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Ad campaign turns subway train handrails into lightsabers

It’s a marketing move that could result in die-hard Star Wars fans around the world booking a plane ticket to Tokyo forthwith: some subway trains in the Japanese capital have been fitted with lightsaber handrails.

Unfortunately you can’t remove them from their static position, but they do light up with the press of a button on the handrail. It’s probably a good job they’re fixed in place – those trains get so crowded during rush hour that there are probably a fair few salarymen who wouldn’t mind battling with each other for space inside those packed carriages.

The lightsaber handrail idea is the brainchild of the marketing department at 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Japan, which is promoting the recently released Blu-ray DVD box set of Star Wars: The Complete Saga. It went on sale in Japan on September 16.

The inside of Japanese subway trains is popular with advertisers, but their publicity campaigns usually involve the more conventional paper posters. According to Japan Trends, it’s the first time the handrails of subway trains in Japan have been used in a campaign. “The effect is very well thought out and was generating a bit of chatter on the train amongst those riding,” Japan Trends’ Darrell Nelson wrote.

Apparently the idea for the campaign was shown to Star Wars creator George Lucas, who is reported to have loved it. It’s certainly a novel idea. Turn off the main lights of the train and it probably looks pretty cool too.

[Images: Japan Trends]

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