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These are the Ultimate Fan-Made Lightsabers

It’s hard to imagine a single person in history who’s seen any of the Star Wars films and not proceeded to turn a household item like a flashlight or a roll of wrapping paper into a faux lightsaber—complete with bzzzzzjuuuuuuu/wahnnnnnn/kchhhhh sound effects produced from the advanced technology of the human mouth. But for superfans and collectors like the Verge’s Bryan Bishop, a stale baguette or hot hair iron simply won’t cut it for fighting imaginary foes from a galaxy far, far away. For them, only the best lightsaber replicas will do. And the best fan-made lightsaber replicas on this planet, as far as Bishop could find, are built by Yoda.

Okay, a man nicknamed Yoda. Who lives in Roseville, California…

In the above video, which comes via The Verge, Bishop—who already has several super realistic lightsabers as well as a possible “problem” with collecting them—sets out to find “the most authentic, accurate, Star Wars-y Skywalker saber” out there, and his hunt leads him right to Yoda’s doorstep.

Yoda, whose real name is Michael Murphy, has made a career out of building replica lightsabers, and it’s a good thing he has, because the man clearly has the skills to pay the bills. Literally. His latest lightsaber sold for a wallet awakening $15,788 on eBay.

If that number sounds like a great disturbance in the Force of good deals, watch Murphy’s building process before you pass judgment. He starts with a vintage Graflex camera flash—the exact same kind Set Decorator Roger Christian used for the original movies—and then proceeds to refurbish and modify it until it perfectly matches one of the lightsabers in the films (in Bishop’s case, he chose Luke’s saber from The Empire Strikes Back).


Flash from this Graflex camera was used to make the original lightsabers, as well as Murphy’s replicas.

While being refurbished and modified, Murphy adds in crystals to the lightsaber hilt, which are first drilled by hand under water to make room for a fiber optic lighting system that will light them up to make them look like they’re “powering” the weapon. Murphy also uses an RC car-inspired chassis to house the saber’s electronics, giving the weapon enough strength and flexibility to handle the blows that will inevitably come from epic nerd duels.


If you’re ready to take your lightsaber game to the highest echelon, you can check out Murphy’s site here, and read more about them in The Verge’s feature. And even though you may be thinking the prices are going to scare you away as if you were a Sand Person who just saw an old Jedi Knight, keep in mind that these sabers are elegant weapons made “for a more civilized age.” Also, there are entry-level sabers that are way, way more affordable than the one that Murphy recently sold on eBay.

What do you think about Murphy’s lightsabers? Are you ready to add one to your collection, or are you happy with some PVC pipe and the wonders of imagination? Let us know in the comments below.

Images: The Verge

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