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Obi-Wan/Luke Stunt Sabers

Discussion in 'Production Made Costumes and Props' started by Henry Jones, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. Henry Jones

    Henry Jones New Member

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    Hello,
    I was recently doing research on some Original Trilogy lightsabers. I found this wonderful site called partsofsw.com, and it gave me most of the info I needed.
    I say most because I am still missing vital information.
    I was hoping to recreate a few stunt sabers. In particular,
    The Obi-Wan ANH Stunt Saber
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    The other is Luke's from ESB.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    (Note that the top Luke pic is a modified version of the stunt. Luke's stunt saber from ESB was modified to make the Vader ROTJ. The pic was the closest I could get to a close up picture. The Luke model is seen in the second pic.)
    I am certain that the blades were dowels, but I need the measurements of how thick they are. If anyone knows, please reply below.
    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey there, I hope you are successful! I'm also recreating the Obi Wan stunt sabers, but mostly out of hardware and found parts for fun.

    As for saber hilt measurements, those Graflex Clamps used for the "button" fit snugly around anything 1.5 inches across (Outside Diameter) like sink tailpiece pipe, a really thick dowel of that size, or ...well a graflex flash unit. So the cylinder under the clamp is 1.5 and most things on the handle get thinner from there, eyeballing it (save the button/fins on flash guns). There are measurements everywhere for these sabers and especially on partsofsw.

    The blades, in ANH they were (It's been debated, to the bitter end) but IMO they were triangular prisms (wooden, like dowels) , with the flat sides painted black or with reflective tape. They rotated via a motor in the handle and the alternating black/shiny helped produce the image.

    The later ones, your guess is as good as mine, in ESB and ROTJ, some look like lightweight metal poles, others look like dowels, so it looks like you're headed in the right direction. I would guess somewhere between .5 and 1 inch in thickness. maybe an inch, now that I look at Luke's ESB stunt.

    I probably gave you waaayy more information than you needed, so my apologies, I just love the stories behind Original Trilogy lightsaber props :lol
     
  3. SciFiMuseum

    SciFiMuseum Well-Known Member

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    Henry Jones welcome to the RPF. BTW just for you know the first photo is not Obi-Wan's ANH stunt it is Luke's ROTJ stunt and it is the (or could be the V3) Yuma one that R2-D2 shoots out as it has no nipple on it. FYI. Good luck with your project.
     
  4. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have to call false on many of those things.

    He is right in a way, that first saber WAS used by Mark Hamil (Luke) in ROTJ because it was another stunt also used by Alec Guinness back in A New Hope. (Sorry for all my acronyms, it's a wordy tale)

    2 came from A New Hope, the one you have pictured above which had a different paint job back then, re-painted for Return Of The Jedi - and another called the V2.

    In Yuma there were more. Metal stunts made just for the third film were what Luke fought with, not this one above. The one coming out of R2 was a simpler looking resin copy, of which there were many, shot out of an airgun. Many threads on here go through this, I just want you to have the best information to date!

    I'll try to find you a link to the best thread that explains all this, so I don't just ramble all over your thread. The only new thing is that the one you have pictured most likely was painted gray or black before Return of the Jedi as well.
     
  5. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  6. SciFiMuseum

    SciFiMuseum Well-Known Member

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    But with added parts, the grenade parts were on it...that one is the "so called shared stunt" but it looks like the ROTJ saber...
     
  7. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yea, see here is the story that not a lot of people know.

    The famous saber, made from a grenade and other parts was the saber that hung from Obi Wan's belt, that he carried around and everyone knows.

    When they needed a bladed prop, you can't fit electronics inside the grenade, booster, grenade neck and plugged emitter, so they took a lathe, and made a simpler version (all one piece for the most part) that had rings instead of the grenade body, and a smooth lower section. They made at least 2, and they housed electronics that ran up their sleeves and could have blades screwed on top.

    When starting to make props for Return of the Jedi some years later, they still had the stunts from ANH to practice with in prep for filming. When looking for a saber design for luke, they gave him these stunts to use and for some reason figured it looked different enough, lets paint them copper and silver and make this one "Luke's."

    The story in the movie is that he built it in respect to Obi Wan, fashioning it after him and using parts from his hut.

    The metal Yuma stunt, R2D2's, the close up with vader, were all made for Return of the Jedi

    the V2 (black/silver scuffed, emperor's chair, catching it on sail barge, ewoks, vader pointing it at luke in the hallway) and Shared Stunt (one pictured above, dueling in Death Star, possibly somewhere else) were both from the same mold/turning in the 70's. It's thought they were both painted dark to look like the grenade/balance pipe and the Shared stunt had it's nipple ground off at some point.
     
  8. SciFiMuseum

    SciFiMuseum Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for that, interesting story. I didn't know the ringed versions were made as early as that. Makes sense.
     
  9. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yep! Sorry if I sounded harsh earlier, looking back. Never meant to be negative in any fashion
     
  10. SciFiMuseum

    SciFiMuseum Well-Known Member

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    It's cool, didn't seem that way to me. Plus I think a lot of people in here need to both get thicker skins, and quit being know it all's and a$$hats. I appreciate you letting us all know about the Obi-Wan stunt saber.

    Thanks for setting me straight...Star Wars is forever.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  11. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hey no problem, I (though not as much as others on here) went though a lot of material and I'm glad I can help.

    Sidenote - the lightsaber hanging from luke's belt when he climbs up the sail barge (grey with a brown/black grip) is still an anomaly - it looks old enough to be a re-used stunt from a new hope, but nobody has found evidence for it. It has a nipple, while the shared stunt does not in this movie, so it's not that one. So if you ever feel like digging around, this one still has mystery attached to it.

    EDIT: on topic of this forum, I would still say around an inch or a little under for dowel blades. I'm not sure how to anchor them into a hilt though, many were put on threaded rods
     
  12. Psab keel

    Psab keel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I would venture a guess and say that the stunt blades may have been graphite rods. They are lightweight and flexible and can take a lot of abuse.
     
  13. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    For movies 2 and 3 maybe. Do they paint graphite? The behind the scenes shots we have show paint chipping off and lots of wear that shows up in black and white photography.

    I also wonder how easy it is to screw things into solid graphite? The stunts in yuma and the shared all used threads to attach blades.

    If I've read right, graphite rods were newish around the mid 70's
     
  14. Psab keel

    Psab keel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah for Empire and Jedi. For ANH they used wooden poles that rotated on motors which had Scotchlite on alternating sides.

    I would think that the graphite would be tubes much like a golf club that would be screwed onto a threaded rod that was seated in the hilt.
     
  15. Miker

    Miker Well-Known Member

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    This is really fascinating info! Thanks for posting!

    I think it would be even more fascinating to know some of the source works behind the knowledge...ie books this stuff was read in, or perhaps a lineage you have to the prop, etc!

    Again thanks for sharing!
     
  16. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    There are books out now, "the making of" or something like behind the scenes of A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back (2 books). There's also a documentary of return of the jedi that shares some information. most of my knowledge is from those photographs/clips and comparing them to others.

    There are people on here that know a heck of a lot more from more reliable sources, enough that i can't begin to single people out.

    If you search anything like luke shared obi wan lightsaber, whatever, these threads will come up with tons of info. As the years progress conclusions change, so look for the most recent.

    I attached another shot of the shared stunt on set. there aren't a lot. Credit to whoever posted them/owns them!
     
  17. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    now that I mention it, sorry to double post, There are good examples of rods used in the movie. First one, Empire Strikes back, second: triangular blades form ANH, and third, return of the jedi.
     
  18. lonepigeon

    lonepigeon Sr Member

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    I'm pretty certain the ANH blades weren't triangular. IIRC my most recent guess is they were square rod. There are a couple old interviews with different crew members calling the rods multi-sided and that the Scotchlite material was placed on alternating sides. I'd have to look them up but from the wording I deduced that 4-sided was most likely (also most commonly available and easiest to mount inside the hilt).
     
  19. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Aye, either way they had flat sides with alternating scotchlite

    actually i remember a picture of someone standing in the archives back in the day holding one of Darth Vader's ROTJ sabers, with the scotchlite blade and everything...well, it was shiny. and the blade was pretty thick and covered with the shiny stuff. it was a hefty prop
     
  20. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I just read the wiki star wars article that mentions carbon/graphite blades. I never knew, haha
     
  21. Psab keel

    Psab keel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    thd9791: You're probably referring to this shot:

    Josh Ling Jedi Knight - Star Wars Collectors Archive

    Years ago I tried my hand at making the ANH On set Stunt sabers with the rotating Scotchlite blades. Perhaps one day I'll build an accurate one just for nostalgia's sake.
     
  22. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    that is the photo I was talking about actually

    I don't think those turned though
     
  23. Psab keel

    Psab keel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You're right. That particular Vader saber didn't have a rotating pole. I was just musing that I might try my hand at making one that does, like they did for ANH.
     
  24. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    that would be so cool! I wonder why hardly anyone has done that yet? it can't be too complicated, a turning motor within a hollow replica...
     
  25. Psab keel

    Psab keel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I made one years ago. Long before the internet became a viable resource, especially for us prop, model, and costume enthusiasts. It worked rather well, but having more experience now I could make a much better one.
     
  26. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    If you don't mind me asking, how did the guts work? I can picture a rotating motor and something like a rod to run up to the dowel..
     
  27. Psab keel

    Psab keel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I made a hollow thin neck Luke ROTJ styled hilt and at the bottom I had a 9 Volt DC motor and the control box of the saber was a 9 Volt battery. This was wired with a simple toggle switch that turned a thin wooden dowel and it worked just like the prop seen in the original making of star was documentary (the one hosted by c-3po and r2-d2). The problem was that I never was happy with the results. But now that I can make Luxeon styled sabers that can be fought with and have sound and light effects, I definitely want to try my hand at this again one day soon.

    Though this time I'd use a more screen accurate hilt and would power it with a better battery system. Also I'd use Scotchlite reflective tape like I did back then (just like the crew used on the film.)

    Here is an interesting video demonstrating the reflective tape effect. It looks a LOT like the effect in the behind the scenes of ANH, the major differences being that these kids used red reflective tape when the film crew used white, and the kid's saber blades don't rotate:

    Star Wars Episode 89 - YouTube
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
  28. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Very cool! I always thought the dowels never reached far into the handles
     
  29. Psab keel

    Psab keel Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    They probably didn't, but that was the way I did it back in the day.
     
  30. Bryancd

    Bryancd Master Member

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    How about the backstory on your visit?!
     
  31. avianoguitarist

    avianoguitarist Active Member

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    Yeah Parts Of Star Wars has always been a great reference site. Too bad they stopped updating it over 10 years ago.
     
  32. lonepigeon

    lonepigeon Sr Member

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    I wish I had the time :)
    There's a lot more in my head than is on the site now.
     
  33. thd9791

    thd9791 Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Lonepigeon, When you find the time, some of those Blu-Ray ROTJ screencaps someone got for me would go great on the site if there aren't any licensing or copyright issues. those may be the only times the "Shared Stunt" is seen on film, and would be a great addition to the couple of pictures already on there :)
    http://s145.photobucket.com/albums/...s/Blu-ray Caps/Star Wars HD/ROTJ Lightsabers/


    though, whatever it was, had a black/scuffed area where the clamp would normally go...http://s145.photobucket.com/albums/...64-CHDmkv_snapshot_014849_20120223_224916.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2012

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