the official public debriefing at NASA's Space Center Houston after their return.
The Jedi lightsaber, which appeared in [i]Return of the Jedi,[/i] will also make its way back to NASA's Space Center Houston once Discovery returns to Earth. "The Jedi lightsaber will have traveled more than six million miles in space after this mission," says Roger Bornstein, Marketing Director for Space Center Houston. "And we'll have the honor of displaying this flown movie artifact once it returns." The Jedi lightsaber will be part of a new exhibit at Space Center Houston that will showcase a small collection of famous [i]Star Wars[/i] movie props and a full-size X-wing starfighter through Jan. 1.
Lucasfilm officially handed the Jedi lightsaber to NASA's Space Center Houston on August 28 during a special ceremony at the Oakland International Airport complete with Star Wars characters including Chewbacca, Boba Fett and Jedi Knights. The movie artifact was flown to Houston and received a warm welcome from stormtroopers, R2-D2 and C-3PO who were surrounded by a large group of [i]Star Wars[/i] fans. The Jedi lightsaber was taken by police escort to Space Center Houston where it was on display for several days before making its way to Florida and secured aboard space shuttle Discovery.
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