Could you really pop a house-sized batch of popcorn with a laser beam like a fiendish band of tech geeks did in the movie Real Genius? Will we ever have lightsabers like Luke Skywalker? Who will fulfill Dr. Evil’s simple request to have sharks with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads? Real-life laser weapons are slowly making their way from the laboratory to the battlefield, whether underwater, in space, on the ground, or shooting down missiles from the air. Still, they are far from being agile or easy to handle. A laser weapons engineer sheds light, so to speak, on the sober life of military laser weapons research and why the ultimate laser weapon remains a Hollywood and military fantasy…for now.