The Force remains unstoppable as “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” takes the box office by storm this holiday season. This is the second film in the sequel trilogy—“The Force Awakens” was released in 2015, and “Episode IX” is scheduled for December 2019.
Photo by Michael Ives
This sci-fi fan favorite gave birth to the powerful light saber, which is the weapon of a Jedi Knight. As Obi-Wan Kenobi explained in “A New Hope,” the saber is “an elegant weapon for a more civilized time.” The light saber is essentially a sword that, with the push of a button, discharges a pillar of light energy that can cut through blast doors or enemies alike. Using the Force, a Jedi Knight can predict and deflect incoming blaster bolts.
Throughout the epic “Star Wars” saga, the light saber has evolved from its first conceptualization by prop masters at George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic—using the flash gray grip battery housing from 1950s Graflex cameras—to encompass myriad variations in grip patterns and laser color. Many film fans consider this futuristic light saber to be their most popular fictional arm.
These light sabers, built by Ellis Props, were attributed as backup props for use in the original “Star Wars” film. They were auctioned in a liquidation of the Ellis Props collection after the 1999 release of “Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace,” and have been exhibited in the “Hollywood Guns” exhibit at the NRA National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, Va., at NRA Headquarters.