The Star Wars franchise gave audiences worldwide a taste of what swordfights in space would look like. Many wish to have their own lightsaber because of the iconic fight scenes featuring fan favourites like Yoda, Obi-Wan, and Darth Vader. Not only that, some fans have also taken their love for lightsabers to the next level: instead of merely collecting them, they use replica lightsabers as actual weapons in combat duelling.
Lightsaber combat is fast, flashy, and fun to replicate in a safe environment. However, it’ll look much more impressive if you’re wielding realistic lightsabers. Most replicas feature ‘blades’ made of sturdy plastic with a light strip inside to replicate the colourful sabers in the films.
Keep in mind that not all lightsaber replicas are tough enough to survive clashing with other sabers at full force. If you want to participate in lightsaber combat with friends or fellow Star Wars fans, you’ll need the right weapon. That said, here are three options for finding the proper lightsaber for your future duels:
1. Buy A Lightsaber Online
If you’re looking to Star Wars duel with your friends, then you want to get yourself a high-quality replica lightsaber. If you’re based in the UK, the Galaxy Sabers is a popular choice, offering duelling lightsabers to match your favourite characters like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader.
When browsing online, check for shops that sell lightsabers that have the following features:
- Polycarbonate Blade
Polycarbonate (PC) is a solid and durable plastic, making it perfect for high intensity duels and choreographed scenes. A lightsaber blade made of PC should be able to withstand powerful strikes against a saber made of the same material. It won’t break, bend or shatter no matter how many combat duels you join.
PC can diffuse light almost as effectively as glass. This means that a lightsaber with a PC blade will glow almost like the sabers in the films. It will not only be safe for you to use in combat, but it’ll also look amazing to an audience watching the duel.
- Durable Hardware
There’s more to a combat-ready lightsaber than a tough blade. A working lightsaber has a lot of components that enable it to emit light and sound for better immersion, but even these components must also be rugged enough to withstand shock and impact without getting knocked loose. A reputable saber store will offer products that are of sturdy and high-quality materials from hilt to blade tip.
- Special Effects
A realistic lightsaber will have a bright coloured glow and sounds reminiscent of the ones seen in the films. Try to find one that gives out a medley of different noises and flashes depending on the intensity of each hit. Your battles will appear and feel more legitimate because of the sounds and light the sabers emit.
Popular special effects include
- Activation/deactivation sound
- Whooshing sound when swinging a saber
- Flickering lights and impact sounds during blade/surface impacts
- Progressive lighting/deactivation (as opposed to the entire blade just lighting up or shutting off instantly)
- Simulated blade ‘flicker’ (as supposed to a stationary light)
Features that are not necessary, but nice to have include
- The ability to change blade color
- Built-in music player
- Other sound effects
2. Buy A Secondhand Lightsaber
Brand new realistic lightsabers may be too expensive for most people. If your budget isn’t enough for something straight from the saber shop, you could always try browsing secondhand stores. You’ll have a difficult time finding a proper saber in your typical thrift store, but it’s possible to get one in an online marketplace dedicated to Star Wars fans.
Some duelists tend to sell their pre-owned lightsabers for a lower price. It won’t be a considerable drop if the sabers are still in excellent condition, but at least you’re given a bit of an assurance that you’re getting the real deal.
If you’ve never bought something pre-owned, you need to follow these tips to get the most out of your money:
- Communicate As Much As Possible.
Pre-owned combat-ready lightsabers can still be quite pricey, plus you have to confirm if the photo posted is legitimate and not a fake. Inquire about the saber’s condition and possible flaws it might have. Ask them the reason for selling to see if it’s being sold because it’s already heavily worn out or simply because the seller already has a new saber to play with. You might even get advice from the previous owner of the lightsaber on handling and maintaining it should you buy it.
- Haggle If You Can
Most sellers usually price their products high as a way to open negotiations. However, prices are based on what the current market dictates. You may see lightsabers priced not at what previous owners bought them at but how much they cost when sold secondhand.
There are also sellers putting up their pre-owned lightsaber for sale at their retail price. These are the ones that are more likely to give you a better price if you haggle with them.
- Browse Multiple Platforms
Most people sell their secondhand items on eBay, Amazon, and Facebook Marketplace. These platforms may also give you various related products, like other Star Wars merch, that you can add to your collection.
Check as many reviews as you can under a seller’s profile to see if other customers are satisfied with previous transactions. If the seller has many positive reviews, you may trust them when buying a pre-owned lightsaber.
3. Have One Custom-made
If you really can’t find a realistic lightsaber that you want, your last option is to have a custom-made one. Some crafters offer custom builds at affordable prices for those on a budget.
A perk of having a custom combat lightsaber is the ability to design the saber to how you want it to look. You can have varying degrees of customization, depending on what the maker can offer.
Popular customization options include the following:
- Blade length and color
- Hilt dimensions
- Hilt engravings
- Grip style (T-track, tapered, Knurling, wraps, etc.)
- Grip material (usually metal, plastic, rubber or leather)
- Extra features such as cross-guards, pommels, or hilt lighting
- Treaded hilt end for connecting a second lightsaber
You can show your design blueprint or a physical prototype by making a lightsaber with recycled materials.
Duelling is an exciting activity for a true fan of the Star Wars franchise. But it can only be safe and worthwhile if you use a lightsaber that is tough enough for all but the most intense fights. Combat duels will look exhilarating and more immersive when the people participating use realistic lightsabers with solid materials and flashy lights and sounds. Get a good saber, plan out your fight scenes, and throw on some Jedi Robes for an authentic Star Wars experience!