From Hoth to Dagobah and Bespin, and the Sithcret of the Ranch Saber

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Aison

Active Member
So I have been contemplating the dark side of the esb saber/sabers, I have a theory, it starts with questions.

1. We have a Hero saber, no blade, just dangles and looks pretty from Lukes belt.
2. We have a bladed version
3. We have one where Luke gets his hand cut off that has no D ring, has the glass eye, and the grips are close together, it must be ANH saber
4. Then the infamous ranch saber not seen in the movie, or is it?
5. The Dagobah saber, well that's missing a button, and may not be another saber.

Srews or rivets?

Here we go

The Hero Saber, we see in the wampa cave and the promo shot, the grips are riveted, they are silver in one promo shot, they could have also been painted black with a marker at some point. Why rivets, they are easy and look good, and also this is the Hero, it does not get wielded around, no need for screws. The broken piece of T track, if it's the Hero, well it gets thrown around a bit, plastic under pressure will crack when struck, or it could have broke when riveting, but the other grips are riveted without being cracked, so I believe it happened when it got knocked out of Luke's hand on Cloud City. Ok then why screws on the ranch?

The bladed version, which also has a mpp clamp and two buttons, I ask, how was the blade fixed into the graflex? In ANH T track keeps coming loose during the movie. Luke barely uses the saber in that, just waves it around, the blade probably just slotted into the graflex tube and wasn't even fixed. So there is a existing problem to solve from the first movie into the second. So problem solved, screw throught the T track, the graflex tube, and into the blade slotted in. Mark Hamill complained about the sharp edges, well this can only come from the bladed saber he wielded, and even the clamp lever may have cut him. Thus the ranch sabers hilt was from the bladed stunt saber, the kobold is on the other way with two screws, which also could have screwed into the blade. The D ring missing from the ANH saber where he gets his hand cut off was recycled, stretched and mounted on the kobold clip. I did this with my spare D ring from a graflex case and it flattened out near the top just like it does on the Ranch saber pics, and it also seems to have black paint like my D rings from my case. The ranch sabers grips are right angled and look uncomfortable to hold.

The ranch sabers clamp is screwed down: Theory, the clamp lever was extremely uncomfortable during wielding, maybe it kept popping open, or cut their hands, so they tried screwing it down, still uncomfortable, even vader complaining about his lever? Well the Mpp clamp is smaller, more comfortable, so they both use mpp clamps, ditched the levers and screwed the clamps tight. As we know Darth's esb saber is missing the clamp lever and screwed shut. This explains why Luke's bladed saber has a mpp clamp, and why Darth's mpp lever is missing. Comfort whilst dueling?

So this leaves us with the top part of el rancho saber, well it could be the top of the hero that very well may have lost a button during filming at Dagobah, (If it was filmed after their epic duel which may have loosened the button) this would make sense.

So El Rancho may be the result of a frankenstein effort to put together some left over remnant parts of a few esb sabers. Lastly the D ring on the Hero I belive is a 1" opened a little and mounted onto the kobold, and prehaps a little deformed by this process.

Well this is my insane theory, look forward to amendments and any exrta input

May the shwartz be with us all
 

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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I really commend you for this theory, thanks for sharing.

(credit where credit's due, none of these are my photos. Let me know if you want credit anyone, or if I can't post something I'll take it down!)

I...really would love photos though. I've never heard of a graflex having an MPP clamp. Anywhere in the bts photos.

looking at the Stunt sabers, it's more likely they somehow had a metal "sheath" for the blade in ESB and beyond, like they did with the prequels. The first pic below, even though it was the ANH bladed saber, shows my idea. The second picture is a stunt graflex, but we still don't know how they did it. 8 screws in the bottom of a flash would not physically anchor a stunt blade, it's basically one point of contact, that physically.....I'm trying to make it work in my head, I don't think it does. Also, the ROTJ Vader saber emitter shows us another possible set-up for stunt blades via the emitter.

Picture 68.png Picture 67.png Picture 65.png LFA_DVROTJ_emitter_blade_cutoff.jpg

Also, where are you getting your info for the "hand" saber? There are two, bladed and just the empty hilt. I head they put gaffer tape on the bladed clamp to help out Mark's hands, and it had 6 grips. The hilt one.....All we know is that it was empty and probably had seven grips. recently it came to light that there might not even be a clamp on it, from a sharper photo of filming that scene. It showed one smooth tube, but we could be totally wrong about that. Not sure what that black strip above the grips is either...
lsesb_handvers.jpg


Is the ESB Vader saber missing a lever on the clamp?...It's been found on display in a Casino out west.

Back_MPP.jpg Hero.jpg

The missing ANH Vader saber had a nail in the clamp in the last known photo. We all think it was cobbled back together for documentation. I think the bubble strip is just placed in front of the clamp for one of the shots hahaha

I agree about the screw on the Ranch Saber's clamp. it probably did break or come loose. Rivets probably got annoying when it came to servicing the grips. Also, we have seen a definite picture on Bespin, on screen, of screws in the grips.
 
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Aison

Active Member
Luke-skywalker-vs-darth-vader-black-and-white-lightsaber-battle-wallpaper.jpg

Wooden pool table ques painted?

Parts of star wars shows the mpp clamp on luke's graflex that is the bladed version. This photo even though black and white "also" shows the clamp is black. Also note where he is holding the saber, around the top, this explains the tap tap style of fighting during the esb duel, also holding it there makes the strikes more controlable and less powerful. And again, putting a shorter mpp clamp may have been more comfortable.

Could'nt see the attachment,

"8 screws in the bottom of a flash would not physically anchor a stunt blade"

If the blades are wood, do not underestimate the power of screws, also, El Rancho has 14 screws in the hilt, top and bottom of each T track, and the two in the bottom, more than enough to anchor a wooden blade. The only way to 100% prove my theory would be to open up and look inside the Rancho's hilt to see how far in those screws go, but then again they could have been replaced with shorter ones when it was put together for display.

I remember reading that the Vader ESB clamp lever was missing, so I assumed they took it out for a reason. But I still believe they took out the clamp lever because they were uncomfortable and may have cut hands.

graflex case D ring 1.jpg camera case D ring 1.jpg Ranch_007-vi.jpg
I believe this D ring went onto the ANH, then was recycled and spread open onto the Ranch hilt, and why in the photo in the post above (hand decap) the D ring is missing where he is about to get his hand cut off. I see black paint bottom left of the Ranch D ring. Also I spread out my spare D ring and mounted it onto the kobold and it looked crap and flattened out around the apex of the curve, I then took it out and repaired its shape, then saw this ranch saber photo and was like, OMG, that's what it looked like. The D ring on the esb Hero is not the case D ring, I believe it is a 1" D ring opened up, I scaled the photo measuring the D ring up against the strips on the HP board and got, D ring dimensions: 9 wide and 6 strips high edge to edge of the D ring. A strap works 1" D ring is 6 stips high already, I opened mine out to 9 wide, placed the kobold ontop, and marked it, and filed down the D ring a little on each side.
Promo D ring replicate.jpg
This is my promo replica, the dimensions match the scaling I done, but perhaps a little too perfect, I may bend down the two ends a little.

The hand saber, the one you posted a pic of is from ANH, the grips are so close together and means it has 7 to achieve that spacing. So ESB had Three sabers used in it that I am sure of. 1. ANH left over for Hand decap scene. 2. A permanent bladed version. 3. And a Hero version. At some point during filming the button came loose and why it is missing in the Dagobah scenes.

Also, at some point the rivets on the Hero may have been changed to black screws or painted. It makes sense after the crack, the repair probably involved drilling out the rivets, cutting a new track for the broken one, and then using 6 screws in the bottom of the grips.

Well this is still a theory, and I welcome feedback and suggestions. We really need to know alternative ways to how the esb bladed version anchored the blade to counter the screw theory I propose.
 
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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Sorry about that, fixed those attachments. Can't see yours haha

I should clarify, in all the bts footage we have it's obvious the stunt blades are metal and hollow, by the way they hit the floor. They could even be german tank antennas! This has already been discussed elsewhere on here.

and those tiny screws at the tops of the grips most likely aren't long enough to clear all that space within the handle for a 1" blade. The ones at the bottom most likely aren't either, as they most likely came from electronics salvaged for parts like the clamp card. I have 7-8 Texas Instruments calculator screws that look identical, as an example, and they're less than .5 inch long. I also have a bunch of tiny slotted electronics screws that are about .25 " long, just enough to pass through the flash unit.

Do you mean this photo?
View attachment 426959 Given the shape and size of the clamp "button" area I think someone once described this as a normal clamp covered in gaffer tape, or floor effects tape which was easier on the hands. It's hard to make out anything in this photo other than the red button up front.

I'm not sure about the D ring, I don't know enough to discuss that one haha I'll leave that for others.
 

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Aison

Active Member
can see your other attachments but the last one, how did you fix the other so I may do the same?
 
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Aison

Active Member
I think that may be the photo, gaffer tape, yeah it does look like it, that also means the ranch saber may very well be all parts stunt saber just with the blade removed, possibly the top from the Hero. I think I will go watch all the extras on the esb bluray.:D
 

Aison

Active Member
Thanks, so they do have a taper, also antennas at the bottom have mounts usually, I wonder if they were utilized to mount inside the graflex.
 
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Luke the Belter

Well-Known Member
It showed one smooth tube, but we could be totally wrong about that. Not sure what that black strip above the grips is either...
View attachment 426896

Would it be possible that this bladed stunt saber contains one of the silver kobold flashes as lower tube part. The silver ones have a black stripe and when you slide the kobold top part into the Graflex clamp the black stripe would be in the right/ssme position.
Just a theory
 

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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hah! I remember that interview with Prowse...now THAT'S an idea..

esbstuntsaber.jpg
Although the black kobold band looks bigger here...it could just be tape were seeing in the hand photo

Anyway, here's another Luke stunt

399409ab55fa30ca76c73a9ffae1f2a6.jpg

I assume those Antennae had large threaded bottoms or something?
 

Aison

Active Member
I have looked around at some pics of antennae and they do appear to be threaded at the bottom, thus they likely screw into a mount. I still believe El Rancho saber is the stunt saber just without the antennae in it. Reason being, the T tracks are screwed down in two places each, they are not coming off, and implies it it going to be used alot, hence them being firmly mounted to prevent them coming off. The clamp lever was screwed down, not because it was broken, but to stop it coming open whilst wielding, they also covered it with the black gaffer tape to help out for comfort. The top part may be from the Hero or original stunt, so to tell we would need a photo or someone who has seen it in person to tell if there is a hole where the bulb normally goes. The female Antennae mount could have been welded in the bottom or top of the flash allowing the antennae blade to be screwed in.

After filming the stunt saber had the blade removed, the tape pulled off, which in turn may have ripped off the mylar tape if there was originally any on the stunt saber, thus the need to put some more tape back there, and this is where they used the textured tape that was never seen in the movie. The Hero as seen in Dagobah is missing a button as is the Ranch saber, so this could support the top of the tube is from the Hero.

So this is where the theory is at now, thank you to all those who have provided feedback.

Well I guess it will be near impossible to find some German Tank antennae these days, would be a great project to make the esb stunt saber.

The black band, interesting theory, could be tape covering the tops of the T track to make it more comfortable, but ANH T track was shaped on both ends, maybe it still was too uncomfortable? If it is the ANH leftover.
 
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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Ha,ha thanks halliwax ... I'm lurking in the background and reading all the arguments mentioned ... since I'm not at home I don't have access to my extensive archive + images ... suffice it to say an MPP clamp is very hard to attach to a G R A F L E X flashgun without a lot of glue ... it does not contain the slots as in a 3 Cell top or bottom and the saber used whilest cutting Luke's hand of was not even a real G R A F L E X flashgun if memory serves me correctly. As for the rest of theory ... your guess and arguments are as good and valid as anyone else :)

Chaim
 

Aison

Active Member
Hi Chaim, by now I realise it's not a mpp clamp, but was fooled by black tape in that black and white bts pic. I have been watching the esb duel frame by frame, and am seeing the kobold mount disappear during the duel, and most of the time it appears that the stunt saber is the one where he gets his hand cut off, which seems to have seven grips due to the spacing, and no d ring. You say it's not even a real graflex, would love to know more. Did they cg the saber handle afterwards with all the touch ups? After all this, I still believe that the Ranch saber may have been a stunt saber that may have been used but then replaced. The mystery continues......
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Back in 1979 cgi was almost non apparent ... most touch ups were done optically with an optical printer and many layers upon layers when finished. It's a very elaborate process since I've seen one at work upclose. The mentioning of a non graflex related stunt lightsaber came from a picture of the Luke ANH stunt still in use for fight practise on ESB stage. It only had a red button/glass eye (?) and clamp nothing more related to a real graflex. To quote Lonepigeon in a previous thread long ago
The ANH stunt is not built on a real Graflex tube. This ANH saber is made from a simple piece of tubing.
If you look closely the Bespin severed hand stunt saber lacks the bunny ears but as mentioned above and on partsofsw website it does have other real graflex features and possibly even a Kobold for the 3 Cell bottom ... so I might be mistaken about the ESB severed hand not being a real graflex :unsure

Chaim
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I still am 90% sure the SRS is just a Graflex. We really have no evidence to suggest otherwise, like set screws or photos on set. Given the "ROTJ" Vader graflex we can guess that stunt sabers were kept in one piece, for stabilities sake. even when a Graflex is locked there is some play in the body, the full SRS photo shows the slight angle. I'd never use one for dueling without something holding it all together.
 

Aison

Active Member
I know what you mean, but they can be tightened up pretty tight, that's one reason I think the ANH lever is not pushed all the way in. But I agree now, I had another hard look at the BW bts duel shot I posted above, and the dimensions and profile do not match so well when holding up my GRAFLEX in comaprison. It does look like a mock up of a GRAFLEX and a fixed stunt saber. However how did they get to that point, it still may be possible they tried to make a stunt saber out of a GRAFLEX, but it did not work so good. The SRS bugs me that the grips are securely screwed down, as is the clamp, which would imply they needed to be fixed securely for the reason that it was going to be handled vigorously. Well I guess the SRS remains a mystery.

Thanks to everyone for your input and feedback
 

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