New Star Wars lightsabers 'pretty cool', says the man who built the first one

Roger Christian talks Jedi weapons

Roger Christian, the man who built Luke Skywalker's original lightsaber, is thrilled with the new style broadsword lightsaber in JJ Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens and over the moon that his own design is making a reappearance.

When you've put together one of the most iconic film props of all time with a bit of an old camera, you're almost uniquely placed to give your opinion on a successor to the original.

So, when techradar had the opportunity to interview Oscar winner Roger Christian about his new project to make a full feature film out of his 1980 short Black Angel, we had to ask what he thought about the lightsaber that not only appeared, but became the dominant image, in the first Star Wars trailer early this year.

"It looks pretty cool!" said Christian, who famously used an old Graflex camera grip as the base for Luke's laser sword.

"What I loved is that it's clearly an old sword coming back. The look of the sword is ragged and rough, and it's clear that the old Jedis are coming back."

Finn with Luke s lightsaber

"Nothing should look out of place and JJ Abrams will have know that this was going to be the most analysed trailer ever so every image is there for a purpose.

"[The film] is in pretty good hands, the hard thing is for whoever follows! I've stayed friends with George Lucas - and I agree with Joseph Campbell that he's the only true living mythmaker."

Christian's story about creating the original is the stuff of movie prop legends, but we asked for a recap anyway:

"I knew the lightsaber - a laser sword we called it at the time - was going to be an iconic image of this film," he said

"At that time we had to do everything with found objects, but when I found that Graflex one day in an old photography shop it was liking pulling my own sword out of the stone!

"I had a strip to put around it then I showed it to George and he just smiled. We had found Luke's lightsaber."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Global Editor-in-Chief

Patrick (Twitter) is Global Editor-in-Chief for techradar, and has been with the site since its launch in 2008. He is a longstanding judge of the T3 Awards, been quoted or seen on everything from the The Sun to Sky News and is on the #CoolBrands Council. He started his career in football, making him one of approximately one journalists to have covered both a World Cup final and an iPhone launch.