Used by:
Luke Skywalker
Darth Vader

(Detail from publicity photo of Luke Skywalker in Rebel Ceremony attire)

This bladed stunt prop likely pulled double duty in A New Hope standing in for Darth Vader's lightsaber with the top painted black and Luke's lightsaber without paint. There are likely more ANH stunt lightsabers besides this one and Obi-Wan Kenobi's that we have yet to document here.

At first glance the stunt lightsaber looks like a Graflex 3-cell camera flash. However only the clamp and red button from a Graflex flash were used. The main body of the lightsaber is a metal tube with a curved cut top made to look like the flash. The red button was not the more common style seen on all the other Skywalker lightsabers, but a variation with only a thin band of straight knurling seen on earlier Graflexes. The glass eye of a Graflex also appears to have been used though the limited reference available is not completely clear.

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Graflex 3-Cell Flash Gun

Graflex Button Variation

In the middle of the saber hilt is the mounting clamp that attached the Graflex flashgun to a camera. Slid into this clamp is a Light Emitting Diode display bubble type lens from a vintage calculator. These lenses are 2 inch long clear strips with a row of convex lenses referred to as "bubbles" to magnify the glowing red LED numbers. The lenses used on the lightsaber props had seven bubbles. Very few calculators have 7 bubble lenses so far only two models are known, the Exactra 19 and the Exactra 20. These were introduced by Texas Instruments in 1974 and are referred to as 6 digit displays (only six of the spaces are used for numbers, the leftmost is for modifiers like a negative sign).

Texas Instruments Exactra 20 interior detail
Photo: Justin of World Famous Comics

Seven 3 5/8" long black rubber handgrips were added to the bottom half of the lightsaber. Obviously from the photo at top one grip fell off at some point. The photo is pre-production so the missing grip was likely replaced for filming. The exact identity of the grip material has yet to be determined, but recent revelations suggest stamped metal T-track from old cupboards with sliding doors. The grips in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi are rubber or plastic and could be newer style T-track or reproductions of the original ANH grips.

There is apparently no D-ring bracket since it never had to hang from a belt.

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Click Here for Lightsaber Grip Spacing Templates
in the Downloads Section