ANH Vader Stunt Lightsaber

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by thd9791, Jan 9, 2018.

  1. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'd like to open up discussion about this prop, in the context of what we now know. (Thanks to one of our founding members)

    So, what we're looking at here, the Barbican Vader saber, is actually the ANH motorized stunt that faced off against the V2. As a back-up, Luke's motorized ANH Stunt Graflex had the tip painted black and it was also used in that scene. (Funnily enough, the ROTJ shots and current BTS footage of Luke's old stunt saber show black tape on the emitter instead of paint, I guess they re-worked it into a vader stunt again, just with tape.)

    Like the Luke ANH Stunt, it seems this prop was prepped for use as a fencing stunt, but probably never used. The Luke one, with it's allen screws, was heavily used behind the scenes.

    Vader's severed hand was also a cast of this lightsaber.

    I'm trying to also date the modifications to this thing.

    Anyways, here are all the photos I have. Credit to the folks who originally posted them. If you'd like me to add you, let me know, I don't have them labeled in my hard drive.
     

    Attached Files:

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  2. tubachris85x

    tubachris85x Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Great pictures. I'm not an expert on the various sabers made, but clearly this was one of the sabers to inspire the ROTS version, which I do like as a prop design.
     
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  3. SethS

    SethS Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I’m away from home so I cant post the pic from the guide (p28), but it was at least used in ANH rehearsals as there is a BTS image of it. Also the Kenner ANH vader card has it I think.

    And 100% it was the basis for the ROTS saber.
     
  4. SethS

    SethS Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    Brandon did say the shroud piece was replaced after ANH.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  5. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think he said turned down. I interpreted that as it was altered or cut. Looking at how beat up the shroud is, I hazard a guess that it's the original piece!
     
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  6. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm also guessing the black pommel dot and the most protruding ring are a separate cap. The casting has an open end after the biggest pommel ring.

    and there were 7 grips up until rotj when they cast the hand! so... this is 7 LONG grips. maybe for the ESB MPP... got the idea from the stunt saber?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2018
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  7. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I’ve never heard that the Barbican was used as an ANH stunt or even around during ANH filming. Was there new information released or is this speculation?

    The Barbican shares many design elements and pieces associated with Vader sabers made at the end of ROTJ and used for promotion and Vader tour costumes.

    We have many multiple set photos and screen shots of the Luke/Vader stunt saber in ANH, I’ve never seen the Barbican in ANH photos. I had always heard that due to light reflecting off the scotchlight blade onto Vader’s hands a square piece of cardboard/wood/metal/whatever was added at the emitter end but was not permanently attached as it’s not in many shots from the ANH duel.
     
  8. vader45

    vader45 Sr Member

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    The small D ring attached to the silver piece is not on the emitter on this saber. The saber in your photos is not the Barbican. The big thing around the emitter is just a hand guard. The Vader ANH stunt is just a pipe with a slant cut and the top painted black.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. SethS

    SethS Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is what I presented in the guide, but Brandon gave a bunch of great notes based on what he’s learned at the archives.
     
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  10. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    In Seth's guide, that's stickied up top of the forum, Brandon took the time to write up a few corrections to Seth's pdf. this was one of them!

    this saber is Luke's ANH graflex tube stunt with the tip painted black.

    The Barbican at the time had a square shoulder

    - - - Updated - - -

    This was taken from post #292 of that thread.

    "ANH Vader motorized (bladed) saber - the one with the square hood and thick emitter seen in several production photos *is* the "Barbican" saber. The front of the square hood was later turned down and possibly other mods made. In BTS stills you can see a piece of T-track near the short side of the Emitter. Looks at the ROJ "severed hand" resin Vader saber. It was molded from the Barbican. It has that same T-track in place. (note: that resin saber would not have been made by Freeborn, but by the prop department.) I don't think this was ever used again as a dueling saber prop, though it was likely prepared for that purpose."

    - - - Updated - - -

    This was taken from post #292 of that thread.

    "ANH Vader motorized (bladed) saber - the one with the square hood and thick emitter seen in several production photos *is* the "Barbican" saber. The front of the square hood was later turned down and possibly other mods made. In BTS stills you can see a piece of T-track near the short side of the Emitter. Looks at the ROJ "severed hand" resin Vader saber. It was molded from the Barbican. It has that same T-track in place. (note: that resin saber would not have been made by Freeborn, but by the prop department.) I don't think this was ever used again as a dueling saber prop, though it was likely prepared for that purpose."
     
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  11. vader45

    vader45 Sr Member

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    Wow that is amazing. I never knew that it was in ANH.
     
  12. SethS

    SethS Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Neither did we until Brandon dropped it!

    Those pics I posted-- I ASSUME those are the Barbican with it's original head piece. We've always assumed that was a piece slipped onto the Luke/Vader shared stunt, but I think that supposition came from assuming there was only one stunt.

    The grips don't lie!
     
  13. Jedi Reali

    Jedi Reali Sr Member

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    I missed this bit of new info too. Very cool! The ugly duckling Barbican is a swan after all. Always amazing to learn an ANH prop survived, and it's in the archives no less.
     
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  14. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I still disagree that the Barbican was around in ANH unless I see behind the scenes photos or clear screen-shots.

    The thicker shroud matches the thicker shroud used on the Ketzer saber as well as the Energizer saber, and they all have the same detail piece on the top next to the shroud.

    Plus you see this thicker shroud on the Planet Hollywood Vader saber that also has small piece of T-track on the underside by the shroud:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The Planet Hollywood Vader saber was also used in one of the Darth Vader promotional cardboard Standees in the 1990s. The other Vader Standee uses the Barbican saber.

    It also features the same square d-ring on the shroud, the same thicker shroud, the same detail piece on the top, the same T-track on the bottom side next to the shroud, but it does not have an MPP clamp- only an MPP lever on a custom made clamp substitute.

    At the end of ROTJ they made a handful of promotional Vader sabers for various promo suits and LFL uses as the MPP based ones went 'missing'. I believe the Barbican and the PH sabers were made around the same time.

    Brandon knows his stuff, I've just got to see it with my own eyes to believe it. The Barbican has too many similar features to well-known post-1983 Vader promo sabers and it shares so little with the OT MPP based Vader sabers.
     
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  15. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Thanks James, well tempered as usual, I sometimes get over excited haha

    i was wondering if the promo sabers were modeled after this one sitting in the archives
     
  16. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I thought that was Luke’s ANH blade spinner.. thanks for clarifying that tom!
     
  17. BAlinger15

    BAlinger15 Community Founder

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    Hi guys,

    The Barbican is the Vader ANH dueling saber with the square shroud at the top, as notably seen on the Kenner cardback. Yes, there is an image of Vader dueling with a saber without the square shroud - this is the Luke dueling saber with the emitter painted black, as also seen in a Hamill publicity photo. But the one with the square shroud was clearly meant for Vader / based on the MPP belt hanger.

    Photos of the Vader dueling with square shroud in ANH:

    Saber1.jpg Saber2.jpg

    Note the piece of T-track at the top, just under the hood, on the "short emitter side." That is not on the prop today, but was post filming and is seen in the "Vader severed hand" prop, which is a cast of the Barbican, obviously made for ROJ. Some of the other greeblies may have been in place during ANH, or may have been added later (when it was reconditioned for ESB or ROJ), hard to say.

    Other things worth pointing out:

    1. Note the T-track grips are proper OT grips matching other sabers, not slightly different/resin cast grips seen on promo sabers built in the 90s.

    2. Note prominent hole visible in grip area where on/off button would have been, just like Luke's saber.

    3. Note how the rounded radius of the shroud meets the square part in a rough/uneven manner - it was clearly ground down later to better match the other sabers.

    4. The Barbican doesn't show up in any other photos from ESB or ROJ that I'm aware of, but is present in a post-ROJ filming inventory photo along with the Vader Graflex, the hero MPP belt hanger (now in the collection of Stephen Lane), and the Vader MPP dueling saber with allen bolts (MIA today.)

    5. It has a real MPP clamp as you say while the other promo sabers don't. They didn't have MPPs around when building promo sabers later on.

    6. Again, the Vader severed hand saber, which was obviously made in 82 for ROJ filming, is an exact cast of the Barbican. How did they have an exact cast on hand for ROJ if the prop wasn't made until the later promo sabers?

    In vader45's post above you see the Luke painted as Vader saber, which must have been used when they had some trouble with the square-shroud one. Here's a publicity photo showing that same saber in close up.

    HamillSab.jpg

    The reason the 90s promo sabers are similar to the Barbican is because they were copies of the Barbican. But the Barbican is absolutely an OT-era saber.

    Are there photos of promo Vader sabers being used circa early-mid 80s? I do not believe any "promo" Vader sabers were made until the 90s, and again they were made as copies of the Barbican.

    Best,
    Brandon
     
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  18. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Holy cow, thank you Brandon.

    I have been working on a Luke ANH stunt here at home and the other week I put the graflex clamp on upside down and drilled holes for the push button and the wire hole.

    looking back at the Barbican with fresh eyes I thought that’s what those holes must be for! A year or two ago all I could come up with were screw holes to keep the grips on but they were huge and out of place... crazy

    I’m also intrigued as this is another saber rigged with countersunk bolts and an insert for a blade. The prequels didn’t do this so I’ve been fascinated with any prop set up this way. Regretfully another member joined that conversation and I’ve been worried they soured the mood on stunt sabers :D
     
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  19. BAlinger15

    BAlinger15 Community Founder

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    The angles aren't perfect here, but:

    Top - Vader ANH photo
    Middle - Barbican photo
    Bottom - Vader severed hand saber photo

    Comparison.jpg

    What other sabers exist in the OT with the very thick walled emitters?

    Brandon
     
  20. SethS

    SethS Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If the Barbican was one of the only ones around post ROTJ it makes since that's what all the other 90s promo sabers would have used it as a basis... well, it makes sense in the respect that that Don Bies looked at it as a model...

    ...what doesn't make sense is all the archival images he could have looked at instead. ;)
     
  21. BAlinger15

    BAlinger15 Community Founder

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    Similar placement for button (on/off switch) on Luke motorized saber (seen here in an ESB rehearsal shot) and Vader Barbican saber (hole under grip.)

    ButtonComparison.jpg

    Brandon
     
  22. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I hate to be cross-pollinating threads and topics but this is a near dead ringer for the stunt in Steve Sansweet's collection (the tank-antennae Vader stunt). Perhaps share the same lineage?
     
  23. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Brandon, are you saying the Luke/Vader shared stunt saber was made into the Barbican ? Or are you saying the Luke ANH stunt saber and the Barbican were both made during ANH ?

    Or was the Barbican shroud used on the Luke stunt saber during ANH and then the Luke stunt was made into the Barbican later ?

    I know we see the Luke stunt used in post ANH promo photos and Mark/Bob used it as a practice saber during ESB, so it wouldn’t have had the MMP clamp and thick shroud added permanently during ANH.
     
  24. SethS

    SethS Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think it’s that there was a dedicated stunt for Vader, scratch made from a tube, square shroud, and MPP clamp. It appears in a couple shots, but for whatever reason, they re-used Luke’s stunt for most of the duel.

    So the Luke/Vader shared stunt is what we’ve always said.

    The dedicated Vader stunt was given an overhaul post ANH, maybe for ESB, maybe for ROTJ— the motor was removed the shroud reworked, and it was set to be a bladed stunt. It seems to have never been used in that capacity, but the details are there. During ROTJ it was copied in resin for the hand gag.

    It was one of the only Vader sabers left after ROTJ and became the basis for the promo sabers. It was named the Barbican by people like us after it showed up at that museum.
     
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  25. BAlinger15

    BAlinger15 Community Founder

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    Yes, as Seth says above - they started the film with a motorized dueling saber for Vader and another for Luke. Vader's had the big square shroud on. At some point, they painted Luke's with a black emitter and let Vader use it for the duel.

    After ANH, at some point the square shroud on the Vader dueling saber (aka the "Barbican" due it first being displayed there) was rounded off to better match other Vader sabers. But I don't think it was used for filming again. I don't think the Barbican shroud was ever used on the Luke motorized saber.
     
  26. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    And last year when I speculated that there were two Vader stunts in the ANH duel my comment went completely ignored!
     
  27. SethS

    SethS Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I made note of it in the guide!

    Knowing production the way I do it is very rare for any prop to not have a twin or backup.
     
  28. James Kenobi 1138

    James Kenobi 1138 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Now it all makes sense, thank you !

    I always thought it was odd that Luke and Ben had special motorized stunt lightsabers and poor Vader had to share Lukes stunt saber. Good to know Vader did indeed have his own motorized stunt that just didn't work very well.
     
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  29. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The endcap on this Vader saber is beautiful. Reminiscent of the MPP but with mtiple flanges and stuff

    I'm a fan of the t track greeblies, like hans blaster, but it doesn't match anything on an MPP placement wise right? Other than the riveted label
     
  30. ms80444

    ms80444 Active Member

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    I feel like I owe the Barbican an apology.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  31. JoeG

    JoeG Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    It matches the bulb release assembly on an MPP.
     
  32. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That would be on the rear of the saber, near the square shoulders. Heiland flashes have a release there though
     
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  33. JoeG

    JoeG Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  34. Jedi Reali

    Jedi Reali Sr Member

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    In the bulb release spot you're seeing the same unidentified greeblie that is still on the Barbican today. The first pic shows the short piece of t-track where the S ports of an MPP would be.

    100% THIS :lol
     
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  35. JoeG

    JoeG Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Both pictures show the same t track looking piece to me. In the more recent pictures there is only the 1 unidentified piece. Given that they obviously did some machine work to it post ANH and we know those t tracks were notorious for falling off, it looks like parts have been replaced. At the time of ANH there are either two pieces of t track on the saber or the whole square part of the shroud spins.

    EDIT

    I brightened pic#2 and I still can't tell if I see the vertical part of a t track or if the part is completely flat and its just part of Vader's glove that I'm seeing. Could be either one to me at this point. I concede it could very well be the flat part as seen on the Barbican, but personally I'm not convinced.

    Saber2.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
  36. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Information over load! My brain is buzzing with excitement!!

    That is one beefy emitter!! Doesn’t look like the whole pipe is that thick gauge metal. I can only imagine how top heavy this saber was


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  37. Jedi Reali

    Jedi Reali Sr Member

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    I'll grant you that the prop was modified over time, so it's difficult to know just what the details of it were during its tenure as Vader's ANH dueling saber. But that little front t-track piece survived all the way into production of ROTJ when the saber was cast for the severed hand gag, so it's not a stretch to suppose the unidentified greeblie box was on it during ANH as well.

    I'd call the pic inconclusive, if anything. It is hard to tell. Luckily we have the surviving prop, and (even better) the cast ROTJ hand gag prop that allows us to make an educated guess as to what was there.
     
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  38. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thanks Brandon for these pictures . . . one other piece of compelling evidence that this saber was indeed present
    before and during filming of ANH and as far as I can tell not mentioned yet, is . . . the attached stunt rod which, as
    we know, was partly black and silver due to light reflective tape to create the laserbeam effect as was Obi-Wan's ...
    and Luke's lightsaber :

    [​IMG]

    Since the first action figures* came out almost one year after the release of STAR WARS why then was the next picture of Darth Vader with that ANH stuntsaber chosen for the packaging? Any thoughts about that?

    [​IMG]

    Chaïm

    * See the first episode of 'THE TOYS that made us' :

    [​IMG]
     
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  39. Jedi Reali

    Jedi Reali Sr Member

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    I don't see how the dueling rod enters into the equation as it is not present on the prop today.

    You want to talk about toy package design? :wacko ;)

    There are a couple things about this new info that are interesting to me. One is we now have a more rounded out picture of the three motorized stunt sabers that were made for each character in ANH, and the evolution that each of those props took throughout production of the trilogy.
    The second is the significance of the ROTJ hand gag casting. It shows us what Vader's ANH dueling saber turned into... As far as we know it was never used again on screen, but for some reason it was finished not unlike a Hero prop. But why? That's very interesting to me.
     
  40. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Apart from all the points made by Brandon to convince us the Barbican stunt was around in 1976 for the shooting of ANH he could also have pointed out the stunt rod with the reflective tape as seen in both pictures as evidence ... it is an obvious clue it was prepped for shooting.

    Indeed I always wondered why the picture on the packaging used that particular Vader with the stunt saber whereas it clearly did not represent the MPP based belthanger lightsaber :wacko

    Chaïm
     
  41. SethS

    SethS Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Looking at the first two pics Sym-Cha posted, it looks like t-track on one side, and a faux MPP release on the other.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  42. russellsch

    russellsch Sr Member

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    That's what I'm seeing as well.
     
  43. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    thanks everyone for clarifying. There are two bits behind the shroud and the bulb release area is indeed copied, but the T track we were talking about is where the front S ports are on an MPP.

    if the current un-IDed part IS the same as ANH, that means they had access to the push button switch used to renovate the stunt-turned-vader graflex way back in ANH. the greeblie on there today is the same as the promo sabers, and it's the bottom plate of the switch. But cut short (one section is trimmed off). The gaps in the perimeter of the greeblie, when used as the bottom plate, look exactly like the gaps in my white push switch for wires.

    Rare-LFL-Lucasfilm-Archives-Movie-Prop-Lost-Photos-Star-Wars-Indiana-Jones-Historic-Visit-Origin.jpg Darth-Vader-Return-of-the-Jedi-Lightsaber-Profiles-in-History-Compare-Energizer-Bunny.jpg s-l300.jpg s-l300.png
     
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  44. dcarty

    dcarty Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I guess we'll have to agree to disagree as it looks like T-Track on both sides to my eye.

    Dave

    viewpost-right.png
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  45. E Williams

    E Williams Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What are the two glossy black discs that are on either side of the Barbican's mystery piece? (the on the side with the clamp box). They don't look exactly like rivets OR button head screws to me. Snap covers with the center depressed/punched maybe? The same piece may be on the center of the saber's endcap.

    They seem to be something else changed for the resin cast used with Vader's hand (much like the D-ring area was changed), so that's not a useful source.
     
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  46. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    So..... The four hex bolts were not present during ANH? Even though the RotJ severed hand saber is a cast of it in its ANH configuration and that does have the bolts.
     
  47. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is a really good topic. They are not present during or after ANH in those publicity shots.

    Could be the same old tube and old core with new bolts for esb/jedi

    Could be a new tube with new bolts and the old ANH core.

    I always thought the original ANH tube had an endcap and would show a set screw or threads without the endcap. The one in Jedi seems to be a plain pipe near the bottom which makes me skeptical that its the same tube
     
  48. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    IMG_8007.jpg

    Is the black thick emitter separate from the aluminum tube?

    Is this brown section seen in the hole part of the thick emitter?

    Like. Is it a aluminum tube like Luke’s motorized stunt, then a machined thick emitter slid into the aluminum tube, then the beefy hand guard slides on top of the thick emitter?
     
  49. Anakin Starkiller

    Anakin Starkiller Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Nice work so far guys. If we can nail down the details for this, I'll do a small run to complete my stunt collection
     
  50. halliwax

    halliwax Legendary Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeeeeeeaaaaaahhh buddy!!
     
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