The OT stunt lightsaber blades research thread

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PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
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I have a theory about the nipple on the V3 in the b/w still from ROtJ (Vader holding saber on Endor before his dialogue with Luke). I think the nipple was used to hold the prop together. And I habe a gut feeling the nipple on the V2 serves the same purpose.

The most befuddling thing is that doesn't have a nipple in that pic.

BtsRotJCatwalkVaderLuke.jpg


So unless the V3 was altered to be more like what we know today, then---with a grub screw in the emitter---to hold it all together sans a nipple, and that detail has just remained camera shy for the better part of 20 years; I honestly have no clue as to how this thing held together knowing about its construction now.

Unless there's tape on it in this and we can't make it out, or it's glued together, if it isn't mechanically held together with screws, the emitter would just fall off.
 

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vadermania

Sr Member
Taking into account what Jon told me about the construction of the Obi special effects lightsabers, the motors were affixed inside the sabers with paper shims. The blades slid over the center rod/ axle and were fixed to the rod with two grub screws in the aluminum ring on the base of the blades.

If one removes the motor from the handle, the center rod/axle falls out of the saber if no blade is attached, and the emitter is loose, too. So when the prop department decided to use the old special effects Obi sabers as belt hangers in ROtJ, they removed the motors in order to loose some weight. They used a metal ring with a grub screw, which went over the center rod and secured the center rod/axle inside the saber and kept the emitter in place. After that, the center rod was cut off right above the nipple.
 

thd9791

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Yea, my belief here is that by this time they popped a grub screw through the side of the emitter to hold it on without an adaptor.

Could be the original emitter, but I still think the V3 emitter was dented like the V2 during the woodchop scene, maybe they took another cast emitter that looked decent and replaced it. I'm also thinking part of the adaptor had to go into the emitter.

woodchop.jpg
 

vadermania

Sr Member
A
The most befuddling thing is that doesn't have a nipple in that pic.

View attachment 1427308

So unless the V3 was altered to be more like what we know today, then---with a grub screw in the emitter---to hold it all together sans a nipple, and that detail has just remained camera shy for the better part of 20 years; I honestly have no clue as to how this thing held together knowing about its construction now.

Unless there's tape on it in this and we can't make it out, or it's glued together, if it isn't mechanically held together with screws, the emitter would just fall off.
The most befuddling thing is that doesn't have a nipple in that pic.

View attachment 1427308

So unless the V3 was altered to be more like what we know today, then---with a grub screw in the emitter---to hold it all together sans a nipple, and that detail has just remained camera shy for the better part of 20 years; I honestly have no clue as to how this thing held together knowing about its construction now.

Unless there's tape on it in this and we can't make it out, or it's glued together, if it isn't mechanically held together with screws, the emitter would just fall off.
Ahh... sorry, where is that image I saw of the V3 where it has a nipple?
 

LOM

Well-Known Member
vadermania This one maybe?
9FA7DC6A-597A-41AE-A692-134BD68F75B2.jpg


One thing I've noticed with the v3 in the endor pickup shots - I believe that it is likely the final emitter as it was painted black to match the V2:
1613685995758.png


I don't believe Bies added the black ring on the emitter post production, as that would make it look less like the hero. Maybe the UK emitter is different, but I believe by the time its in California its finalized
 

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PoopaPapaPalps

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vadermania This one maybe?
View attachment 1427311

One thing I've noticed with the v3 in the endor pickup shots - I believe that it is likely the final emitter as it was painted black to match the V2:
View attachment 1427312

I don't believe Bies added the black ring on the emitter post production, as that would make it look less like the hero. Maybe the UK emitter is different, but I believe by the time its in California its finalized

This makes a lot of sense. So much so, that I think this is the likeliest case. Whatever damage to the paint occurred didn't matter, put foil tape over it and it looks like new.
 

thd9791

Master Member
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yeah, i'm really digging this theory... IF that shot with the black emitter isnt edited like we had thought
 

vadermania

Sr Member
A few days ago I went through the ANH Obi vs. Vader duel frame by frame on a large 4K screen again and noticed a few things. I think the first takes of the duel were some wide and medium wide shots of Vader and Obi seen from Luke‘s POV/from the docking bay. Vader uses the Barbican saber in these shots.
I am also pretty much convinced now that Guinness used a V3 type special effects saber with a non-spinning emitter for the majority of the duel.
 

vadermania

Sr Member
A V2 type saber (or THE) V2 was used at the beginning of the death scene (the shot after Obi looked at Luke, where he slowly lifts his saber to the „death“ position). Other than that, I cannot make out a V2 type saber during the duel.
 

thd9791

Master Member
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To lay on this some more - I never thought these were the same stunt saber.
2 321518_14.jpg
893C77EC-3405-4861-B8F1-ED6F2D5CAE08.jpeg


Now, this is not a clean cut (Thanks to Vadermania for this shot). I do wonder if it broke and they finished the cut, or they had to slice the "stem" from the new emitter because the old one broke, leaving the stem inside the lower neck
VadermaniaV3.jpg
 

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LOM

Well-Known Member
+1 for a V3 style or two "wide emitters" being used more in the duel! Personally, I see most stunts have some kind of grey emitter, and what makes the V2 noticeable is the black emitter.

For example, I believe this has a tall nipple (or the aluminum ring on an antenna blade?) and brighter windvane. This definitely is not the V2 blade attachment imo:
1613752364701.png


Worth noting the filming order here now from my notes:
Report No. 49: Thursday May 27
Sets: Stage 3-INT. Death Star - Main Forward Bay
Scene Numbers: 117 PART [Obi-Wan is cut down]
Screen Time Taken To-Day: 29s
Report No. 50: Friday, May 28
Sets: Stage 3-INT. Death Star - Main Forward Bay
Scene Numbers: 117 Part
Screen Time Taken To-Day: 16s
Report No. 51: Tuesday, June 1
Sets: Stage 3-INT. Death Star- Main Docking Bay
Scene Numbers: 116 PART [Vader to Obi-Wan: "We meet again at last"]
Screen Time Taken To-Day: 1m 39s
From "The Cinema of George Lucas" I believe.

Day 2 is mostly takes of the cloak falling, because the mechanical effect kept malfunctioning as seen in the documentary. (also maybe worth adding that I don't think the Death Saber is the V2 as if it was the only one that worked - why would you repeatedly drop it if you have another day of filming left?)

First 2 days are the medium/wide hangar shots and the 3rd day is the hallway sequence. I think the V2 and Barbican are predominately used on day 1/2 based on BTS photos. Day 3 is where they seemed to shake up the hilts, replacing the Barbican with the Graflex and having some alternate Obi's.


Regarding the broken emitter on the V3 today.. Honestly I think its the original. I don't think they saved spare parts like that. Considering the spfx crewmembers that picked souvenirs did not return for the next film as Stears & co. moved on - I find it unlikely that parts such as raw emitters would be saved (or even make it to a position where they could be saved - as those would probably be in the trash of the spfx team, not the subsequent trash of used materials when the sabers would be saved, if that makes sense) while other, probably more interesting props and parts got thrown out. To me, its the original that broke at the stem as you said
 
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thd9791

Master Member
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If it is the original emitter, that is an UGLY clean up job. No offense but they lathed the body and not the emitter :lol:
 

cdyoung

Active Member
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Has anyone attempted to 3D scan any photos for actual measurements of the stunt V2 and V3 emitters referenced in the first two photos thd9791 posted? (Sorry guys, I don’t have the software or tools).

Why is there a difference in emitter measurements if they originated from the same buck?

Maybe these questions belong in the V3 thread by Halliwax.
 
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thd9791

Master Member
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to quickly answer them, from what I've gathered, you can get the features of the V2 from the V3. You get them both by cleaning up the original casts on a lathe and mill. Generally, the V2 has more material cut away and is smaller.

Blade wise, they both are able to stay together with a Drill Stop inside and the nipple/blade adapter sandwiching the emitter in place.
 

PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
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The emitter isn't broken---it'd take a lot of effort to break by hand, even for cast aluminium--- and if it did break, it wouldn't be so clean. Even more so if it was a solid static piece with a steel drive shaft running through it. It'd warp and bend and would basically crumble apart rather than a clean break.

It's quite clear a straight cut to me, likely with a band saw, and it has remains of the neck break on the lower neck because the two halves of the mold are misaligned (that's how the V3 has its seam line). Sometimes it's because the mold holds together almost perfectly, but something just shifts; or when you wedge it out, the buck pushes the negative impression out and it causes the misalignment.

Has anyone attempted to 3D scan any photos for actual measurements of the stunt V2 and V3 emitters referenced in the first two photos thd9791 posted? (Sorry guys, I don’t have the software or tools).

That's how we've gotten all the fan-made replicas produced so far. The problem is still scale. More accurately, the control; what would you compare to get accurate measurements? These came from casts and were worked on by various, different means and on casts ever so slightly different from one another.

Many have done it and have produced fine looking pieces but not quite to the right scale (especially the V2). I don't want to toot my own horn but I'm the only person so far that's attempted it from scratch like the production team, and I believe my results are nigh uncanny---but, again---I lack a suitable control to compare my results to.

Why is there a difference in emitter measurements if they originated from the same buck?

How much they are worked on, ultimately. How much was cut away like, thd said. The V2 was cleaned up a lot more than the V3 was. If there were any others, which may or may not have been plausible, they would also likely exhibit notable differences as nothing was made with any real continuity in mind. These just had to look the part.
 

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Halliwax

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Judging by the paint job and now gaffers tape on the ware house stunt

Make me believe the emitters were cut off
 

thd9791

Master Member
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Oh definitely. These casts are so wonky you wouldn't be able to drill straight through anyway.. keeping the wall and everything.

Ppp - great point that the neck would have warped and bent if it broke, mever would know that without working with this stuff
 

uglyguitarguy

New Member
Couple of other things I've noticed on closer inspection... I'm seeing some diagonal lines on the blade. These could be artefacts in the image, or it could be evidence of tape having been wrapped around the full length (as suggested by thd9791).



View attachment 1335265

So, as an experiment I bought a military surplus antenna for literally a couple of bucks, and I can say that the diagonal lines in the video definitely mirror what is on my antenna that I picked up (and a few others that I saw) which made me immediately think of this thread. I didn't have calipers on me, so I wasn't able to measure until I got it home. Dimensionally it's inaccurate (16.6mm diameter with no taper), but the similar wrapped texture to whats seen in this video definitely tells me the "blade" absolutely is military surplus antenna (in case that was at all in question still), so I'm gonna hunt for a surplus antenna that meets the requirements of 1/2" (12.7mm) base with a taper and this similar wrapped texture to use for my spinning blade Obi Wan saber. Let the hunt begin!

1614120422152.png
1614120479430.png
 

SmallsTimelord

New Member
So, as an experiment I bought a military surplus antenna for literally a couple of bucks, and I can say that the diagonal lines in the video definitely mirror what is on my antenna that I picked up (and a few others that I saw) which made me immediately think of this thread. I didn't have calipers on me, so I wasn't able to measure until I got it home. Dimensionally it's inaccurate (16.6mm diameter with no taper), but the similar wrapped texture to whats seen in this video definitely tells me the "blade" absolutely is military surplus antenna (in case that was at all in question still), so I'm gonna hunt for a surplus antenna that meets the requirements of 1/2" (12.7mm) base with a taper and this similar wrapped texture to use for my spinning blade Obi Wan saber. Let the hunt begin!

View attachment 1429455 View attachment 1429457
Where can you get stuff like that?
 

thd9791

Master Member
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The blade mentioned above isn't tapered and came in small segments too. He did measure it to roughly a half inch, which seems very small since 16mm golf clubs felt small to me. It does appear to be 2/3 the width of the nipple though.
 

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