Elstree Props "Original" ROTJ Lightsaber


Sr Member
I know that there is a no live auction rule on the forum, but I have questions regarding the authenticity of this prop which is being promoted as original by Elstree Props - I would be interested in hearing the opinions of collectors here about any insights they may have.

This is a prop that has been discussed previously, and reading older topics, it seems some have had an opportunity to inspect it first hand.

Here is a link to the details:

Elstree Props "Original" Return of the Jedi Lightsaber at Auction



Too many questions and discrepancies.Bad reputation.Dubious nature of the actual piece.Not a good combination.Replica.Very nice replica but a replica nonetheless.I have a replica ROTJ Luke saber made by Norman Harrison and I wouldn't dream of selling it as he made the originals but it doesn't make it original nor should it ever be claimed to be.Much like this.
youd need to know the letter from the maker is real, and you can follow it up with your own enquiries.
Cant comment on the bad reputation, but this is a large 'company' who would stand to loose more than they gain by ripping people off.
Lets face it, the kind of person who would be in a position to buy this sabre, would be the kind of person willing to go the extra mile to prove its worth !!!
Sounds amazing though......
You might be surprised how much money is spent on truly un-authenticated pieces. My opinion on this piece is it may have been made while the film was in production etc. but never saw screen time and should not command such a price regardless. And considering the sellers already tarnished reputation on the community I seriously doubt 30K will make him worry too much more.

Cant comment on the bad reputation, but this is a large 'company' who would stand to loose more than they gain by ripping people off.

In regards to the original prop market and the prices regularly garnered for questionable and outright fake pieces i think it would be naive to assume that they would lose more than they would gain.I should say 30K is a fairly substantial gain and to trust a piece purely because they are a company and trade on the name of Elstree is risky at best and one of the reasons they continue to trade on that name in order to dupe unsuspecting collectors.I would not trust a letter accompanying this piece anyway.
I would not even be very confident that this piece was made or intended for the production.In the listing he states Daniels remembers waiting outside the cave.What cave?The scene was purportedly to be shot in Kenobi's hut.For me the green crystal is the giveaway.It was not supposed to be green during filming and was originally intended to be blue and was only changed to green in post to prevent the blade blending with the sky on the sail barge.So why would a piece made DURING the production have a GREEN crystal when this was only altered to green after filming and after all props would have been manufactured?Answer:because this piece was not made for the production.
I wonder if that one was built for the scripted but unfilmed scene of Luke building his new lightsaber in Ben's old home in RotJ. It looks like it was meant to be filmed open with Luke inserting a crystal in it just like the scene was written. Eithet that or a replica built with that scene in mind.

I think it's a beautiful piece.
It is most certainly a beautiful saber-no doubt or arguments there.Elstree have variously claimed it was intended to be filmed or actually filmed for the Luke saber construction scene which was unfilmed as you say.Bottom line is I cannot see how this piece was crafted during the production therefore making it a replica and not an original piece.A very nice replica.NOT worth £30K however as Lee has also said.
Dont confuse Elstree the prop dealer with Elstree Studios. Even though they rent an office space at the studio, they do not represent them.
I have no idea of the provenance of this piece.

However... the pics in the auction do NOT match the pics on Elstree props website of presumably the "same" piece. The detailing is vastly different look at the extension above the control box and also the detailing inside the emitter head.

Of course they could have made several to get the look and feel right before they were signed off on by the prop master or director, if they were indeed intended for filming. Oddly the auction doesn't mention that, but simply implies that this was the piece built for the unused/unfilmed scene.

Just as an FYI, there is another topic Niall started on the Movie Prop Forum discussing this piece:

ROTJ Lightsaber

As Barry mentioned and Mike illustrated on the other forum, there are distinct differences between the saber on the Elstree Props website and as pictured in the Specialist Auctions website.

Like I posted above, if someone can provide some good close up shots of the control box section, I can tell you for sure if it is authentic. All the tells are in the control box.
I posted some comparisons between the ROTJ lightsaber shown on the Elstree website and the one shown in the Specialist Auctions listing in an update on my blog...




I have no insight about the Elstree saber, but the "cave" thing is accurate.

Daniels was shot outside a cave entrance in Death Valley for an establishing shot that would have used this live action plate and a matte painting. You might have seen this painting, it shows the Falcon and an X-Wing parked in a canyon with a blank space in the painting up on the wall. The cave would've gone there. The interior of the cave, with Luke having a telepathic conversation with Vader and placing the saber in Artoo's head, would've been shot during pickups, but no evidence of that ever having occurred has surfaced. (Hamill has stated he didn't shoot his portion.)

See T-Bone's:

Note that the Elstree guys had contacted T-Bone and provided shots of their saber, and a story about the scene being set in Kenobi's hut. Now, having seen T-Bone's entry, they know it was actually a cave and have changed their story. Something to think about.

also note:
He went on to say via e-mail to me: "Luke's new saber for ROTJ was made from a rough sketch on a bit of paper by Ralph McQuarrie just saying add a bit, take a bit off, make some fins etc. Once we had one right we had to make two more as spares, but one accidentally got damaged and thrown in the scrap."

We all know the ROTJ saber was a hand-me-down in the form of the shared stunt, with duplicates made to match, so MacQuarrie would not have designed it. It just gets fishier, IMO.
Interesting as I didn't know that so thanks for the information and the details about the matte.TBone's always amazing resource site (perhaps I should pay some more attention to my own links section!).Still doesn't explain why Daniels remembering that would have anything to do with the construction of the saber or the fact that the call-sheet,listing actors,props and the like needed for the day,would have the reminiscences of an actor on it.
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