How fans will make their own lightsabers at Disney’s Star Wars land

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

One of the key attractions of Disney’s new Star Wars lands will be the opportunity for fans to build their own unique lightsabers. Now, thanks to a special VIP-only presentation from the team at Disney Parks, we finally know how the build process will work. We’ve also held the final product in our hands. I’m happy to report that these are stunning reproductions, and a lot heavier than they look.

Product experts from the Disney Parks team were on hand at this year’s Star Wars Celebration in Chicago for a handful of presentations that included examples of the final product. Here’s how the process will work.

Two different lightsaber shops will be available at Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge when it opens at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The first, called Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities, will sell a series of 10 legacy lightsabers based on famous blades from the Star Wars canon. The second, called Savi’s Workshop, will allow fans to build their own lightsaber from a discrete collection of parts.

Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

Both the legacy and the custom lightsabers will be compatible with a universal blade system. Blades are available in different lengths and sizes, and each one will light up in a variety of colors depending on the hilt that it is attached to.

The legacy blades on display at Celebration included replicas of both of Luke Skywalker’s lightsabers, as well as the iconic weapons carried by Ahsoka Tano, Darth Vader, Darth Maul, and Mace Windu. Each will come packed in its own satin-lined presentation case, complete with a unique chevron on the outside.

Some blades will also come with additional accessories to make them more accurate. Kylo Ren’s blade will come with two additional blades to accommodate its iconic crossguard, while Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber from Star Wars: Return of the Jedi will feature a special attachment point for its extremely narrow emitter.

The custom blades are a different animal entirely. Building one will be part of an intimate, small-group experience inside the park.

Before entering the “build chamber” at Savi’s Workshop, guests must first choose from one of four types of lightsaber kits. Options include the Jedi-focused Peace and Justice set, the Sith-focused Power and Control assortment, the more naturalistic Elemental Nature set, and the mysterious Protection and Defense kit. Once inside the build chamber, cast members called Gatherers will arrive and offer a choice of three differently colored kyber crystals.

Custom lightsabers built from Elemental Nature components.Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
A custom lightsaber built with components from the Power and Control set.Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
A selection of kyber crystals and their containers. Guests will be able to choose the color of their crystal. Cuts and types will be randomized.Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
A lightsaber built from the Protection and Defense set. The language on these blades has yet to be translated.Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Lightsabers built with items from the Peace and Justice set of parts.Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Another example of the mysterious Protection and Defense lightsabers.Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Kyber crystals will come with their own carrying bag.Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
A partial assortment of lightsaber components from the Power and Control set.Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon
Holocrons, available for an additional charge, will allow guests to access additional Star Wars story content tied to the kyber crystal itself.Photo: Charlie Hall/Polygon

The crystals themselves are random. Guests will know the color, but not the cut or kind of crystal until they open it. Once selected, crystals will then be inserted into a holocron, which will allow iconic characters from the Star Wars universe to whisper the mysteries of the Force. Disney staff stressed that the crystals themselves contain new and unusual lore about the Star Wars universe.

From there, Gatherers will assist guests in using the discrete set of parts that they have selected to customize their blade.

I hung out for a while at the Disney Parks booth before the demonstration went live, and was shocked when the presenter dropped one of the individual components on the table. The tiny, two-inch square module clanged off the table like a piece of good brass plumbing hardware. Later, when I had the opportunity to hold a custom lightsaber in my hand, I was astounded at the weight of the object. It’s easily much heavier than an old school, 12-inch Maglite flash lite.

Unlike those old school Maglites, however, these lightsabers run on AA or AAA batteries. The weight comes entirely from the high-quality materials that they are constructed from.

A host of accessories will also be on sale, including full-length padded carrying cases for those who purchase the optional blades. Robust, universal belt clips are also available. They offer both direct attachment points and clips for the D-rings common on some lightsabers. Additionally, fans can also purchase their own holocron so that they can “commune with the Force” and learn about their own, unique kyber crystal at home.

No pricing information was available.

Both the legacy lightsabers and custom lightsabers will be available for fans when Galaxy’s Edge opens in California on May 31. Nearly identical shops will also open at Disney World in Orlando, Florida on Aug. 29.

Comments

Damn, these look nice and pricey.

Sheesh, I might have to visit a Disney park for a few of these…

These will be approximately $58,879,973 and I can’t wait to make a trip to buy one.

I hear they’re roughly $99 for the lightsaber hilt and another $50 for the detachable blade.

I had hear that as well. After seeing them in person, that seems extremely low.

Yeah seriously. I was thinking they’d be like $300-$500.

whoa $150 is wayyy more doable than I expected, especially with what Charlie is saying in person.

Of course, that doesn’t include the price of getting into the park at all.

Right, what with the whole guided experience and everything factored in. The ACE Avatar Maker thing from Pandora is $75 for a plastic action figure, I’m surprised that the lightsaber hilt is only slightly more than that.

Then again, if it cost much more than $150 it’d be a much harder sell for your average Star Wars nerd.

It does definitely seem low given the cost that goes into existing saber replicas. If that price is accurate, my only guess as to why the difference would be that sheer economy of scale might allow Disney to have a lower BOM cost per saber than existing saber shops like UltraSabers or Saberforge, or any of the various places you can buy custom parts to construct a saber with.

Either way, I really want one. Because what I absolutely need to do with my life is put together another metal lightsaber.

(I don’t have a lightsaber problem you have a lightsaber problem I can stop whenever I want I just need one with good balance and an exposed kyber crystal that the light shines through rather than just one or the other and okay maybe I want to experiment with leather wrappings for the hilt for better grip and comfort too but then I’ll be done no really I mean it this time…)

I’ve been interested in getting a lightsaber for a little while now, and I’m really curious about the process of building your own. How much work tends to go into that, and how does the cost compare to pre-built? Do they stand up as well for dueling, or better since you can really make it fit your hand well?

The saber-building parts look like they are die-cast metal, rather than individually CNC machined aluminum, which will reduce costs a lot too.

The parks already sell Vader, Kylo, and Rey lightsabers with removable blades that look very similar to the legacy ones above for around $150ish so the $100 hilt prices seem about right.

I would be shocked if they were that low. I figured that the high quality ones are already in the $200-300 range and then you add the theme park surcharge on top. Looking forward to hearing more.

I wonder if the "Yoda blade" will be cheaper, assuming it is offered…

Also noticed in the video the man said there will be 4 lightsaber colors available…

…but in the second set of pictures (3-out-of-9), I see a white cannister with a white crystal and a yellow crystal (and the yellow cannister is to the far right). ? O_O

And then there is the "Jedi Gear" box…

I saw this too. I heard the four colors and got upset at no yellow (the best Jedi Academy color!) but then saw it in the pictures below.

Crossing fingers.

They’ll be selling the Temple Guardian lightsabers as one of the "legacy" lightsabers and they’ll light up yellow.

God I’m a sucker for this shit.

Same. Doesn’t matter the price, I’ll do it and grin when I hand them my credit card.

Take that, Ollivanders.

Wait, what about the extendable blades everyone was talking about a couple months ago?! There were patents being registered and everything. Where are those?

I was curious so I looked it up. It sounds like it’s something different but these sound awesome!
https://wdwnt.com/2018/11/disney-files-patent-for-retractable-internally-illuminated-lightsaber/

Man! I am gonna post one article pointing this out, but look at those links at the bottom of the article (for other patents)!

https://wdwnt.com/2018/11/disney-files-patent-for-retractable-internally-illuminated-lightsaber/

I’ve gone through 3 articles and while I can see a strip of LEDs working like a tape-measure can do the trick in these schematic/drawings, it seems to be more vague about the actual outside blade. I see some drawings with a segmented blade but no indication where the excess outer blade is stored in the hilt or how it will extend (unlike the aforementioned roll/tape of LEDs). It could be the LED tape is hooked to the end of the tube, but what could cause it to extend?

I am thinking this is mostly a visual: You get a long plastic tube in which the light goes up and down and the tube remains the same length. Granted, this does not explain the drawings with sectioned tubes, but I haven’t found an explanation of the mechanism for outer tube extension/retraction yet. In any case, "traditionally", such segmented tubes are not too sturdy and they tend to dull the light inside. I can see it getting stuck, too, even after a lite tap on some surface.

Mind you, this doesn’t dismiss the possibility but I am going to speculate either the technology isn’t quite ready or…it is like I said above, those long tubes we see in the pics have a roll of LEDS that can retract/flex. Another thing to consider is that the base-saber has to be about the same for all sabers to fit in the motors/mechanism. From a business stand-point, if few people bought the bone or wood saber-bases, that’s lost revenue (unless Disney employees can take the motors out and put them into other hilts….or just keep in-stock the more popular hilts and hope that a new popular Star Wars character doesn’t use wood or bone in his hilt).

Still all interesting if you google it!

Had to look again. Actually, there is a "cap" that they could use to apply the end of the LED tape inside. First off, blade retraction should easy but extension? I don’t know if LED tape is sturdy enough for that, especially long term. Also, if you twist the light saber on it’s side (flat side of LED tape), will the LED light be clear enough?

Again, I am not seeing where the extra blade plastic goes. Maybe it is like current toy blades and we get a few inches of blade all the time? Also, the fact that the blades can be extracted from the hilt may mean that this is a future option for blades.

https://sabersourcing.com/2018/12/18/disney-files-game-changing-retractable-lightsaber-patent-new-saber-technology/

https://patents.google.com/patent/US10065127B1/en

Lots of stuff gets patented and doesn’t see the light of day. It also doesn’t look like it would leave any room for the custom crystals that are part of the hilts

Something I’m super curious about for these Disney models: will they have dueling grade blades available? I kind of doubt it but I don’t think it’s entirely out of the realm of possibility. I imagine they’d want blades as durable as possible for safety reasons, and it doesn’t get much more durable than that.

And if not dueling grade, I am still very curious about how durable the blades will be and how nice the sound effects—if any—will be. The sound effects will be very make it or break it for me personally. I can only go VRRMMMM VRMMM KRSHKRSH so much before I start to lose my voice haha. I need the quality sounds!

And I’m itching to know about the holocrons. C’mon, Disney, I’m dying over here! GIVE US THE DETAILS. I know I could get some hologrons off of the internet anywhere but if the holocron can do EXTRA STUFF then I am all over it. Especially linked to the kyber crystal!

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