This isn't quite a Star Wars story, but close enough. From the BBC:
Now researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) and Imperial College London in the UK have completely revamped the way "masing" is done, by carrying it out in a crystal of material called p-terphenyl that is infiltrated by chains of five-sided molecules called pentacene.
Their radically new design uses yellow light from a commercially available medical laser to "pump" energy in, producing synchronised microwaves at room temperature and in air, with no need for strong magnets or complex cooling and vacuum schemes.
Mark Oxborrow of NPL, lead author of the paper, called the design "a new type of electronic device" whose applications may, like the laser itself, stretch far beyond those imaginable in these early days.
"Perhaps the one application that is most relevant is more sensitive forms of body scanners," Dr Oxborrow told BBC News. "Sensitivity matters with body scanners, because detecting a tumour before it metastasizes is so useful.
"If this device can make even just a slightly more sensitive body scanner, it could put smiles on people's faces - they'll still be around to smile."
Or, Dr Oxborrow said, they could be put to use amplifying far more distant signals.
"Let's dream here: you could make a radio telescope that was very low-noise, 100 times more sensitive than the best at the moment... this type of maser could be used to detect some extraterrestrial intelligence that hasn't been detected."