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  1. SethS's Avatar
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    May 9, 2017, 12:17 PM - EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #1

    The scifi museum in Seattle, which has changed names a couple times to the EMP and now MoPOP, is basically a giant building where Paul Allen keeps his toys. I'm in town and went to check it out cause they do have some cool stuff.

    There's a scifi Hall of Fame exhibit where Paul Allen's Graflex is on display, and there is currently a separate scifi traveling exhibit that had a Vader saber. I tried to get pics of both, and they are so so. Both exhibit halls were very dark and both sabers were behind glass.

    First, the Graflex... definitely a legit Graflex as evidenced by the endcap. The profile of the t-track is pretty tall and they look metal, looks like they are adhered with epoxy. Seven grips, ANH style. Button arrangement is also ANH. It was positioned so I couldn't see the bezel of the eye. No clamp card. Clamp itself was almost chrome-- but is legit and had some lever rust.

    The description was generic and didn't associate it with any one film. The d-ring is a scratch-made faux ESB Kobold style clip-- but as you can see it's really just a worked over aluminum bar. There's nothing really resembling an actual Kobold clamp/clip.

    I think it's known that this was one of the "Kurtz" sabers, which we generally assume were Graflexes on set for ESB, but were not fully converted and were later kitted (likely by Don Bies) when Kurtz decided to sell them off.

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    The Vader saber was one of the Don Bies museum touring specials-- specifically the strobonar hybrid. Still cool to see up close-- saw a tiny screw on the shroud I had no idea was there... the grips were definitely metal and curved. The clamp band was some sort of rubber or foam and was cracked and aged.

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    When I get home I'll rehost these so there are in-post bigger images.
  2. leeloo88 is offline leeloo88
    May 9, 2017, 6:49 PM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #2

    Nice!! So the vader was not a screen used or was it even a production made prop?
  3. SethS's Avatar
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    May 9, 2017, 8:29 PM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #3

    Check out my guide in the top post on the forum page. Post ROTJ several sabers were scratch made for museum tours after most of the actual hero props were stolen.
  4. RPF Premium Member Anakin Starkiller's Avatar
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    May 9, 2017, 9:20 PM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #4

    leeloo88 said: View Post
    Nice!! So the vader was not a screen used or was it even a production made prop?
    We really can't say. Gary Kurtz put his name to then as being original props. Which is a pretty big name. I mean he did produce the first two SW movies.
    But the details don't match anything that can be seen on screen. (Of course the same could be said for the DV ROTJ saber in the archives and the Luke ROTJ shared stunt and the Luke ESB Ranch saber and the DV Barbican saber) . The grips don't resemble the type of material more commonly seen on ANH e-11s or the Luke ESB ranch saber, and so some people on the RPF have argued that they can't be original. However, there are some Vader sabers in the archives with similar square profiles, so I don't think we can definatively say they were post-production.

    Basically, I would say that like most of the sabers we know and love, they can't be screen matched. And so their authenticity depends on if you believe Kurtz and Joiner's claims.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Oh and thanks a lot for the photos!
  5. halliwax's Avatar
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    May 9, 2017, 9:59 PM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #5

    nice pics seth!! man your not kidding those grips look different! i have to agree when you say they look metal, is it me or are there some spots on the vader saber grips that are rusting?

    i wonder where they found these "metal" grips, being so close to the same profile the original grips are
  6. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    May 9, 2017, 10:54 PM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #6

    I plateaued on building the strobonar when it came to the dressing....love these new photos, thanks!

    - - - Updated - - -

    what a weird clamp box...
  7. SethS's Avatar
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    May 10, 2017, 12:46 AM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #7

    halliwax said: View Post
    nice pics seth!! man your not kidding those grips look different! i have to agree when you say they look metal, is it me or are there some spots on the vader saber grips that are rusting?

    i wonder where they found these "metal" grips, being so close to the same profile the original grips are
    Yes-- to all. Both sabers had scratches and scrapes-- which is how I was sure they were metal. In person you can spot raw metal versus rub n buff. In theory, these were done around the same time if indeed Bies kitted out the Graflex. The profiles of the grips between the sabers is really different, but they are both definitely metal. Even if it's not the same material used in ANH and ESB, I'd love to know where/what Bies used.


    thd9791 said: View Post
    I plateaued on building the strobonar when it came to the dressing....love these new photos, thanks!

    - - - Updated - - -

    what a weird clamp box...
    The band looks like an engine hose to me. It has that look of aged rubber. The box-- yeah I don't know. But it has buttons like the ISYHCANL.
  8. halliwax's Avatar
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    May 10, 2017, 7:27 AM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #8

    SethS said: View Post
    Yes-- to all. Both sabers had scratches and scrapes-- which is how I was sure they were metal. In person you can spot raw metal versus rub n buff. In theory, these were done around the same time if indeed Bies kitted out the Graflex. The profiles of the grips between the sabers is really different, but they are both definitely metal. Even if it's not the same material used in ANH and ESB, I'd love to know where/what Bies used.




    The band looks like an engine hose to me. It has that look of aged rubber. The box-- yeah I don't know. But it has buttons like the ISYHCANL.
    Exactly, I'd love to know too. I know a few of my friends know him, I'm going to contact them see if they have any contact information for him


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  9. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    May 10, 2017, 8:04 AM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #9

    I also see red underneath the black paint on the "Vader"
  10. SethS's Avatar
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    May 10, 2017, 10:56 AM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #10

    I was thinking that might be rust-- but if somebody had red cabinets...
  11. RPF Premium Member newmagrathea's Avatar
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    May 10, 2017, 11:02 AM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #11

    I saw these last fall when I was in Seattle and it was exciting to see them I was also let down that they didn't appear to be screen used ones.
  12. SethS's Avatar
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    May 10, 2017, 11:13 AM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #12

    The Vader ESB/ROTJ hero, the Ranch saber, the Vader Graflex hybrid ("hero" aka DV6) the V2, and the V3, and a few random stunt sabers seem to be the only screen-used sabers accounted for. The ranch, V3 and hybrid being the only ones that have been seen on display outside of the archives. Odds are any other museum piece is made for the shiw.
  13. RPF Premium Member thd9791's Avatar
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    May 10, 2017, 4:11 PM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #13

    SethS said: View Post
    I was thinking that might be rust-- but if somebody had red cabinets...
    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. SethS's Avatar
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    May 10, 2017, 5:44 PM - Re: EMP/MoPop/Paul Allen lightsabers #14

    Definitely see the same streak of red.

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