BoLS logo Tabletop, RPGs & Pop Culture

GEEKERY: Cast Your Own Lightsaber

Jul 7 2015

Luke Skywalker

So you know the Star Wars Universe, but do you know the props?

• The hilt of Luke’s first Lightsaber was built from a vintage press camera flash battery pack. The second, seen in Return of the Jedi, was constructed from a Derwent Mk.8/Mk.9 Jet Engine Balance Pipe.

Obi Wan Style Lightsaber made with Original Parts

• The original Lightsaber blades were three sided rods that were covered with a retroreflector array. A lamp was placed near the action to create a glowing effect with the array… which totally failed.

• The glow effect was eventually created by multi-layed animation created by Nelson Shin using a rotoscope. The blades were made of dowels covered in front projection paint to make movements easy to track.

• The trademark Lightsaber hum was created using a combination of the sound of interference created by a cathode ray tube television on a shieldless microphone and motors in an old movie projector.


Let’s get to casting!


ILM energy effects and Cho Sun skills sold separately.

Show off your homemade Star Wars weapons, tech, and costumes in the comments!

  • X-Wing: Autothrusters are an A-Wing's Best Friend