Review of The Luke Skywalker Eps IV A New Hope LE Lightsaber:
A short review of the gorgeous prop recreations by Master Replicas is almost impossible to do, so sit back and grab a drink and read on.
The new Luke Episode IV A New Hope LE Lightsaber is a well crafted example of how good it feels to hold a 1:1 scale recreation of the first Lightsaber to hit the screen in 1977 in the film Star Wars, A New Hope.
How I purchased this Lightsaber:
I got it on eBay, I almost hate to admit this, but the best price I got was $249.99 shipped. A much lower price than the advertised $369.00 price tag from MR. The person was a MR dealer so it is covered under warranty.
Shipping and the box it came in:
It comes in a nice design box that is basic black, similar to the boxes used from Episode III ROTS. It is well protected and each item is set apart with injected/molded Styrofoam inserts. The case, with a mirrored base and stands, is the most fragile component to deal with in shipping. It had protection inside and out with a clever design that layers the box with the display case overlapping the hidden Lightsaber and stand. You almost know right away that if this much thought went into the protection of the item, then a lot more care went into the design and implementation of the actual prop replica, which is the case.
The Lightsaber seems to hold true in design and finish to the original from A New Hope. It does not have a bright chrome finish like the Anakin ROTS Lightsaber by Master Replicas. (Pic 3a shows the Anakin ROTS Lightsaber in the front). It has a brushed aluminum finish. I almost thought I would not like the finish since I already had the other ďshinnyĒ ones. (Pic 3b show the Anakin ROTS Lightsaber on the right side and the Luke a New Hope Lightsaber on the left side). I was mistaken; this feels real and looks real. The Lightsaber has incredible detail, with moving parts! This is a departure from past Master Replica Lightsaber. I have 5 ROTS models all of them have no moving parts, which is fine as they look pristine and great in the display case. The Luke Lightsaber screams to be picked up, held and dare I say played with!
(Picture 3a above)
(Picture 3b above)
The design is taken directly from the Graflex 3 cell flashgun, it looks just like it was built from original parts of 30+ years ago. Of course the parts look pristine and not aged, but as they would straight from the factory and carved and crafted by George Lucas in 1977.
The exciting thing about this incarnation is that it has parts that move. The one ruddy color button on the top actually pushes in:
Also the top extending part above ruddy color button squeezes in as it would on the Graflex flash tube to hold the reflector hood in place:
(The pressure clip that holds the mid section together also moves and I have a picture of this lever in the locked position and moved up. I like gadgets and things that move on a prop, just for realism sake. Needless to say this fits the bill in that respect.
Being brushed aluminum the finger prints are minimal and easy to wipe off, how many of us have picked up our other chrome finished props and wiped them down only to see a hidden finger print on the chrome after reinsertion into itís protective housing. The rubber grips on the hand held area are comfortable to a degree, but the weight balance and shorter length compared to the Anakin ROTS Lightsaber make it a more awkward feel. I have read stories of how the rubber grips and lens used to fall off during filming when Mark Hamill had the saber hanging from his belt by the D ring (which is also recreated faithfully). This used to annoy George Lucus, clearly I can understand why this happened. I imagine the prop in my case is more durably made compared to the original Graflex prop used in the move.
The Limited Edition Plaque:
The numbered plaque is a nice touch to the MR Limited Edition line. The stand with double sided tape is more solid and attractive compared to the earlier MR stands. Itís a solid base that has rounded edges that sits squarely under the Lightsaber. The actual plaque is clearly written and descriptive without excess gibberish that annoys collectors. The bottom contains the unique limited number. I have thought about getting the new CE or Collectors Edition of the Qui-Gon Jinn Lightsaber, due to the lower price, but I do like the plaque with the limited edition number. One thing that I donít like about the plaque is that some non LE collectors sell lower number plates on eBay(without sabers), there is nothing holding the plaque to the actual Lightsaber. I almost wish there was a corresponding number placed on the prop that goes with the plaque. I also wish MR would place the production number on the plaque from the beginning of the run instead of issuing a 2nd plaque with this information on it. If you buy the Lightsaber from a secondary market itís a good chance you will have to pick up this plaque at a premium price. As of yet I still have not gotten any of my production total run plaques from any of my 6 Lightsaber.
I have to say I really canít find anything really wrong with this prop. Iíd even say that Iíd give it a rating of 5 out of 5. The only slight complaint would be the lack of the production run numbers on the plaque, but that is nit picky really. Overall the attention to detail is incredible and this is by far one of my favorite prop replicas in my collection.
Frank OíNeill (Francis12)