Halliwax's weird V3 theory

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Ok gang, so you all know me. I'm a huge V2 nut. and even though the V3 doesnt take up the same space in my heart as the V2, i feel like the V2 is never complete with out its twin sister....

Before we start none of this i can confirm true, this is all my theory from information gathered here, so take all of it with a grain of salt. its just my personal belief

so over the years ive studied the V2 the most, and dabbled into the V3 hoping to find more answers to the V2. I've found a few things, but nothing until we got that famously HUGE high rez photo of the resin stunt R2 popper saber. which we now can positively confirm is the V3 herself!
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So before we go into detail lets cover what we already know

The V2 and V3 were built as a stunt saber for Alex Guinness. They copied the design from his hero saber. Thanks to eBay, the wooden masters showed up, and gave us some more insight on the construction of this thing

wooden masters used to make molds, then the V2 and V3 were cast in aluminum, and cleaned up on the lathe to install electric motor to spin a dueling blade.

eBay-Wood-&-Metal-ROTJ-Lightsaber.jpg


as we all know professional prop makers dont have a lot of time. they are asked a task and need it done by a dead line. this task was to create 2 spinning blade stunt lightsabers for guinness.

we can see the V2 was given much more attention when being machined. the V2 has a much smoother appearance, there are no seam lines visible (as of yet). and rings are cut much deeper, and the rings themselves are much thinner. the V2 was equipped with the motor, and actually worked.

hnfvx46.jpg


the v3 on the other hand... no so much.. she has much fatter ring section, huge nasty seam line, the booster is wonky and way out of whack. the pommel was placed in the lathe chuck not centered and quickly lathed making the pommel recess uneven, pommel cubes are all over the place in spacing and size... she's a real mess...

for years we have referred to this photo as the V2.
5afmErm.jpg


but this always bothered me... it didnt have the clamp... and before we start arguing about that, we have some more photos for back up. check out the way Prowse has his hands positioned. this man is huge, with huge hands. i shook them myself, but yet even with his monster size mitts, hes got a tight grip all the way around the saber..

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i have stated this in the past, about there not being a clamp on this saber trying to prove my point. but i was always told the first photo (black and white) the graflex clamp had silver tape on it, and the box was facing the other way

i still was not convinced because of the huge difference in dimension from the booster to clamp section..

now with this famous ESB behind the scenes video emerging, we have some great video of this same exact saber... and she isn't wearing her clamp...

why am I so obsessed with this clamp less V2?..... Because i believe, and have believe before this video came out, that this whole time what we are looking at is the red headed step child herself... the V3....

now if you dont believe me, dont continue reading anymore and just call me a crackpot... because this is where it really gets far fetched...

So the V2 was quickly finished, it had a blade attached, and a motor to spin it. Brandon has stated the motor was held in with set screws hidden under the clamp (clue 1: we dont see holes/screws in the black and white photo where the clamp is suppose to be..)

with other lightsaber stunts needed to be made, since they already had 1 working stunt for guinness they rushed onto the next lightsaber wether its Lukes, or Vaders. The prop department ran out of time, and the V3 was never finished, it was painted, blade attached, but never got her clamp spinning motor ect.... why no motor i say? the pommel was drilled with a hole for the wires to come out, but the booster never got a hole drilled for a switch..., the clamp area doesnt have any visible holes/screws holding the motor in place..

we know Vaders stunt was never finished either, the emitter was just a large huge square shape of metal, their main concern was getting the electric motors to turn the blades to pull off the practical effect. because at this time rotoscoping wasn't a thought and they needed these blades to spin to pull off the practical effect

So at the time of ANH i believe the V3 was not finish, and sat somewhere in a box in storage.

Once ESB turned around, they began faster and more intense fight scenes. the graflex was very uncomfortable to duel with. Hamill said this himself, so they wrapped the graflex in gaffers tape. this one can be seen on screen when fighting vader. even better shots of luke in the dark side cave on dagobah. hamill even injured his thumb pretty bad.. taking a hit from the opposing blade and getting it slammed up against the control box..

Luke-skywalker-vs-darth-vader-duel-behinds-scenes.jpg


So while they were practicing with the cameras off, back stage and on set they broke out the V3 and V2 as dueling sabers. since they had a more comfortable feel.. (fun fact in the carbonite chamber watch the tip of vaders lightsaber, it bouncing back and forth between MPP and V2) and when it came time for film to roll, they grabbed the more uncomfortable.. but accurate sabers (unless you bob anderson who thinks he can use what ever he wants)

(clue 2:) So lets go back and talk about the Clampless V2. i find it very hard to believe the prop department would, take the blade off, take the emitter off, remove the clamp. let them duel with it, then, put the clamp back on, lock the emitter back on, install the blade back on... why not just pick up this V2 looking saber with out a clamp and use that?(the v3)

do you own Anakin starkillers first generation of V2's? scott himself said its built exactly like the original V2 in 3 pieces.. you know what kind of PITA it is to change the clamp on it.. 3mm set screws which can get lost easy on a work bench... let alone on a giant set... i dont believe it

here is the V2 with its clamp on, in the hands of bob anderson on set..
ZPzDOhf.jpg


waaaay too much of a pain in the "rear" to dissemble the saber and re assemble it...

if we go by everything else in the star wars prop world... when the prop department takes something apart, most of the time.. if not all the time it never goes back together right... or they dont even bother fixing it... blasters, sabers, R2D2's.... hell they even put chest box's upside down...

I find it very very hard to believe they would take the clamp off and back on... if they took it off it would have most likely gotten lost, and it wouldn't have showed back up here with Anderson using it..


grab a drink, im not done babbling...

Now comes time for ROTJ... the first scene we know that was filmed was the deleted sandstorm scene. they throw a Graflex on Lukes belt and thats when Hamill brings up " um George luke lost this lightsaber in the last film"
tao9MJB.jpg


George tasked the prop department to go get a random lightsaber to use as a belt hanger that isn't a graflex. they opened up the drawer with the stunts, grabbed the v2, hacked the blade off of it, threw a circuit card in, and a cone knob.. slammed in a mystery chunk and threw it to george. DONE!

there is actually a good possibility the cone knob and mystery chunk were not even installed at this time... check out the photo below. i believe i can see the hole where the mystery chunk even goes...
BIR0GWU.png


cone knob and mystery chunk not yet installed?
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so now that they have a belt hanger, we need a dueling saber, lucky enough there is a stunt saber that looks exactly like this new belt hanger!(the v3) we will dress it up like the belt hanger (V2) and then take some casts of it, since Luke is going to be jumping and all over place. and we need R2 to launch one to him later on...

they dressed up the V3 with a circuit card and graflex clamp scavenged from a box of graflex stunts they were never going to use again because luke lost it in the pervious film. some believe it to the off the graflex vader is using in rotj. i dont think so, but its a good possibility this clamp came off a ESB graflex stunt. it seems like they drilled holes into the flash and used decent size flat head hex screws to hold a cylinder object inside the graflex, that held the actual rod. (just like vaders DV6 saber)
ostmnUW.png


the clamp was put on the V3, the blade was removed and they cast the V3 for all the stunts. maybe it is at this time the blade plug/nipple was damaged? lost? i dont know.. but it seems dueling in ROTJ the V3 does NOT have its V2 like nipple in it... it could be the light... but i dont know. sure does look like the casts have the nipple.. BUT that could also be pour spouts from the cast.. which they used to make look like the nipple was still there... we know the R2 launch saber doesnt have a nipple..

V3 cast stunt, you can clearly see the circle where the hole in the clamp is, and its nipple/pour spout

EW4egr2.jpg


Is the nipple in the emitter still or not?
ToTAsSl.jpg


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we know the next scene was one of the last filmed, so maybe this explains why the blade is missing from the V3 in the photo, since no more dueling was on the agenda maybe they took it off for easy storage? or for it to be put on display? there was some plan...
D2eg08G.jpg


so to make a extremely long story short...

Halliwax V3 Theory:
The V3 was never really finished in ANH, it was painted to match the V2, but the machining was really rushed and over looked. it never had a electric motor installed, and was just used in the back ground as a extra stunt dueling saber, until they quickly needed a new lightsaber for luke in rotj. the V2 was randomly picked as the belt hanger, and the v3 was then dressed up to match it with clamp, circuit board and used to make casts for resin stunts, and then used as the dueling saber.

LET THE DEBATE BEGIN!!​
 
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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
actually, I don't want to debate you. The B&W prowse photo shows us the grip rings and clamp area are similar diameters. the V2 does clearly have a smaller grip ring section.

If I remember, Brandon said you could see inside where the motor was mounted. Not sure if that means holes in the sidewall of the clamp area or not.

I totally agree they wouldn't bother disassembling the V2. Hell, they HACKSAWED off the blade, sounds like they couldn't get it apart in the first place.

I do think the mystery chunk is there in the sandstorm scenes. There is a surface for light to reflect off of on the right of that detail.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
also, unrelated, I 90% am sure that gaffer taped graflex has no bunny ears. Theres a photo of bob anderson holding it too out there. In the wampa cave there is evidence of the front of the bunny ear ring snipped for access to the blade too. they did weird things
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
hey do you have any pictures of the pommel showing it cut wonky not centered from lathing? never knew that one
 

Joek3rr

Sr Member
Okay here goes my crazy theory :D

I think the V3 might originally been intended to be the "hero" saber. Here's my three points for my theory.

1- the appearance

It's generally accepted that the V2 was suddenly promoted to "hero" status when someone realized Luke shouldn't be the using the Graflex. So they grab the V2 to make a kind of stop gap "hero". Applying tape to prevent the emitter from spinning and plugging some of the holes, and shoving a circuit card in the clamp. The V3 while rougher in appearance, hadn't been beat up and dented like the V2. So it goes off to get refinished. But unlike the job they did on the V2, the V3 gets done better. The neck gets some set screws to hold things, rather then tape. And whole thing gets a nice new paint job, which we can still see peeking though in places even today.

Now to me it seems odd that they would refinish a prop that was going to be used for stunt work, yes?

2- it's place in the family tree

As I understand how props in the film industry work. Is that stunt sabers are generally made to imitate the "hero" to some degree. To this end, I find it interesting that all of the sabers in made for ROTJ were designed to imitate the V3 and not the V2. Some being resin castings of the V3, and others like the Yuma just meant to sorta look like it.

With that said, an argument could be made for the resin saber on Mark's sash has he climbs the sail barge. That it was trying to imitate the V2 with its black neck.

3- it's place on set

The V3 is hardly ever seen in the films or BTS stuff. But the one place it does show, is in one black and white BTS photo of the Endor walkway scene. And it's hard to tell, but it's looks like it's new paint job is intact. An odd place for a stunt saber to show up, considering that there wasn't any stunt work being done. Could it be that this saber originally got some close up attention?

Anyways there's my theory, it's got more holes then a block of Swiss cheese. Like why didn't the V3 gets used as the "hero", if that's why it was refinished for?
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

Halliwax

Legendary Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hold the phone! Is this a wonky pommel I spy? Is this the V3?

View attachment 846758

EDIT also notice the very prominent seam line on the neck
Loose clamp

f5ee3be8ccef437531aa74d8a19ebce4.jpg


There is also a wire coming out the bottom, we know the v3 did not have a working motor because it didn’t have a drilled hole in the booster or any other sign of ignition

Judging by the d ring, the red toggle switch is on the other side of the v2


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Joek3rr

Sr Member
Loose clamp

//uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181005/f5ee3be8ccef437531aa74d8a19ebce4.jpg

There is also a wire coming out the bottom, we know the v3 did not have a working motor because it didn’t have a drilled hole in the booster or any other sign of ignition

Judging by the d ring, the red toggle switch is on the other side of the v2


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Ah I see. I wonder if they could ever x ray the v2 someday so we could see what's going on under the tape.
 

PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Much of this aligns with the timeline in my head, based on what I've done, but a couple things I do want to add is that Mark injured his thumb not from dueling but his jump from the stomping AT-AT, he cites that story numerous times, from the DVD commentary and the various bonus features with the OT. I don't think Bob Anderson ever handled the V2, I think that from the sandstorm picture, it has way too much paint for something that had been used avidly throughout ESB as a fencing sword; it may just be lighting and distance that makes the clamp section look to have a clamp. To your point, why would they be handling something with a clamp on for fight sequences?

The V3, I agree, was something that wasn't "finished" but I'm of the firm belief that it wasn't lathed at all, but merely sanded smooth. You can see just how the clamp sits on the V3 and how it roughly lays flush with the booster. The booster is mushroomed also because the wood master is not a perfect cylinder, it's slightly conical. The uneven machining of the booster could also be a result of the pommel being out of alignment like the rest of V3 cast originally, on top of being lathed off center. Its subsequent resin casts, as per the Archives video, show that they were hollow on at the bottom (with some later filled in), so the nipple couldn't have been the pour spout. They would've poured resin into the top of the mold (the hilt negative would be upside down, so it's pour into the pommel end), then slush cast to make the hollow.
 

vadermania

Well-Known Member
Great read guys, fantastic insight and wonderful theories.You saved me from a boring Friday afternoon at work! I've been gifted an original ANH lightsaber blank back in 1997 by a person who was involved in the making of the original spinning blade fighting lightsabers for ANH. It originally looked like the one posted by halliwax in his first post (Metal ROTJ "ebay" Lightsaber) before I decided to turn it into a V3 after holding and cherishing the original V3 in the LFL archives. I'll see and check if the booster section is conical on mine later this day.

What wonders me is that Norank (Norman Harrisons workshop at Elstree Studios) must have produced (stunt) ROTJ sabers based on the V3 for use as stunt sabers for the Yuma shoot. Why didn't they carry these sabers (perhaps it was only one single piece) over to the Redwoods? Which saber did they use for the scene where Luke hacks off the Speederbikes front end? One of these Norank sabers was used at ILM for the Vader insert shot (we referred to it as the ROTJ "hero" saber in the past).
 

dr_slurpee

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You mention that the prop department would want to save time so the cast the V3 in aluminum then put it in a lathe, but that doesn’t really jive to me to be a time saver, it would likely be as much or more work than just turning one from a piece of aluminum stock. Especially if there is any warping that would cause a ton of problems when trying to turn it in a lathe (oblong rather than a round shape being the main one).

The pommel being crooked can’t be from being mounted in the lathe off centre, at less not if the whole saber was cast as one piece as implied by the wood master. That angle would have had the main body of he saber at and angle that it would be whipping around like Thor’s hammer! Dangerous to say the least! More likely the pommel is an individual piece that perhaps was hollowed out and is just jammed on crooked.

That’s my take on it. ;)
 

PropReplicator2

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I’ve always thought that since it was a wood master, if it was cast in aluminum the would have done a quick clean up job with only sandpaper and files, followed with a quick and dirty paint job and some gaffer tape. That would explain the nasty seam lines. But the ones with the wonky handles are probably the resin casts, because if resin gets too hot, is removed from a mold too early, the cast is in the direct sunlight for extended periods of time, or the mold isn’t tightly sealed, it will warp the resin cast like what is seen in the V3. Also, resin casts would be easier (And quicker) to rotocast to hold s motor or any electronics.
 
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