View Full Version : How does it work?

01-27-2006, 07:29 PM
Does anyone know how the lightsaber props work in the films? Do the actors hold the (limited edition) props and they digitally make the laser? Perhaps they only show the props when they're off and use the "fighting props" which are lighter when they duel. I'm just not sure.

01-27-2006, 08:53 PM
When they are fighting, it's almost always a dowel (thin stick) connected to a stunt saber hilt and they rotoscope (animated over the film, either by hand or by CG) in the blade later. When the sabers are activated, it's usually a "hero" hilt which has no dowel and more details for close-ups, and the blade is again rotoscoped in. There are also semi-length blades used in the prequels for when a character quickly whips out the saber and starts fighting in the same take, the shorter dowel on these can be hidden in robes but is long enough to hit something. In the original SW, they tried to use rotating reflective blades to simulate the blades in-camera without rotoscoping, this actually does appear in the version we have today still in a few shots, it's not very good though.

01-27-2006, 09:48 PM
Oh so that's how it was done. Those reflective blades effect sucked in ANH. Luke's blade looked white during the training for most of the shot. It was also green for a moment which is funny. You would think that it would be easy to fix it for the dvd release. What exactly is a "hero" prop? Couldn't they show a (limited edition) prop for the close ups?

01-27-2006, 10:24 PM
The 'Hero Prop" IS the one used in a close-up or a shot of them wearing their costume with their lightsaber attached to their belt for another example. This is the model with the details and their usually made of different metals and some plastics (like an actual lightsaber would be)

The fighting sabers have less detail and are made of different materials lile rubber, resin, plastic, etc.

01-28-2006, 03:04 PM
The DVD is what causes that green effect on Luke's blade, it's not in prior versions, apparently it's a glitch with a layer change on some machines or something like that.

BTW, an interesting piece of trivia, Luke's ROTJ hero saber is all new, custom built meant to look like it was based off of, or an homage to, Obi-Wan's saber. However, Luke's ROTJ stunt saber hilt is quite different in the details because it actually *was* one of the Obi-Wan stunt sabers only redecoed to be Luke's.