Magic of Myth ( MoM ) Luke RotJ Hero ( cave build ) lightsaber research, images, reference, & collaborative model builder's discussion.

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BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi guys and welcome, this thread has been going for 10 months and we've made so many discoveries! Thank you!
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As we continue to discuss things I will do my best to add them to the first page of the thread here in these first few posts.

The mission of this thread is to research, discuss, and enjoy the most thorough examination of the Luke ROTJ Hero Lightsaber to date: as it exists in its current state. This is the lightsaber that most of us recognize as officially Luke's in ROTJ via the LucasFilm Archives and merchandise.
It has been featured and photographed in these exhibits:
The Magic of Myth, 1997-2003
The Art of Star Wars, 2005-2006
Star Wars Identities 2012-current
((Next show in Tokyo, Japan.))

The Yuma can be included here in photo and comparison discussion as it was likely the stunt saber that was turned into the ISYHCANL pickup shot and the subsequent deleted cave build scene... the final iteration of the Hero before making its way into the Magic of Myth Exhibit.

This discussion began as a spinoff from another thread where drizzt1234 and myself began examining at length the various forms of replicas that have been derived/inspired by this prop (especially recently) and how none truly captured the minute details... including some very glaring things in particular which I'll get into.
All of these new discoveries are largely due to the recent availability to better reference, and a better understanding of how some of the previous references (castings, photos, etc) caused pitfalls in previous runs. Relating to details, scale, form factor, and function.

Also worth mentioning in this first post is that the original dimensions listed in the ILM/Lucasfilm Archives book of 29cm is likely not absolutely accurate, but within 1cm. The cropping on the photo is also abysmal, and is worth noting the original un-cropped image is available here as well to use as reference.
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Section 1:
Most Comprehensive Image Collection to date
Section 2:
Proofs for scale relationships and "Lineage Theory"
Section 3:
Oddities and outstanding discussion/debates on details
Section 4:
The model(s) being built using this research.

*Section 5 EDIT*- Will include discussion about the 'Yuma' and 'ISYHCANL', as these earlier versions and their photos add value to the research and further exciting discoveries about the MoM.

Due diligence:
Image credits:

“The Original Prop Blog”
EXCLUSIVE: 237 Lost/Unpublished Historic Star Wars and Indiana Jones Movie Prop Photos from the Lucasfim Archives from 1996/1997

"The Parts of Star Wars"
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lightsaberarchives.org

Users via Flickr:
-Mike Rogers Pix
-Matt & Kristy
-Mac Spud
-mchenryarts
-Anshul Nigham
-coffeego
-big-ashb
-lightdrawings photography
-Robert Fairchild

Users via TheRPF:
-Sym Cha
-Nukerz
-PrinceZip
-KorribanKnight
-MattMunson
-Thomas J Newton
If you have an image, information, or comment you'd like to share please feel free to PM or e-mail: BRRogers87@gmail.com
 
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BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Collated Data:
This image was assembled in photoshop to align with major markers from the Hero. The graflex and Hero in the first space on the left is referenced for scale.
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You will observe that all of these images have different viewing angles and distortions... but every single one manages to line up to each other as the viewing angles come into plain perspective. By collating them all we can form a framework to discuss the model geometry without being impeded as much by photo distortion.

Using this rough table for geometry and scale we can begin to make other assertions:

"Lineage Theory" (The MK1,V2,V3 & Hero are equally scaled)
Example 1:
Canon image (used for scale) on left / Replicas on right.
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We can observe that given the dimensions of both Graflex' that the Canon hero on the left is approximately the same size as the replica V2 on the right. The major point of observation being the pommel to emitter face dimension being 278mm (10-15/16")

Example 2:
Another real world test to test the Hero's size relative to a V2/V3.
1022497

On the left we have a photo of the Hero along with the V3 (V2 clone)
Asserting that 278mm is the length of the pommel to the emitter, I cut two 1.5" tubes in the image on the right to 278mm (10-15/16") and placed them to approximate the left photo. Proofing that despite the perspective the V3 and Hero are likely the same length (Pommel to Emitter face)

"Lineage Theory"
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“Lineage theory”
Ultimately stated and hopefully proved: The MK1, V2, V3, and Hero were the same overall length and were designed/fabricated directly in line
 
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BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Surface Detail , weathering, and other Un-answered questions up for discussion/proving.
POMMEL:
-Cap:

This is an area that clearly shows how beat up the surface texture is on the Hero.
It obviously does not have the same depth of marring like the V2 for instance: But it has clearly been handled and bumped and rubbed quite a lot.
One item that has been debated is the faint ring around the center hole. Is it raised?
In the bottom right image it is clearly visible however in the other three it is nearly invisible. I've gone through and highlighted some of the more obvious marks on the cap in the following image set. As you can see, in all the images the highlighted marks are visible enough to verify, showing more depth or texture. The ring around the center however is otherwise barely visible thus I propose it is not raised, but a scratch from the chuck made during machining.

You can also observe that it is very clearly off center, which may indicate why there are some other inconsistencies in the pommel that have made it difficult to replicate its geometry.
Yet, the is perhaps one of the most hotly debated items.
If it is there it would be no taller than a fine hair.
pommel cap.jpg pommel cap marks.jpg

CLOCKING:
Does the pommel move?
Via modeling/overlays from multiple board members the pommel gears appear static... However the gears are not equal/ asymmetrical simply making it difficult to overlay.
Also, recent photos clearly indicate there is an inside radius in the corner at the booster and pommel, a hallmark of one piece machining.

CONTROL BOX:
Lineage-

Yuma box=ISYHCANL box=Cave Hero box?
By association, we can see that the Cave Hero definitely came from the ISYHCANL: Try as you might, milling marks that wonky wouldn't be the same otherwise.
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The second correlation is for the Yuma.
Knowing that the Hero Cave and ISYHCANL are the same: it must have either been;
-Newly made.
or
-Was a modded Yuma.

However, if it was newly made: wouldn't the top have been easily milled flat?
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The Yuma, didn’t just have two raised simple rails...But also a little lip at the front of the box which appeared to terminate just over the centerline.
Thus I'd assert via this burr position and the raised lip on the Yuma indicate that the Cave seen and the YUMA are the same box as well.

Implying that when modifying the Yuma, they milled off that raised section to flatten the box... however went just a bit too deep leaving the light burr on the front and back: now seen on the Hero.
Would love to see better reference of the Yuma to challenge this theory if anyone has it.

Buttons-
How were they cut, attached, and positioned? Have they subsequently been altered, shifted, or otherwise damaged?
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Further research indicates that they might have been damaged, removed, reattached, or repositioned in a varied ways over time via the photo reference. Two examples as seen above.
Rails-
What about the Yuma box orientation and railing height symmetrical?
Research of the existing Yuma photo library indicates the rail heights were offset and corrected (flattened) for use with "ISYHCANL". Then was milled out for the Deleted Cave Scene in order to use practical lighting and a practical sliding card.
Photo evidence shows these original offset mistakes from the Yuma and the subsequent milling marks made to correct it seen on the displayed Hero
-Reveal board:
Was the "reveal" circuit card visible in the cave scene the same as the "Props Blog" reveal card? Was it lost during touring?
Via 4K Disney and new photo reference The cave scene card IS the one in the photo reference AND still seems to be in the current saber!
-Cave Scene Arrows:
How did they function?

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From the photo reference and analysis of the cave scene with the new 4KDisney+ release it appears that the box had on ON/OFF SPST switch that activates the green arrow blink, and as Hamill placed his tool on SPDT snap switch lower on the board, the red light blinks only as long as it was in contact.

Was the battery and circuitry all in the box? Myself and Dann have mimicked a setup that would sit in the confines of the box.

Using flashing LEDS (around 2.6Hz) all the components can fit: As only a 3v power source is required... however if more battery room was needed they could've easily drilled 1/2" or smaller hole into the body of the saber to allow the battery to sit underneath.

Were the electronics fed power from the exterior by holes in the back of the box? Nope, no holes... just milling marks.


BODY:
Markings-

There are several, unidentified markings on the body that resemble either drill, glue, or milling marks.
We are still unsure of their depth, purpose, intentional or accidental.

Hilt Hollow?-
Unlikely; each section has a radiused inside corner where we previously presumed it might be joined. Yet, it’s possible they milled into the body if more room under the box was needed. (IE for battery or other circuitry)

EMITTER:
How deep was the hole for the emitter tip?
No shallower that the emitter flange based on recent photos/visits and corroborated by other lineage castings.
What happened to the face of the emitter tip?
It was marred when being faced it seems
3D Model: The "Mom of all Heroes"

As being developed by:

drizzt1234 [DJS/ Verity Cosplay]~Production Design/ Engineering/ Modeling
BRRogers ~Creative Designer/ R&D/ QC

With special credit to:
Anakin Starkiller of AtStarsEnd~ Consultation and Comparison
roygilsing of Wannawanga ~ Photogrammetry/Comparison & Analysis

To be produced by:
7Chambers ~ FX Saber package.



Special Thanks:
Nukerz ~ Additional photo analysis and comparison.
teecrooz ~ For generosity in lending a 2nd gen. casting for analysis.
knullzero ~ For analysis and other contributions.
And the entire TheRPF Community for its passion, community, and perception. Your contributions as a whole make projects like this possible.



More details to come:

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Check out the side by sides. Archaic but: undeniably cool.
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Circuit card replica painstakingly researched and produced by myself with vintage blue substrate, custom soldermask color, and accurate traces to replicate the original.
1st Photo by Dann
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thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm not 100% sure if I'm reading this right, but i don't think the V2 and Hero are the same length.

I know that the brass rails are 1/8" brass right angle stock and the card in 1/16" thick.
 

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Verity Cosplay

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I'm not 100% sure if I'm reading this right, but i don't think the V2 and Hero are the same length.

I know that the brass rails are 1/8" brass right angle stock and the card in 1/16" thick.
If I might ask how you know this?

The evidence with relevant known measures in the photos seems to be pretty compelling around at least general lengths and diameters of the Hero...

A number of us are debating but we are all within about 4mm of difference amongst those of us working on this model. That is a pretty small margin to come to with independent conclusion.

Curious as to your reasoning/evidence? Not challenging but seeking rationale.
 
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BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Just emailed you a whole bunch. Some decent, some pukers. Maybe they'll help.
Thanks: I added the ones that were clearly the Hero. I might do a separate section with reference built from the various castings. Just to have if we feel we need to fill in the gaps... which at this point would be less than a mm

thd9791
Added a new section to respond directly. All this is worth discussing.
 

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Gregatron

Sr Member
(reserved space for data collation photography, photoshops, links)
Collective Data: All the things!
Images generated in photoshop to align with major markers. The graflex on the left was sized with a real world Graflex as compared to a MK1 & V2. With their markers aligning well it can be generally assumed that the Hero SHOULD have an emitter length of 278mm just like the MK1 and the V2 (referencing Anakin Starkiller's V2)
View attachment 1022354
Of course... all of these images have different viewing angles and distortions... but every single one manages to line up to each other in some fashion, and as compared to the MK1 and V2 dimensions there are many portions that just... make sense.
Thus along with some good ol fashion tedious photoshop and I believe that these are the major dimensions. Reaching a 278mm pommel to emitter face and 287mm full length. RIGHT in between the V2 and the Lucasfilm Archive denotation.

View attachment 1022513
*edit... making small adjustments to hone in the collate image. I'll add lines and a plan with diameters over time

Evidence to Support "lineage theory" that the Hero should be sized to match the MK1, V2, V3.
Example 1: this canon image on the left of the Graflex and Hero taken at the same time on a table (seen above)
As compared to a replica Graflex and the Anakin Starkiller V2 (which dimensions from pommel to emitter face are 278mm)

View attachment 1022495 View attachment 1022496
Example 2: A real world example...
A photo of the Hero along with the (or a) V3 (Generally accepted as a V2 copy)
Asserting that 278mm is the length of the pommel to the emitter, I cut the two tubes on the right to 278mm (10-15/16") and placed them (approximately) like they are positioned in the left photo. I am proposing that due to the recreation of the positioning that the Hero does in-fact have the same dimensions. Considering that in the Lucasfilm Archive book the Hero and the V3 are both listed at the same length (29cm... likely estimated but notedly NOT different for some reason)
View attachment 1022497

A word of warning—we shouldn’t necessarily take the ARCHIVES book measurement as stone-cold fact. It’s entirely possibly that they simply took the V3’s measurement, assumed that the hero was the same length (which it probably appears to be, at first glance), then simply repeated the figure in the book.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yes, as gregatron said, The archives numbers are known for not being entirely accurate. I was under the impression that the hero was different in almost every dimension from the ANH stunt sabers. That picture on the guy's stomach showed us that it was a bit larger than we thought, but we don't know how far either are pressed against someone's body. I can do this with a few of my sabers and casually make them look like they're the same length... In any case, this is a good time to discuss this. Soon, I think Anakin Starkiller is releasing a run of this very saber and he's correcting bits from his last run almost 15 years ago (?). Back then it was nearly identical to the real thing so I can imagine we can get accurate dimensions again soon
 

SethS

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Assuming the V2 and V3 are roughly the same diameter, can't you use the graflex clamp on the V3 to extrapolate a lot of relative measurements?
 

BRRogers

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
A word of warning—we shouldn’t necessarily take the ARCHIVES book measurement as stone-cold fact. It’s entirely possibly that they simply took the V3’s measurement, assumed that the hero was the same length (which it probably appears to be, at first glance), then simply repeated the figure in the book.

Exactly, which is why it ISNT 29cm ;)
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
I also want to stop by and say thank you for compiling and comparing so many of these photos. I'm among a few folks who have started ROTJ Hero threads in the past ten years and the pictures are scattered all over the site. I've always been dying to know things about this prop, and details of the Yuma stunt, which may or may not be the source of the saber
 

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