The New Hope Luke Skywalker Graflex Lightsaber
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So my mad rush to finish this thing was so I could take it with me to Celebration V in Orlando. C5 Was the biggest star wars convention to date, and my mission was to get Mark Hamill to sign this saber. When he saw it, Mark LOVED it! Going in, it was all morning in line to get it signed. I debated the whole way leading up to it whether to get the battery can or the plaque signed, and finally just decided to get the can signed.

The people at the door to the booth really liked the saber, and all convention it turned heads.. But the real joy was when Mark saw it.

He did a double take when my wife said I built it myself. He said it was so much better than what he had on the set, and told me about how the original one had metal tracks that cut his hands, and how uncomfortable it was to handle. He said mine was much more comfy, and really liked the inside, and how it lit up. He sat and talked to me for a few minutes about it and thanked me for bringing it.

I had paid for one signature, and when he was done talking to me about it he said, "Yeah, I tried getting it all on that round part" and I said, well, I had this plaque here if you couldn't, but that looks fine... and he said, "Here, I'll sign that too" and snatched it out of my hand and signed it and handed it back to me grinning, like he knew his handlers hated when he gives out free signatures.

He really was so gracious and nice, and a funny fellow. Unfortunately, they did not allow photography at the table, but I will never forget him shaking my hand and thanking me for bringing it for him to sign.

Here's a couple pics of it around C5, I have to edit some more pics when I get home, but these I liked.. Here it is next to the EFX Luke Reveal...
One of the guys at the EFX booth there saw me taking this pic and asked me to please put it down, hands off... he didn't realize I was holding my own saber next to theirs. The other fellow there, an engineer for EFX, didn't catch his name, almost didn't want to hand it back to me after I showed it to him. He started off saying, "We can't make this, it's too complicated. That's why we delayed the Obi, the casting molds were too expensive...."

This shot is the saber at the G4TV Hoth Ice Bar... Which was a lot of fun.

Next up, with the convention past me, I can do a little work tonight on my blade, I think I finally finished this step up. I had to shorten my blade a couple inches, and then I needed to finish my plug.

Here's a shot of the blade plug setup. I have my LED string in there, with one LED off the base, with wires, bent and cut down to fit the hole I drilled in the base DIN plug adapter. This allows me to shine a very bright light into the graflex glass eye. Otherwise, I wouldn't be getting any light in there due to the adapter covering up the glass eye port. I also had to drill and notch the DIN plug retainer bottom half to accept where my LED is sitting. It's all very close quarters in there, but it fits and works fine.

Here you see how it goes together. The LED is cut flush to the inner diameter of the blade plug. The wire slack will coil up inside the adapter.

Here is the setscrew that keeps it all together, this keeps the plug in the blade adapter, and the adapter in the blade.

And now for what I like to call "a little moment of truth." It's when you get it all together and turn it on and see your hard work pay off. It's when you have your fingers crossed and flip the switch.

I have a little more work to do on the battery canister, I need to make absolutely sure everything is isolated, stable, and good. But I am very very close.

Got my battery can finished up, cut down the correct bubblestrip, installed that, and here's some beauty shots...

This saber has been a three month ordeal, but I really am pleased with it.

I think this shot is my favorite. I wish it had been brighter, but it was very cloudy early this morning and all the light I could get through my window was all I could get.

Wide shot of the blade lit up, a nice even bright blue.

The signature plate will go on a display once I finish it up, but I think I can call this saber "done" (at least until I want to do something else to it.

Thank you for reading, it's been a great project! Special thanks to Cordaroyfog, The Custom Saber Shop, The Replica Prop Forum, and everyone who has inspired and helped me along on this!

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