The Ultimate Guide to Lightsabers eBook

Discussion in 'Star Wars Costumes and Props' started by SethS, Jan 14, 2017.

  1. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    2018 Update!
    The guide is now live on the front page of wannawanga!

    http://wannawanga.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/SW_Lightsaber_Guide.pdf

    +++++

    Original post:

    So if you're anything like me, you forget to bookmark pages, and you frequently have to go searching for information on this saber or that saber. For awhile I've been wishing there was a master thread or site that had all the information the RPF has come up with on lightsabers. Like Parts of Star Wars, but something lightly more updated than a geocites page.

    I decided to make my own wish come true. After doing the lightsaber tree I had all the photos and information at hand-- but what that chart lacked was the lore. I put all these things together and decided to make an all-inclusive, cover every OT saber ever guidebook that talks about the props, their history, their individual parts and accompany it all with the highest res bestest photos I could find.

    Before I go unleashing it to the world, I have shown it to some of the vets here for input, and now I'm hoping to sort of beta-test it with the rest of the RPF.

    See anything that needs correcting? Anything to fight over? Post it!

    I hope you all dig it:
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  2. canister

    canister Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful, just had a quick flip through got my reading for the next few nights now, will keep you posted. most interested in reading up about the shared stunt ROTJ (looking forward to Spirit of Ob1's run).
     
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  3. LTsmash1200

    LTsmash1200 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is AWESOME. Very nice work. I've always been confused about the Luke/Obi shared stunt and when/where it was used, now it makes sense. It's nice to have all of this info compiled in one place.
     
  4. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I suddenly sensed great disturbance in the Force. It's as if a million prices just suddenly rose up and things... suddenly vanished.

    Also, besides some grammatical errors, this is pretty dope. And I'm not saying that because I was (to my surprise) mentioned in the book.;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
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  5. roygilsing

    roygilsing Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    WOW!! So great!
    Print this as a book and I will carry it around like a bible! I am a true believer of the Force :)
     
  6. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    Thanks guys!

    Already see I need to change the line about the V2 having even grenade rings after the new video...
     
  7. Ikoth

    Ikoth New Member

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    Wow! That is all. (apart from Thank You).
     
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  8. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    I was really struggling with tenses-- speaking in past tense about how props were made vs. present tense as to how they appear when we look at them now.....
     
  9. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I can dig it but I mean things like this (the ROTJ Vader segment):

    There's also some other quibbles throughout, I'll have to go read it again to make a proper list, but it's pretty thorough. A couple things I'd add/adjust concern mostly the two ANH Stunts (semantics but you're striving for accuracy): in the ANH stunt segment, you refer to color on the neck as being "copper" to match the original, but copper is seen on the re-dressed Shared Stunt, the original was brass (as you know, I'm sure); in the Shared Stunt segment, there are two holes on either side of the clamp on the bottom (or rather, the top as the clamp is upside down) along with the scuff in the foil tape.

    And without getting too into it, the "Sail Barge" may be a hollow resin cast of the ANH stunt, possibly of same lineage to the "Artoo launcher", given the cast clamp and, well, it's hollowness. A surviving cast is glimpsed in the Discoveries from Inside the Vault clip.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
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  10. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    Cool-- thank you-- I banged it out pretty quick and despite my working writer status I'm an insanely terrible typist. I think I have two sentences happening at once there.

    And don't get started on your bronze/copper/brown/orange niggling ;P

    ...I'll bust out the pantone color swatches if I have to!

    (even though you're correct) :)
     
  11. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    It goes like this-- right?

    Obi-Wan's hero had a bronze neck, the stunts were mostly matte black to cut down on light bouncing during the duel. To approximate, the necks were hit with bronze, likely on top of the black (as we're noticing on the V2 right now!

    The V2 was scraped down to look how it looks.

    The V3's neck was painted copper, which the Yuma and close-up "hero" emulated.

    Right?
     
  12. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    I said " foil tape surrounds the clamp; a round hole is present below the oval slot and to the left of the square hole below it through the tape and clamp; a second hole, just in the tape, lies on the other side"

    I think we're saying the same thing? Minus the scuff part-- or is my description unclear? I THINK I'm describing what you're saying. I can't find the pic now, but it looked like one hole was just in the foil tape.

    Didn't realize the clamp was upside down-- thanks!


    I can be more general about it-- but I recall that from the video.

    What do you make of the pic on the V3/share stunt page in the bottom right. I included it cause it was rigged with blade for dueling, and the color looks Yuma-ish... but I'm just now seeing a very black booster section.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
  13. roygilsing

    roygilsing Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    [​IMG]

    This might help?
     
  14. KramStaar

    KramStaar Sr Member

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    Although I have seen many of these props at Skywalker Ranch over the years, I'm not qualified to comment on the accuracy of what's been written and documented.

    That said, I would like to say how grateful I am that you have taken the time and effort to compile this which I know - with the added input of the true guru's here - will result in a saber-bible long sought after.

    Thank you very much.

    MARK
     
  15. Don93

    Don93 Well-Known Member

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    This is a wonderful document to have, Thank you for putting it together and sharing. :thumbsup
     
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  16. Rachen

    Rachen Member

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    Beyond Impressed, Thanks for Sharing this, a fantastic read through on my tablet and quick resource guide :)
     
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  17. VenomCF

    VenomCF Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That was awesome, thank you!
     
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  18. DARTH SABER

    DARTH SABER Master Member

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    Awesome!!
     
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  19. Panaflex

    Panaflex Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Seth-
    Fantastic work. Thank you for your tremendous effort in bringing this to life.
     
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  20. Toadmeister

    Toadmeister Sr Member

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    Another pat on the back from me. Great work!

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk
     
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  21. cjchiu

    cjchiu Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Seth. All I can say is "Wow." This will definitely become THE reference bible.
     
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  22. TIGCreations

    TIGCreations Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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  23. kirova

    kirova Active Member

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    great work Seth, being a long time lurker on RPF, I thought I knew just about everything about lightsabers, but apparently not :)

    PS what is the story behind Brendon coming into procession of the originall/real V2? (just found the video on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7adP0f6zgR4)
     
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  24. D48thRonin

    D48thRonin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That's old news... it was first revealed in 2015:

    https://youtu.be/RcRm_Ji05PA

    AFAIK, Brandon hasn't said how/when/from whom he acquired it.

    This is impressive work, Seth. And ambitious! :thumbsup
     
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  25. halliwax

    halliwax Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    out standing work seth. like I've told you, this is a great tool for all of us. well organized and extremely detailed. this is a great go to for all first timers in the saber community! thank you for taking all the time, research and effort putting together such a great read.

    i know i will be suppling this to all the new timers looking for help!!

    outstanding work my friend! 2 (y)thumbsup
     
  26. mkstewartesq

    mkstewartesq Sr Member

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    This is really great! I haven't built a saber in at least 10 years, and I yet am still finding it really fun just for pleasure reading.

    That being said – is there an error in the second paragraph of the page with you first start to discuss the Skywalker hero lightsaber in ESB? I could be misreading it but it seems to contradict itself. Sorry I can't seem to cut and paste the exact language from the PDF – but the second sentence says that the ESB Production seemed to have acquired their flashes from a "supply that was made later than the original." But then the very next sentence states that "these versions pre-date the ones used in ANH". So it seems to say that the flashes used in ESB were made later then those used in ANH – but it also seems to go on to say that the ones used in ESB were made first. Am I just misunderstanding what is written here?


    In any event – great job and thanks again!

    M
     
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  27. matty matt

    matty matt Sr Member

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    It really looks great! What a fantastic reference guide for the community. Thank you for making this available.
     
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  28. ARKM

    ARKM Sr Member

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    Very cool. Thanks.
     
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  29. russellsch

    russellsch Sr Member

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    Well, there went my morning :lol
    Best book I've read in while. I love it!
     
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  30. knibbsey

    knibbsey New Member

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    Fantastic...thanks so much for this. Just starting to read it now. Thankyou!

    Just noticed on page 7 that Roger Christian is identified as Production Designer on ANH. He was a set decorator and prop maker. John Barry was the Production Designer.




    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  31. teecrooz

    teecrooz Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Some nice work Seth, it was fun to read through!
     
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  32. Sixth Element

    Sixth Element Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    One nitpick on the Luke ROTJ V3 . the Graflex clamp has 3 holes drilled or punched. Other visible holes are tears in the foil tape. The run thread for Spirit of OB1's V3 post 54 has details. Awesome Book.
    http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=267595&page=3
    Don Mac
     
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  33. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    Wow guys-- thanks for the praise. Again-- I just collected the lore and made it look pretty. All the real work has been done here on the RPF over many years. All of this info is already here on the site-- I just wanted it to be easier to find.:)

    I'll try and make that more clear-- what I meant was the brand of Graflex itself (The Folmer) predates the Patent Number brand.

    ESB used Graflexes made in the 30s and early 40s versus ANH which used one from the late 40s to 50s. Not that the props themselves pre-dated ANH, but that the source parts used in ESB were older than the ones in ANH.

    THAT said, we never see the endcap clearly in ANH, and depending on when the odd promo pic of Luke in black on page 48 was taken, it's possible ANh used a folmer after all given the shape of the glass eye.

    Between all the stunt versions, back up parts, and TFA, one would assume they likely have some patented Graflexes in the mix somewhere since they seem to be more common.


    Ah! Great-- thank you!

    Thanks for the link. This is what @PoopaPapaPalps was pointing out as well. I think I get it-- I just didn't describe it very well. In an effort ot be precise I was more confusing. I may just have to be more general "IT HAS HOLES!"
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
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  34. Sundowner

    Sundowner Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    This is awesome Seth! Thank you for sharing!!!
     
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  35. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    haha-- never mind. sorry-- I just wrote LATER instead of EARLIER because I am an idiot. :)
     
  36. jcroscigno

    jcroscigno Well-Known Member

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    Wow, this is wonderful - spent the morning reading it. Thank you so much
     
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  37. cboath

    cboath Master Member

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    -I'd take the real world parts bit and integrate it with the description/details of each of the sabers.
    -You use terms we're all familiar with (beer tab (lot of people today don't know what a real beer tab is :), gear, shroud, etc) but in terms of an actual book, a photo or drawing point out those pieces would be a good addition as well.
    -Don't be afraid to use lots of text. You're trying to give the history, usage, parts, etc. It can be a lot of info. Use it. You don't have to infringe on the photos. Look at the companion book to Mysteries of Myth or whatever the prop tour was called in the 90's. Great photos, but pages of text explaining things as well.
    -I noticed, too, it include 4-6 with the TFA graflex and a shot of what probably would have been luke's TFA as well. Why leave out the prequels? Stick with what was used on screen. They have a bit less history as they're most machined, but still. Lots of cool stuff could be done with those as well.

    I put comments first (which you asked for) because they tend to not be read as much if they're second :) I think you've done a very good job but I think this is something you could take all the way to publication!
     
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  38. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    I was trying to stick to a saber a page, and it got really hard to do that when I tried it this way. I think that my intent is to just show the differences of the props, and get people started on the basic info. There is a version of this that could be a detailed build manual, but I feel like that info is out there in several places.

    I went back and forth on this. I don't disagree with you, but I ultimately decided that I didn't need to compete with Lucasfilm about covering props for a general audience. Like I said, this is directly for people who would find themselves here or at wannawanga looking to convert a Graflex or get in on a project run or something similar. Educating general audiences adds an entirely new layer that I'm not sure I want to really take on.

    Like I said in the intro, the PT sabers don't really have a complicated story or lineage that needs explaining. Nor are they reworkings of real world parts. It's a pretty simple story-- they were designed by the production artists and build by the prop department from scratch. If I was documenting every saber out there, I'd totally include them-- but that's also a different type of project.

    I included the TFA sabers only because they had roots to the OT props-- just like I mentioned the ROTS sabers inspired by the OT versions.

    Thank you! I'm totally not blowing your comments off, I just think you picture something a lot bigger than I want to tackle!
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
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  39. newmagrathea

    newmagrathea Sr Member

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    Excellent work! I've been browsing through this and it looks to be very thorough.
     
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  40. PoopaPapaPalps

    PoopaPapaPalps Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    From what I gather, that is correct, yes.

    Roy's post answered this.

    That is one of ANH shared stunts. If we're going on the idea that the V2 never had its clamp removed, then it would most likely be the V3/Shared Stunt. I believe that pic is from an old ESB BTS video so it lines up with the idea that both the V2 and Shared Stunt looked alike up until a certain point in the making of RotJ. However, that shouldn't be taken as "the V3 turned into what it looks like now", though it may have lead to it. I'm under the impression that what it looks like now is a result of touch ups and redressing after production had finished on RotJ for archival or promotional reasons.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 9, 2018
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  41. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    Ohhhhhh okay. It makes so much more sense when you say that BTS image is from ESB and not ROTJ.

    thank you!
     
  42. Insight

    Insight New Member

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    This is truly worth being printed to a book to put alongside a saber collection! Thank you!
     
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  43. kevin926

    kevin926 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well done, nice job. Thanks for sharing this.
     
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  44. Sym-Cha

    Sym-Cha Master Member

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    Hi Seth,

    Thanks for including me in this project . . . personally I would foremost give credit to George Lucas of Lucasfilm Ltd. . . . for without whom this galaxy far, far away and from a long time ago would not exist nor would the infamous lightsabers wielded by the jedi knights as written down in the Journal of the Whills ... also Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff from Parts of Star Wars website should be mentioned by name even before others and myself ... they laid down the ground work or building blocks from which others could rise to the occassion and share their discoveries with all of us.

    That said . . . I'm looking forward to many more revisions which will include even more information on lightsabers yet to be discovered and revealed. I for one know one other person residing in Rancho Obi-Wan, Petaluma California by the name of Steve Sansweet who would love a digital copy or perhaps even a real printed version to be reviewed and added to his famous collection :)

    Chaïm
     
  45. DylanRose

    DylanRose Active Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Wow. This is so great.

    Only question now is when are we doing a run for the physical version for our nightstands?? ha
     
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  46. andrew25rs

    andrew25rs Well-Known Member

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    Looks great! I'll definitely buy this if it gets to that point. If you decide not to sell it then at least give us some way to offer a donation to you. Your work on the poster then this is excellent.
    Is there any plan to do something for the prequel lightsabers?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  47. Kbuckne4

    Kbuckne4 Member

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    I'm gonna echo everyone here and just say you have done us all an incredible service. Thank you so much!

    If you were to ever print this I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Thank you so much for putting together such an amazing and beautiful resource!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  48. SethS

    SethS Master Member

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    Lucas-- OH I GUESS.. maybe I'm still a little bitter about the PT... but you're right of course.

    I didn't know the names of the partsofsw guys, so without doubt I will now include them!

    That would be awesome! Steve was the first guy to really get in there and dig, paving the way for Don Biess and JW Rinzler to add their contributions.


    Like I said-- probably not. There's no mystery about their construction. This book is for people looking to build an OT saber from sourcing parts. Since the PT sabers were designed and fabricated from scratch, you either buy a replica, a resin cast, or 3D print one.

    They are also fairly well documented. In fact, one of the things that got this happening was my son's copy of the Official Lightsaber Guide from Lucasfilm. Most of the OT props covered are wrong. The Skywalker saber, Obi-Wan's saber, and Vader's saber are all represented by their ROTS versions. Luke's Jedi saber is technically right-- but of course it's the "hero" not the V2 or Yuma.... * it, that book really * me off! ;P

    I just don't love the PT sabers. The designs held by the stars (Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, Mace, Yoda, Anakin) are cool-- but I really dislike the ROTS versions of the OT sabers, and beyond them, pretty much every other saber you see is the same basic design. The entire Jedi council (that isn't a main character) has a minor variation on the same design, and I always thought that was a major cop out.

    Thank you!

    A few people are asking about a print version. I'm inclined to say no-- mostly for three reasons:

    1. The legality. Even though I never have plans to sell, a print version might indicate that I do. Even if it were to cover print costs, the fact that I can't source the legal owners of most of the images, that means I'd be opening myself up to trouble. I also don't know how Lucasfilm would feel about such a thing. I intentionally designed it at an odd size with no print bleed and let the page count fall in a way that it's not an easy print and run.

    2. Ownership. The best way around the legal problems would be to have the material copyrighted, but I'm not comfortable with that given that all the work was done by other people. I just organized this all. The second I put it out as a book, I'm suddenly the voice/face/expert and I don't think that's fair to the countless people who contributed to this-- especially since none of this contributions were specifically FOR this. I'm just giving back to the community, I don't now, or ever, want to, or expect to, get any money for this.

    3. It's organic. This isn't meant to be a permanent thing. I plan to update it regularly. I made this last week. In the last TWO DAYS we've made new discoveries about the V2. A print run would require minimums and I don't want to be stuck with a box full of outdated information! At some point, we'll see more of the V2. We'll find the t-track. Roy will stop being soooo lazy and draw blueprints for other sabers. If I keep it electronic, it's always easy to update and keep current.

    Now, all that said... I did build it at a high enough resolution that it could be printed. If somebody wanted to take the PDF to a copy shop, pay to have some color prints made and trimmed out, they are more than welcome to.

    Once we get through this beta I'll get the first official version done, and Roy has been kind enough to host it at wannawanag where anyone can download it and do what they like-- just like the lightsaber tree.

    The only thing I don't want is for somebody to print it and sell it. That would be a dick move.
     
  49. tomm1999

    tomm1999 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Amazing work Seth! This is awesome! Thank you for sharing
     
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  50. Spyhunter2k

    Spyhunter2k Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Obi-Wan hero has an aged brass neck grenade windvane, which can appear very close to bronze. They may have used bronze paint on the V2 neck to approximate the aged brass.

    For the ROTJ hero, though, check the screen cap of the ISYHCANL hero and look at the control box bars, which match the neck in color, also the on set pic of Mark resting his chin on the Yuma: brass all the way.

    Can't speak to what paint was used on the resin stunts of the hero-- most agree that it's something between brass and copper.

    But only brass was seen on screen. Even the hero construction scene, the neck is dimly lit at firest and it looks like it could be copper. Then the light hits it, and you're like, "ah...yep, brass."

     

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