Tag Archives: Star Wars

Happy Birthday Star Wars – Happy For-Tyeth!

Hello Everybody, A long time ago, forty years to the day, in a galaxy far, far away called the United States of America….a star filled screen was the backdrop for a crawling passage of text, followed by a space battle between two ships, and the start of a phenomenon. Yes that phenomenon is Star Wars which debuted in cinemas this very day forty years ago. Little did we know what an impact it would have on us and popular culture since. It was a “Space Opera” with good guys and bad, Princesses, evil villains, mystic hobbits, droids, smugglers and a reluctant hero! Phew! that’s a long list. The film also had cool gadgets and props, including a planet killing space station, starfighter spaceships with lasers, handheld laser pistols and rifles…..oh and probably the greatest weapon ever conceived….the Lightsaber! A glowing energy beam sword that was able to cut through almost anything that extended and retracted when switched on or off. Then there was the sound of the saber courtesy of the genius of Ben Burtt. How many of us, as kids didn’t imitate the humming “Vrrrwwwm….Vrrrwwwm” noises waving various sticks and tubes about! Well as tribute I have a gallery of pictures of the first Lightsaber we ever saw on screen (or at least a custom saber manufacturer’s simile of one!)…here is Graflex Noir 77…

This was the prop in the film that got us all excited. The “Graflex” Lightsaber which Obi-Wan Kenobi passed onto Luke Skywalker, the saber belonging to Luke’s father originally. The saber wasn’t called a Graflex in the film, that refers to the item which was modified to build the prop in real life. The handle was originally a handle from an old 1930/40’s camera flash gun made by Graflex, the sort seen in movies used by newspaper reporters. The flash gun was a silver, tubular handle with a large metal dish attached at the top. The prop builders discovered a collection of these at the back of the studios and realised if they removed that dish which held the flash bulb, they had something that looked like the handle of a futuristic sword!1487778598-0

The blades of these props weren’t as good as they are today on replica hilts and props, instead they were lengths of three sided dowel rod. The rods didn’t glow but a clever camera technician wrapped the dowels in a metallic cloth used for cinema screens (called ScotchLite) and connected it to a small motor so it would rotate. He used a trick which shone light through the lens of the camera. This light would hit the cloth covered dowel and reflect back into the camera causing a flickering glow. Unfortunately if the movement of the camera and the blade weren’t co-ordinated the blade would move out of range and the glow would disappear.

lukeobigraflex2_scottjua
Trust me Luke this stick is lethal without proper training to use it!

If you look closely at Luke’s sleeve you can see the wire that connected the motor in the hilt to it’s battery pack! And one final little fun fact, the actors weren’t allowed to actually clash the sabers together as they were very delicate but if you watch the battle between Darth Vader and Obi-Wan on the Death Star, both warriors swing their sabers and they “clash”…look very closely and you will see a small cloud of dust appear on impact. That dust is some of the metallic particles from the cloth!

None of this mattered to us fans however, a Lightsaber was a cool laser sword that all wannabe heroes wanted. I had one, a flashlight with a 1.5 volt light bulb powered by a couple of batteries, with a big plastic tube on the end. I didn’t get my first until the third film of the saga, so that’s another story. To finish today I will take a risk and post a coule of movie stills to celebrate the film’s anniversary, and if anyone from Disney or LucasFilm want me to remove them let me know, I always give credits etc to all material used here. So here are a few stills some old school black and white for nostalgia and some in colour for the younger newer generation of fans…enjoy and thanks for looking in today. Till next time.

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Graflex Real
The Lightsaber, the dream.

Star Wars, Lightsaber, Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and all names, images, logos and related material are Trademark/©Copyright of Disney/LucasFilm ltd 1977-2017.

Calrissian Lightsaber – A Scoundrel’s Saber

Hello Everybody, today I finally get back to the Star Wars universe and present to you my design for a character that is a fan favourite. So much so there seems to be a campaign to “Bring him back!” for the new film The Last Jedi. That character is of course Lando Calrissian, the former administrator of Bespin City, the the floating mining facility in Empire Strikes Back. Lando was a bit of a rogue and a ladies man, and nearly proved to be an equal to Han in the race for Princess Leia’s affections (I think Leia always wanted to be with Han, but having Lando show her attention didn’t hurt matters, it helped keep Han on his toes!). So it seems Lando lost the Millennium Falcon to Han in a card game, lost Princess Leia to Han and lost Bespin to the Empire…I think he deserves a saber don’t you? Yes, and here is my design for him, this is Calrissian Lightsaber…

There, hopefully this should cheer Lando up! I designed this to have a little bit of flair, with a few nods to Bespin. The blade is white, reminiscent of the whispy clouds that shared the sky with Bespin “Cloud” City (maybe I should nickname this hilt Cloud City..hmm?). The hilt has an overall blue powder coat to reflect his outfit from ESB with it’s cape and gold brocade. I was going to add a few gold accents but felt that might be a bit gaudy (but having seen what Lando did to the Falcon in the Lego Star Wars cartoons I needn’t have worried). The hilt body has markings and recessed areas that remind me of the arches and beams of the floating city as does the pommel. The pommel looks so much like the mushroom shaped accommodation pods on the upper surfaces of the city.

That was Calrissian Lightsaber, I hope you enjoyed it. I don’t know if Lando will resurface in The Last Jedi but at least we got to see him again in ROTJ. (But don’t worry there is another chance to see Lando, albeit in his younger years in the Han Solo anthology film). I guess time will tell.

Yes I mentioned that word again, Time, sadly it is running out on me. I will have to bring this post to an end shortly, but before I go, as always I need to thank you all. Your support keeps me designing and posting these hilts and you have been visiting from all around the globe so thank you so much. I sincerely hope you will return to see upcoming posts where I have a Legends inspired hilt and some more from my friends. Till next time.

Lando Calrissian, Bespin “Cloud” City and all other names, logos and related material are Trademarks/©Copyright of Disney/LucasFilm ltd 2017.

SensorScope Lightsaber – Inspired by R2-D2

Hello Everybody, as the picture above shows I have managed to finish my tribute to the second droid we saw in Star Wars all those years ago! This is a saber inspired by R2-D2 the Astromech droid we first saw during the battle on the Rebel Stockade Runner, the Tantive V. Artoo had a chance meeting with Princess Leia (or was it the will of the Force?) who gave him the plans for the Empire’s super weapon the Death Star, and with C-3PO escaped in a life pod to the planet of Tatooine below. This wasn’t the little droid’s first adventure but I’ll tell you a bit more later after I present my design…SensorScope Lightsaber…

I think this looks a bit like our heroic little droid, the colours are as close a match as is possible to get. I went through a few ideas for this design, first I thought of just designing a saber that Artoo may have carried inside himself, like he did for Luke Skywalker. Then I considered basing it on a particular part of Artoo himself, to make it a bit more personal to him, then I learnt how to add the new Powder Coat colours and this final version came to mind. I made the hilt look like the Sensor Scope that projects from Artoo’s domed head (he used it to scan for Luke in Empire Strikes Back and for Princess Leia in Return of the Jedi).Then came the powder coat to leave you in no doubt who the hilt is based on. Here is what the hilt looked like before…Sensorscope Hilt

It still looks ok, but the new paint scheme lifts the hilt and gives it that bit extra! And Artoo is a droid with a bit extra in the courage department, remember when he saved his previous owner, Queen Amidala and the crew of the Royal Starship? Well Artoo has now been elevated from the situation of having an owner to being an owner. He is now the proud (hopefully) owner of a For Tyeth Edition saber.

I also have to give mention to the man inside the machine we know as Artoo, Kenny Baker who sadly passed away last year. Without this great actor we wouldn’t have the fond memories of R2-D2 we all share today, so thank you Mr Baker, we miss you.

KennyBaker MTFBWY

I hope you have enjoyed this tribute to the droid that saved the day so many times. And there’s that word again…Time….and it’s running out for this post! Before I leave you all I’d like to say thanks for visiting today and checking out my work. I have a few more designs in the pipeline for future posts and I hope you’ll join me to see those! Till next time.

R2-D2, C-3PO, the Tantive V and all other names, images and related materials are Trademark/©Copyright of Disney/LucasFilm.

Goldenrod Lightsaber – Inspired by C-3PO

Hello Everybody, I hope you found the little article behind the scenes of FTSabersite was interesting and showed a bit of the process of creating my designs. I couldn’t tell all of my secrets of course (and most of them would have bored you!) but it might just prompt some of you to go and have a try yourselves!

Back to today’s post and I continue the promised run of Star Wars inspired sabers and honour one of the first characters we see on screen in the saga! Yes it is the turn of C-3PO the slightly nervous, highly strung droid to receive a design. Threepio was a protocol droid built from spare parts by the young Anakin Skywalker on Tatooine. He was a little underdressed to be honest as he didn’t have his famous “golden” body plates attached. This tribute saber does however have all it’s parts and is ready for you to see, here is Goldenrod Lightsaber…

I thought about trying to replicate C-3PO like I did with my Katuso Lightsaber for K-2SO but felt it would be too similar. So I took the idea of “What happened to his arm in The Force Awakens, it was replaced by a red one?” and thought what if it was broken off and someone used the parts to build a saber? This is what it may have looked like. The hilt still looks droid-like however hard I tried to avoid it, I realised that the switch section looked like Threepio’s midriff where his wiring is exposed. Just glue some strategically placed pieces of wire into the recesses and it would look identical. I gave the hilt a white blade so the gold/orange theme didn’t become overkill.

Pieces
Did someone mention missing parts?

I did a little research and discovered that a single edition comic book was released and the story revolved around Threepio and a group of Resistance droids on a mission to capture a First Order droid that contained information about the location where Admiral Ackbar was being held prisoner. On the planet the droids met unfortunate ends and Threepio was damaged…losing his arm. Eventually only C-3PO and the droid they were sent to capture remained. They were stranded and acid rain began falling. The droid called Omri “sacrificed” himself to activate an emergency beacon but was destroyed by the acid rain. Threepio took Omri’s arm which turned out to be red as a replacement for his, and a reminder to him of Omri’s actions!

Well now we know why Threepio’s arm is red and have seen my tribute to  him. I hope you enjoyed both. I am working on a “commission” design for a certain NFL team and I guess I will need to honour Threepio’s stubby little sidekick! So I hope you will call back to see those in future posts, but for now thank you for visiting and supporting FTSabersite. It’s that time again I have to end….Till next time!

C-3PO, Threepio, The Force Awakens and all other names, logos and related material are Trademark/©Copyright of Disney/LucasFilm ltd 2016/7.

Stormforce Lightsaber – A Slight Redesign.

Hello Everybody, today I am delving into my back catalogue of designs! This saber I designed over a year ago but as much as I liked it, it wasn’t quite perfect. I have now set that right. The problem was I intended this saber to be used by the Stormtroopers and all of their equipment is black and white in colour (I know black and white aren’t colours, they are Shades and Tones!). The saber builder only allows the four colour schemes I’ve mentioned before, Standard Dual Tone, all black, all silver or old and weathered. I wanted a white hilt with black accents, now the Stormtroopers can have one, this is that saber….Stormforce…

As I said at the beginning, this saber is old and I posted the original version 1 year and 2 weeks ago on the Saberforgeforum website’s ASP Hilt Design Page (Found Here). The members had discussed the fabulous concept art by Ralph McQuarrie and one particular image shows a Stormtrooper with a saber! It was originally intended by George Lucas that the Troopers also had sabers but decided against it, as just having the Jedi Knights and the Sith owning sabers gave them an aura of mystique and exclusivity. It didn’t stop fans from dreaming and designing however and a few bespoke built sabers were made by fans. In this next mini gallery are a few pictures showing the concept art, my original version of this hilt and one of the fan built Trooper sabers.

I’m afraid I can’t remember the name of the fan who built the Stormtrooper styled hilt but will credit them when my memory comes back. As you can see Stormforce lacked something when it was just silver and black, and I was so pleased when I was able to add the white effect to it.

Well that time is fast approaching, and I will have to bring this post to an end. I hope you liked my redesign (though for many of you it will have been the first time you had seen this saber  😀 !) I have a few more hilts I want to revisit and display here so I sincerely hope you too will revisit FTSabersite to see them. Thank you for your company today and your support. Till next time.

“Stormforce Lightsaber”  is a “For Tyeth Editions” design. This website, it’s design and contents including “For Tyeth Designs” are ©Copyright of For Tyeth/FTSabersite 2017.