Dewy and Anakin Starkiller's Accurate Obi-Wan Kenobi Episode 1 Lightsaber Design

Excelsior

Well-Known Member
Here are some more screenshots from the same scene. It's helpful to click through and follow how the light changes and highlights different parts of the saber.
 

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Dewy

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Excellent. Yes, that has to be the same. It just looks the same--the finish on the aluminum and the paint are a match. What's interesting is that you can even see where the paint has been more worn and gotten more shiny from handling in the main grip area, where the actor would have held it the most, whereas the paint up in the emitter still has a slight matte look to it. I've always taken this as evidence that the black areas are machined aluminum and were painted black. That's the simplest explanation. The black areas are not anodized, which is something most replicas of this saber have gotten wrong over the years. Some have even suggested delrin, but if you look at the top two black rings below the emitter ring, you can see where the paint has chipped off, revealing the aluminum beneath. There are pictures of the Qui-Gon hero showing paint chips also (it's even visible in screenshots), thus corroborating the existence of paint here.

FWIW, the later three-hole emitter version of this saber definitely did have the black areas anodized. But on this earlier Episode 1 prop, they just painted it.

The black portions of the Episode 1 Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon sabers are cast resin. They are warped and not perfectly circular, there are even visible cracks that just aren't possible in aluminum.
 

Excelsior

Well-Known Member
The black portions of the Episode 1 Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon sabers are cast resin. They are warped and not perfectly circular, there are even visible cracks that just aren't possible in aluminum.

Wow ok that's a revelation to me. But it makes sense. I thought I was seeing aluminum under the paint chips--so it's actually the resin.

So they machined the inner pieces in aluminum, cast them in resin, and then used those to assemble the hero props. It makes sense because it's commonly known that that was the exact process they used to make the Maul saber, which was originally shorter and more based on Exar Kun's EU design. I don't know if anyone has ever seen the metal pieces they used to make the resin parts. Perhaps they were discarded after being used to make the molds.
 

Dewy

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Wow ok that's a revelation to me. But it makes sense. I thought I was seeing aluminum under the paint chips--so it's actually the resin.

So they machined the inner pieces in aluminum, cast them in resin, and then used those to assemble the hero props. It makes sense because it's commonly known that that was the exact process they used to make the Maul saber, which was originally shorter and more based on Exar Kun's EU design. I don't know if anyone has ever seen the metal pieces they used to make the resin parts. Perhaps they were discarded after being used to make the molds.

This fact has always bugged me. It's possible the original parts used to make the mold for the Episode 1 Obi-wan hero went into the 3 holes/salt shaker saber, but to my eye the proportions and details look slightly different. It's also possible they were some temporary material that was discarded after molds were made.

Regarding your earlier question about where the hero is. I refuse to believe it was trashed. Given how excited Ewan was to pick out his saber, it's possible it was given to him at some point. We know Liam Neeson got a resin stun QGJ saber. It could have ended up in George Lucas's (or one of the other Lucasfilm executive's) collection. I also wouldn't be surprised if someone from the crew nabbed it. It has never been spotted in any of the archives footage, but I believe it was used in some early Episode 2 test/promo shots.
 

Excelsior

Well-Known Member
This fact has always bugged me. It's possible the original parts used to make the mold for the Episode 1 Obi-wan hero went into the 3 holes/salt shaker saber, but to my eye the proportions and details look slightly different. It's also possible they were some temporary material that was discarded after molds were made.

Regarding your earlier question about where the hero is. I refuse to believe it was trashed. Given how excited Ewan was to pick out his saber, it's possible it was given to him at some point. We know Liam Neeson got a resin stun QGJ saber. It could have ended up in George Lucas's (or one of the other Lucasfilm executive's) collection. I also wouldn't be surprised if someone from the crew nabbed it. It has never been spotted in any of the archives footage, but I believe it was used in some early Episode 2 test/promo shots.

I agree--the salt shaker version has very different proportions and details. The Master Replicas Obi TPM EE never looked right to me. Now I wonder if it wasn't based off the salt shaker, since the original prop was unavailable by that time.

Ewan has alluded to having one of the Episode 1 sabers. He said in an interview a few years back that he didn't have it "officially," which is interesting, because Liam made a video recently and showed off a saber he was given as a souvenir after filming.

I don't remember where I found these, but here are pictures from Skywalker Ranch showing some Episode 1 sabers on display. The Maul is obviously a resin stunt as it has painted red buttons, but the Qui-Gon and Obi actually look like they could be hero sabers. I'd be curious to see what you think and how they match up with the high-res photos you have access to. Now that I look at it again, the picture confirms what you've said about the black parts being resin, as you can tell from the wear on the pommel.

Of note is the difference between the color of the pommel cubes and the rest of the aluminum pieces on the main body. The cubes look shinier--almost like they are nickel plated. I'll attach some promo pics showing this difference as well. Maybe they're vacumetallized? Or made of stainless and polished? Something is different about them.

You can also see a yellowish color under the emitter ring--perhaps old epoxy...
 

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Dewy

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I agree--the salt shaker version has very different proportions and details. The Master Replicas Obi TPM EE never looked right to me. Now I wonder if it wasn't based off the salt shaker, since the original prop was unavailable by that time.

Ewan has alluded to having one of the Episode 1 sabers. He said in an interview a few years back that he didn't have it "officially," which is interesting, because Liam made a video recently and showed off a saber he was given as a souvenir after filming.

I don't remember where I found these, but here are pictures from Skywalker Ranch showing some Episode 1 sabers on display. The Maul is obviously a resin stunt as it has painted red buttons, but the Qui-Gon and Obi actually look like they could be hero sabers. I'd be curious to see what you think and how they match up with the high-res photos you have access to. Now that I look at it again, the picture confirms what you've said about the black parts being resin, as you can tell from the wear on the pommel.

Of note is the difference between the color of the pommel cubes and the rest of the aluminum pieces on the main body. The cubes look shinier--almost like they are nickel plated. I'll attach some promo pics showing this difference as well. Maybe they're vacumetallized? Or made of stainless and polished? Something is different about them.

You can also see a yellowish color under the emitter ring--perhaps old epoxy...

I have one more image of that Obi-Wan in question:

IMG_4882.JPG


Anakin Starkiller and I have previously discussed this. He thinks it might be one of the salt shakers since we know there are more than one.
 

Dewy

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Two things I find interesting about that saber:

1) if you zoom in, it looks like the “emitter posts” are bent outwards under the emitter. bezel to retain it. That’s definitely not the case on the primary hero we see.

2) if you zoom in on the sides of the pommel cubes, you can see striations in the finish. This is something we DO see on the primary episode 1 hero. I haven’t seen this in any of the salt shakers we have images of.
 

Eruonen

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I have one more image of that Obi-Wan in question:

View attachment 1572207

Anakin Starkiller and I have previously discussed this. He thinks it might be one of the salt shakers since we know there are more than one.
The button does look coppery like the salt shaker. You can see it’s incredibly different from the blanking cap on the Qui-Gon.

Edit: Spelling
 
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Excelsior

Well-Known Member
I have one more image of that Obi-Wan in question:

View attachment 1572207

Anakin Starkiller and I have previously discussed this. He thinks it might be one of the salt shakers since we know there are more than one.


That's very plausible. The picture is taken at just the right angle to unfortunately hide whether or not the three-hole emitter piece is present. It's also possible because the Qui-Gon version to the left has been seen on exhibit together with a salt-shaker Obi in the past. You can tell it's the same Qui-Gon that was in those exhibits because the paint chips are a match.

I know of two versions of the salt shaker--one with clear emitter LEDs and a stunt version with red. Both have a red insert in the bike valve. The proportions of the main grip are off compared to the TPM hero, but the "wonky emitter features"/curves around the emitter windows follow closely the lines of the TPM hero, and were thus probably machined in the same way. I am very curious about the pommel cubes. I have a picture of the salt shaker stunt that shows the pommel cubes being very shiny, and possibly warped as the left cube seems to be tilted upward. I'm curious if the propmaker machined some sets of the cubes in aluminum, and then cast and vacumetallized subsequent copies in resin.

I'll attach some pics of the Qui-Gon on exhibit, which is the exact one in the Ranch photos above, next to a salt shaker that does not, however, appear to be the same Obi, as it is not nearly as beat up.
 

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Excelsior

Well-Known Member
Two things I find interesting about that saber:

1) if you zoom in, it looks like the “emitter posts” are bent outwards under the emitter. bezel to retain it. That’s definitely not the case on the primary hero we see.

2) if you zoom in on the sides of the pommel cubes, you can see striations in the finish. This is something we DO see on the primary episode 1 hero. I haven’t seen this in any of the salt shakers we have images of.

Very good eye on the bent emitter post--I see what you're saying. By extension, that means that the emitter ring is angled on the inside, and not straight-walled. That's obviously meant to be a solid hero only then because the other salt shaker has a removable emitter piece that hides a threaded rod inside for the stunt blade.

If there are striations in the finish on the cubes, that suggests they are milled aluminum.

Here's another shot of the exhibit salt shaker showing milled aluminum cubes.
 

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Excelsior

Well-Known Member
The button does look coppery like the salt shaker. You can see it’s incredibly different from the black king cap on the Qui-Gon.

Yes, the color is off, so that's one more reason it's not the TPM hero. Looks like a later creation and probably a salt shaker version as Dewy said. Maybe the blanking caps on those sabers were custom machined and (poorly) anodized, resulting in the off color.

On the topic of the blanking cap again, I think I may have finally solved a detail that I've wondered about for years regarding Qui-Gon's saber...

So in the screenshot of Qui-Gon's saber when Obi-Wan uses the force to pull it to him, you can see what looks like a red o-ring or washer underneath of the covertec wheel. WELL, in the process of perusing my reference archive for pics relating to the conversation above, I found a pic someone posted some time ago of a real blanking cap, and lo and behold, there's a red washer underneath of it... I'm guessing that one of those was used on the TPM Qui-Gon hero.
 

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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The rubber bezel, remember, is from the black aircraft lamp hoods used on the council and Maul sabers.

Thank you so much for all the reference. Given my history with some other OT props - I want to suggest the resin parts are brown/dull resin and are coated in gray primer and then a very strong black paint.

Wild that the Qui Gon (and maybe the TPM Obi) have tarnished plates. I doubt they're normal washers anymore. is this a dulled zinc coating?

Also looks like the Qui Gon emitter ring is a little hollow. It doesn't flesh perfectly underneath with the resin's bevel.
 

Eruonen

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
The rubber bezel, remember, is from the black aircraft lamp hoods used on the council and Maul sabers.

Thank you so much for all the reference. Given my history with some other OT props - I want to suggest the resin parts are brown/dull resin and are coated in gray primer and then a very strong black paint.

Wild that the Qui Gon (and maybe the TPM Obi) have tarnished plates. I doubt they're normal washers anymore. is this a dulled zinc coating?

Also looks like the Qui Gon emitter ring is a little hollow. It doesn't flesh perfectly underneath with the resin's bevel.
I would also agree about the colors. Grey is apparent under the black paint in several of the screenshots and the tan resin makes sense given the PT propensity to cast everything in that color :lol:
 

Excelsior

Well-Known Member
The rubber bezel, remember, is from the black aircraft lamp hoods used on the council and Maul sabers.

Thank you so much for all the reference. Given my history with some other OT props - I want to suggest the resin parts are brown/dull resin and are coated in gray primer and then a very strong black paint.

Wild that the Qui Gon (and maybe the TPM Obi) have tarnished plates. I doubt they're normal washers anymore. is this a dulled zinc coating?

Also looks like the Qui Gon emitter ring is a little hollow. It doesn't flesh perfectly underneath with the resin's bevel.

Yes, for sure--the bezel under the red button/blanking cap on the Qui is that rubber piece that was identified recently. What I'm talking about is the red washer you can see sandwiched between the covertec knob and the main hilt shroud. It looks like a red piece of rubber, just like the one that originally comes with a blanking cap as I noticed in that one pic I have. Would anyone with an original blanking cap be willing to test out this theory? I could see why the propmaker might want to try using that to keep the covertec wheel from getting loose. We don't see it on any other prequel sabers though, to my knowledge.

I too think that the resin parts generally are primed, which could explain the silvery/gray color that I thought was aluminum. I have a pic of a stunt Obi that clearly shows the gray primer under the black paint, actually. This particular one is still all black; they omitted to finish it by painting the silver areas. The resin is originally a white color, and ages to a yellowish/brown color over time.

It's hard to say what's going on with the washer piece. It could be a zinc-coated steel fender washer that is ground down with the threaded rod inside, creating a flat face, and that would explain the apparent rust. If it's just a machined piece, how does one explain the asymmetries? And if they machined it, why didn't they make it from aluminum, which doesn't rust?

Yes the emitter rings appear hollow as on the Obi hero it is seen to slide up and down slightly.
 

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Eruonen

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yes, the color is off, so that's one more reason it's not the TPM hero. Looks like a later creation and probably a salt shaker version as Dewy said. Maybe the blanking caps on those sabers were custom machined and (poorly) anodized, resulting in the off color.

On the topic of the blanking cap again, I think I may have finally solved a detail that I've wondered about for years regarding Qui-Gon's saber...

So in the screenshot of Qui-Gon's saber when Obi-Wan uses the force to pull it to him, you can see what looks like a red o-ring or washer underneath of the covertec wheel. WELL, in the process of perusing my reference archive for pics relating to the conversation above, I found a pic someone posted some time ago of a real blanking cap, and lo and behold, there's a red washer underneath of it... I'm guessing that one of those was used on the TPM Qui-Gon hero.
Man looking back at that shot of Qui-Gon’s it looks like the aluminum shroud is kinda bent near the pommel
 

el toro

Sr Member
That's very plausible. The picture is taken at just the right angle to unfortunately hide whether or not the three-hole emitter piece is present. It's also possible because the Qui-Gon version to the left has been seen on exhibit together with a salt-shaker Obi in the past. You can tell it's the same Qui-Gon that was in those exhibits because the paint chips are a match.

I know of two versions of the salt shaker--one with clear emitter LEDs and a stunt version with red. Both have a red insert in the bike valve. The proportions of the main grip are off compared to the TPM hero, but the "wonky emitter features"/curves around the emitter windows follow closely the lines of the TPM hero, and were thus probably machined in the same way. I am very curious about the pommel cubes. I have a picture of the salt shaker stunt that shows the pommel cubes being very shiny, and possibly warped as the left cube seems to be tilted upward. I'm curious if the propmaker machined some sets of the cubes in aluminum, and then cast and vacumetallized subsequent copies in resin.

I'll attach some pics of the Qui-Gon on exhibit, which is the exact one in the Ranch photos above, next to a salt shaker that does not, however, appear to be the same Obi, as it is not nearly as beat up.
Wow! I had never seen the first photo of the salt & pepper shaker with the cap off and blade in.
 

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