A Lightsaber Urn for a Flippin' Awesome Kid!!!

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Psicorp7

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hello All,
I have a story to tell you about a very brave young man by the name of Ian Kiesacker. He was a member of the local 501st and helped to start the unit in Sioux Falls. He loved Star Wars, Marvel, Harry Potter and LOTR movies. He had a great smile and quick wit that never failed to deliver a one-liner at the best time. He also battled brain cancer and complications from the treatment for over 6 years. In November, 2014 a tumor reappeared and after so many years of treatments Ian's body was no longer able to tolerate the treatments to fight the cancer. He chose, instead to spend the last month as a series of "Party Days". He went to movies, met with friends, ate out, and threw one of the largest "Going Away" parties you have ever seen. Attended by friends and family alike there were 501st members, Marvel Superheroes, Batman, LOTR and Harry Potter characters as far as the eye could see. It filled an entire basketball gym!

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In December, a few days before Christmas, Ian passed quietly at home with his family. He had one final request at the end. He wanted an urn that was also a lightsaber! How cool is that! Talk about style and commitment to being awesome to the end!

Ian and His father drew up a quick sketch and contacted me the week before to see what we could have made. He wanted a clean saber with no switches or boxes and his name in red Aurebesh letters. I cleaned up a quick plan and a series of drawings to make this happen.

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We only had a couple days before Christmas and then the weekend after would be the viewing and the funeral. Once the drawing was approved I quickly brought the finished design to a friend of mine that runs a machine and tooling shop. After hearing the story he agreed to help and we worked out a plan to machine the urn from two pieces of aluminum and drill out the center to form a container. The pommel was made to be removeable and fitted with a set of "O" rings to form a tight seal.

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While he worked on Chirstmas Eve and the day after Christmas on the saber housing. I started work on the base and container. I found a project box at Hobby Lobby and added moulding to the base to dress it up. I used a pair of spindles and curved wood corner moulding to create the supports for the saber.
After talking to the the funeral home it was determined the that the ash generated would not fit in the saber. I found an aluminum tube that would fit inside the base and I capped it with two screw on caps and dressed those with copper accents.

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The box was stained and coated with several coats of polyurethane. I held off on attaching the supports until I had the saber and could cut down the spindle to make the saber sit level. Once I had the finished saber I masked off certain parts and airbrushed a thin coat of metallic copper paint to add detail to the saber.
The next step was to take the saber to a local jewlery engraver and have him add Ian's name in Aurebesh (the Star Wars lettering system). They too went above and beyond after hearing Ian's story and had the letters engraved within two hours of me dropping the saber off. This was Saturday morning and the viewing was on Sunday. I took the saber home and painted a thin layer of candy red to the letters and then sealed the entire saber with an acrylic clear coat.

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It was then time to put it all together!

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That is Ian's Saber! As he used to say, "That's flippin' awesome!".
 
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Psicorp7

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The last of Ian's requests was that he have a pair of Stormtroopers and Imperial Guards stand watch over his casket at the vewing. We had two Guards at the entrance to the church and four Troopers took turns standing guard for the two and half hour viewing.

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When it was time for the funeral Ian received a royal send off fitting for one who inspired so many. A full Imperial guard, with Stormtrooper pall bearers and Vader leading the guard. As Ian would say himself, "It was flippin' awesome!".

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If you enjoyed Ian's story and are looking to help other children, I encourage you to seek out the St. Baldricks Foundation. They host fundraisers for childrens cancer research. The events revolve around shaving your head and/or beard in honor of the children undergoing chemotherapy. You can find more online and they are always looking for costumed characters to make the events more fun for the kids or you can always shave your head to raise pledge money!
 

Luke0312

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Very nice, but very unforunate that it was needed. :(

Though 'm sure he appreciates his final resting place.
 

NeoRutty

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Man that's such an awesome gift. Good work to all the others who helped out as well - to drop everything and make it happen.

Are any of Ian's ashes in the hilt?
 

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Psicorp7

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Man that's such an awesome gift. Good work to all the others who helped out as well - to drop everything and make it happen.

Are any of Ian's ashes in the hilt?

Yes, the hilt contains some of the ashes and the rest are in the base. Yeah, it was great of everyone to come together to make this happen over Christmas.
 

JoeG

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Flippin awesome indeed! Sad that someone so young to have to go, but what an amazing send off.
 

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Tazio

New Member
Ian was lucky to have such amazing friends.

I'd like to have seen the reaction of the priest when he was told that Lord Vader was going to be leading the Stormtrooper pall bearers in his church.

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Psicorp7

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The priest knew the family and Ian quite well. He was well aware of what Ian liked and welcomed us as he would to any of the family! Even in the service he quoted LOTR, Harry Potter and Star Wars (though he did mess up the Star Wars quote!). After the service he came up to us and asked if we noticed he flubbed the Vader quote. We all nodded and laughed!!!
 

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jim fred

Member
Never fails to amaze me how far fans will go to help others , good job to all involved ! Sounds like a cool kid !


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

dion1701

New Member
Flippin Awesome is right!!!! I cant even begin to fathom the courage this young man had facing his end! Kudos to you for bringing his vision of his final resting place to life! A sad story but a lesson we can all learn from.
 

SofaKing01

Master Member
What an amazing strong and courageous young man! Very sad to be taken away so soon. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. Hats off to you and those involved with his final project. Excellent way to begin his new adventure(s)...

Rest Peacefully
 

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