I can confirm the effectiveness of even tiny lasers in temporarily or even permanently blinding people. I was nearly the victim twice - just riding my bicycle around this college town. Once was by a "student" sitting on a roof top purposely trying to shine his little pointer-laser in people's eyes. The other was just after I left the store I worked in then when some imbecile standing outside a dentists office a block away pointed his little pointer laser at my eyes. He was out of pistol range or I'd have shot the bastard.
Star Wars weapons are here and readily available - but they are not "blaster beam" weapons. They are totally silent and quickly deployed - from a person's shirt pocket!