Introduction to the Graflex Bank

Graflex Bank aims to collect everything there is to know about the Graflex lightsaber on this one website for quick and easy access.


Origin

It all started in 1976 when Roger Christian, a Star Wars Set Decorator, went down to a photography store in London to get a couple of lenses for Luke’s binoculars. This was around the time Roger was looking for something he could make the lightsaber out of. Something that felt right. He asked the store owner, “Do you have anything interesting in boxes, anything you don’t use, that I could take a look at?”

“Oh, under that shelf there, that stuff hasn’t been looked at in 10 years, have a look at it.”

Inside the box, he found some flashguns for Graflex "Speed Graphics" Cameras, and he instantly knew he had found it. He bought the lot and raced back to the studios, into his set decorating room where he kept all kinds of things. He took 7 pieces of some black T-shaped plastic strips and put them on the flashgun as handles. In the clamp, he put a bubble strip from a calculator he had broken down, a Texas Instruments Exactra 19 from 1974.

When he handed it to George Lucas, he just held it… And smiled.

George asked him to put a D-ring on the bottom, and the Graflex Lightsaber was born.

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Photo: Doug Kerr


Also Check Out

The Original Trilogy Lightsaber Guidebook

WRITTEN AND DESIGNED BY SETH M. SHERWOOD

The purpose of this guide is to identify all the known lightsaber props whose designs stem from the original trilogy, explain their reason for being, reveal their origin, and delve into their individual parts and construction for your own reproduction purposes.

Narratively speaking, the OT presents only FOUR actual lightsabers: The Skywalker lightsaber, Darth Vader’s lightsaber, Obi-Wan Kenobi’s lightsaber, and Luke Skywalker’s Jedi lightsaber.

Between those four in-story lightsabers, there are over 40 individual variants. How does that happen? Because different props serve different needs. A “hero” or “belt-hanger” saber is one meant for the camera to pick up the details of. Stunt sabers are exactly that— designed for the duels, for being thrown, for being on a stunt performer’s belt when he takes a fall or does a jump. There are also “gag” props, which are sabers made to service practical on-set, in-camera effects.

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Anakin Skywalker lost his first lightsaber in a Geonosian droid factory, but soon constructed a new one as its replacement. He carried this blue-bladed Jedi weapon throughout the Clone Wars, wielding it in many battles. Anakin kept this second lightsaber after he pledged himself to Darth Sidious, using it in his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar. Thinking Anakin would die, Obi-Wan took his lightsaber and kept it on Tatooine for nearly two decades. He then gave it to Luke Skywalker, who lost it when Darth Vader – the saber’s original owner – struck off his son’s hand in Cloud City.
From StarWars.com Databank