DIY Lightsabers (and Force Lighting!)

If you missed it, check out our Yoda and The Emperor costumes page from Halloween 2005.  That page overlaps somewhat with this one, but covers more material albeit in more of a narrative fashion.  This page focuses more in depth on the lightsabers and The Emperor's force lightning than the rest of the costumes.



Here are the final products: A couple glowing sabers, force lightning, and passersby gawking in awe and envy.  In other words, everything on a true geek's xmas list!

(Okay, the picture looks like crap because it's a long-exposure photo taken without a tripod.  I promise these look great in real life.)


Lightsabers

Parts and Materials
Tools


Finishing the job
Because we waited until the last minute on Halloween, the sabers didn't get as thorough a treatment as I would liked to have given them.  Still wound up from the next Halloween, I finally got around to completing things more than a year after the fact.  Here's the rest of the story in a galaxy not too far away...

I ran several left-over O rings over the blade-end of the hilt purely for decoration.

Also, the end of the pipe I used for the hilt had a sharp, out-turned edge.  I had a band-like O-ring that I slipped around that.


For handle grips, I bought a cheap pair of windshield wipers and cut them into thirds to give me six lengths.  (One of the pieces is between the cushions; I found it later).

With the grips glued on and the O-rings more evenly spaced, things look a lot more professional.  I also added a spare compression band at the top simply because it was on hand with the rest of the parts.

Additional ideas!
Part II: The Emperor's Force Lighting*
(*Note: You could also be Count Dooku/Darth Tyrannus)

Here's a better view of the Emperor's lightning.  As you can see, it isn't terribly impressive in the daylight or your camera's flash the way it is at night.

Parts and Materials
Tools


Here's a close-up of the power. 

The switch is on the left (basic SPST switch) then a pair of 9 Volt batteries taped to an inverter to run the el-wire.  The battery connectors are soldered together for added stability.  All the excess wire was left bundled to keep it out of the way.  After all, you're probably going to get a little theatrical with things on Halloween night.


You can do this.  I really didn't know whether the light sabers or the force lightning would work at all the morning before we went out.  I was totally making it up as I went along.  It wasn't until that afternoon that I got the right parts to attach the blade to the hilt of my saber.  I was completely prepared to just go without the saber because I honestly didn't think it would work.  As it turned out, mine was more stable and durable than the one I bought on eBay (not pictured).  In fact, the latter ended up with a broken O-ring before the end of the night, so the blade wobbled on Dani's and completely came loose by the time we were home.

Warning: I am not responsible for your safety.  This page assumes you will consult a Jedi Master if you do not know how to use any of the tools or construction techniques (e.g., soldering) outlined on this page.



All images and text copyright 2005-2007 Alexplorer.
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