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The litrature (Science Fiction) has suggested one posibble method ,
using a vibrating monomolecular filament or nano-tube held "straight" by electrostatic charge or physical shock tensioning applied at the handle end.
[Larry Niven - RingWorld series]
Sadly very long nano-tubes and monomolecular filaments have yet to become available at this moment in time, when they do though.........
Polonium has a much higher energy output than "radio-active waste" such as plutonium and has a distinct advantage in that it produces no gamma radiation only alpha particles and so requires very little shielding.Useful for portable applications, the downside though is the short half-life of just over a hundered or so days (cannot remember exact figure).
The Soviet Union used hundreds of strontium-90 power cells to power little outposts all over the place. They work by heating up the inside half of a thermoelectric junction.
Every once in a while you'll hear about a couple of Russian loggers or hunters die of radiation poisoning because they spent the night next to some 'warm' barrels they found. Of course they lost track of most of these, hopefully noboby is gathering them up.
The U.S. actually had worked out a plan to poison the rivers in Germany with strontium-90 during WWII. Fortunately it didn't happen.
You could take a Collapsable Batton (Asp), and hook a very high voltage source up to it (30kv) with lots of amps, and make the batton form a Coronal Glow. Which would basicaly make it a Plasma sword. To make it a bit safer, you could hook the +HV up to the batton, and the -HV up to a large metal washer at then end of the hilt (where the batton comes out of. Then the batton would glow, and also would be arcing across to the washer (so u don't get zapped if you get too close).
The only thing left to do is to make a fancy looking lightsabre hilt, and there ya go, you have a real life lightsabre.
Also, because there is a coronal discharge around the metal batton, when ever police start using Directed lightning guns for crowd or civilian control (**broken link removed**) you would be able to defend yourself. Assuming your Jedi enough to block blaster bolts