This lightsaber was one of the primary "hero" versions of Luke's ROTJ lightsaber. It was used in many key scenes, including the following:
- Catching lightsaber from R2-D2
- Getting shot in the hand
- Slicing the Speederbike
- On his belt in Ewok Village
- Handed over to Vader (not for close-up of control box in Vader's hands, but rest of that scene)
- On the Emperor's armrest
This is actually a second Obi-Wan Kenobi stunt lightsaber left over from A New Hope. The other is listed as the Kenobi (ANH) / Skywalker (ROTJ) - shared stunt version. The dimensions of these two lightsabers are nearly identical except for the added detail of an emitter tip on this prop. The emitter is either a plug for the hole left from the blade's removal or the stub of what originally held the blade (possibly the motor shaft).
These stunt props were constructed by the floor effects team from A New Hope as duplicates of the original "hero" version Obi-Wan Kenobi lightsaber. A master copy was made of wood and then cast in metal for conversion into stunt sabers. The conversion included a motor inside the handle to spin a dowel "blade" with flat sides, some covered with a highly reflective material. An electrical cord ran out the bottom of the saber hilt and up Alec Guinness' sleeve to run the motor. The glowing effect of the sabers blade was a combination of on set camera tricks and animated enhancement. A light was mounted on top of the camera and the scene was shot through a half-silvered mirror to capture the full intensity of light from the alternating reflective material of the blade. On set the lightsaber didnt look like much, but through the cameras lens it shone like a blade of energy. To give the blade color and a softer glow animated enhancements were made during post-production. At the time ILM was a small company just starting out so the lightsaber glows were assigned to Barry Nolan of VanDerVeer Photo Effects.
While the other Obi-Wan stunt saber reused in ROTJ appears cleaned up and possibly repainted this one may have been nearly untouched. The heavily worn and chipped copper and black paint appears to be it's original finish. The saber even has black paint on the lower section in-between the control box and pommel which simulates the black gear on the Obi-Wan Kenobi Hero prop.
The middle band from a Graflex flashgun was used to add a control box. A strip of 1/2" wide chrome tape covers the "Graflex" name on the band. The lever of the Graflex clamp appears to have been replaced as it seems much longer in photos. Exactly what is in the lever's place is unclear. A piece resembling a circuit board card connector was added into the clamp- exact details of this piece are still unknown.
Graflex 3-cell Flashgun
Attached to the section below the Graflex band is the saber's most unique feature, a pointed silver knob with a knurled edge. This is apparently the same pointed knob used on the chest boxes of the Rebel X-Wing pilots.
Knob on the X-Wing Pilot Chest Box
Photo: Gino Sabatino and Dave Gielda
The replica faucet handwheel used for the pommel of this saber seems to be identical to the one on the other stunt saber borrowed from Obi-Wan. While the studded section is silver paint, above and below it are chrome taped. A standard D-ring was added through the stud in line with the control box.
In at least one scene, in the Ewok village, the Graflex band on this lightsaber was turned 180º to face outward while hanging on Luke's belt.
|Lightsaber with band turned||The 1/2" wide chrome tape
is visible on the band here.