Star Wars Day is here and May the fourth be with you!. There are plenty of ways to celebrate, as we all eagerly await the release of Solo on May 25. Maybe you’ll rewatch the original trilogy (or trilogies) or read you favourite Star Wars novel, or dressing up as your favourite character.
Or maybe if you’re like me, you spent your childhood wanting a lightsaber of your very own. That’s how I decided to celebrate. By getting my lightsaber on.
I recently came across Ultrasabers, a company that makes customized, “combat-ready” lightsabers. After designing my own lightsaber from their available options, I’m all set to fill you in on what to expect if you order one of your own — maybe in time for Solo?
The customizability of these lightsabers is quite impressive. You can get a simple, sound-free, single-colored lightsaber for as little as $54.99, depending on your choice of hilt.
But if you’re willing to spend a little extra, you can really go all out.
Step one is choosing your hilt. Ultrasabers has quite a few options at different price points. You’ll recognize some of them, as they match up quite well to the weapons on display in the films. Prices here range from the above-mentioned $54.99 all the way up to $244. (And yes, you can get double-bladed swords or Kylo-Ren style crossguards.)
I wanted something pretty classic for my own hilt. I chose the Graflex CE, since it was the closest in style to Luke Skywalker’s original lightsaber, first seen in the original Star Wars in 1977. It’s also the lightsaber that offers the most continuity, since it’s also Anakin’s in the prequel trilogy, and later Rey’s in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
Then you’ll choose your basic set-up. You can get a stunt saber that won’t make any sound at all, or a hilt alone, if you plan on going the DIY route and making your own energy blade. If you want sound or a blade that can flash multiple colors, you’ll have those options at the outset too.
Now comes one of the most exciting parts: picking the color of your energy blade. There are standard options, recognizable from the movies, like red, blue, and green. But you can also get more original options like orange, pink, and silver.
This was a hard choice for me. While I liked the classic feel of Luke’s hilt, I chose to shake things up with a vibrant purple (or “violet amethyst”) — the prequel trilogy may have had some major faults, but Samuel L. Jackson’s Mace Windu certainly wasn’t one of them.
One customizable option on these sabers allows your blade to change colors when it hits something (“flash on clash”). I chose a silver flash of light for mine, to match the way lightsabers react when they strike each other like in the films.
Once you’ve taken care of these major features, Ultrasabers lets you play with a few more options. You have a few choices of LED lights and can get a recharging port. The blades come in a few lengths, or with pointed tips. You can choose the color of the buttons on the hilt. You also have the option of getting expanded memory space to add sound effects. And finally, there are accessories like a saber stand and belt clip.
So the question is, are Ultrasabers’ custom lightsabers worth it?
They’re certainly not cheap. While you can skip a few accessories and pick the less expensive options, you can still easily find yourself well into three figures. My own custom-made lightsaber would run you up to just under $400. The bestselling sabers advertized on the site go for even more than that.
Having said that, the product I received is pretty stunning. The hilt is tough and looks about as authentic as you can get, and the lights and sounds transport me to a galaxy far far away every time I turn the thing on.
I’ve hit it against a few hard objects, and it seems pretty sturdy. The company presents these as combat ready, and I’d feel perfectly comfortable striking a couple of these against each other without worrying about my investment (you also get a one-year warranty with every saber, in case you’re worried about breaking it as soon as you use it.)
Another advantage of testing out the saber’s durability is that I got to see the flash of silver when it connects. The biggest surprise there was how well the sound effects match up to the movement. Even before the blade hit anything, I could hear changes in the blade’s sound, matching the whirring and whooshing you hear in the films.
If you’re not the kind of person who drops hundreds of dollars on Star Wars memorabilia, then there isn’t much I can say to sway you. If, on the other hand, you’re into the idea of an Ultrasabers product but worry that it won’t meet your expectations, I can tell you first hand that the company delivers a great product.
If you’re a Star Wars fan whose into cosplay, want to have duels with your friends, or are looking for an extravagant gift for your kids, Ultrasabers is probably a good place to look.
And however you choose to celebrate Star Wars Day, may the force be with you.