Build of Master Satele Shan’s Lightsaber

How would you like to own Master Satele Shan’s lightsaber? To me that sounds like just about the coolest thing on the planet!

I’m not the only one who thinks so because this guy made one for his wife. That kind of sets a new precedent for husband-to-wife gifts, don’t ya think?

It wasn’t an easy task but boy is it awesome! If you’re not familiar with Sloth Furnace, he creates some amazing pieces of functional art/props. These lightsabers don’t just look pretty- they are exact replicas and they work with lights and sounds. On average, he says it takes him 6 months from conception to completion on one of these.

He details the entire process in photo with captions of how he created this fantastic lightsaber, down to each and every detail. It’s pretty fantastic. It’s all from the minds and the hands of Bradley W. Lewis, video game developer and Senior Visual Effects Artist for BioWare Austin. Lewis also worked for InMotion Software and Midway Studios Austin and some of you might already be familiar with his work.

While he has made quite a few lightsabers before, his SWTOR Consular saber for his wife is currently making its round on the Internet and gaining popularity. Why do some stories gain more attention than others? It’s hard to say. Internet users are a finicky bunch. Maybe it’s because double-sides lightsabers are just super awesome! Anyway, after seeing this and other lightsabers, I really wanted to talk to the man who creates these amazing pieces and share a little more information with you all.

Check out our articles on Lighsabers and how they work.

I was able to ask Bradley a few questions about this. See the mini-interview below:

How does your day job as a game developer help you with these projects and prop builds?

BL: My day job as a game developer rarely meshes with my prop building hobby, but when it does it is interesting.  I was tasked with making the lightsaber assembly sequence in SWTOR, the one you see when you get your first lightsaber.  For that cinematic, I modeled artwork that mirrored my Luke Skywalker New Hope lightsaber internal pieces that I was building at the time.  However, in most cases, I use the prop building hobby as an outlet for my creative energy and talents that don’t get used at work.  Since my job is pretty specialized, I need to keep the rest of my skills sharp.

What is it like to see your artwork come to life – both in visual effects and also in building props?

BL: That is what I call a “moment of truth” when you see it work, when you switch it on for the first time, or test out a mechanism that you’ve labored and thought over.  When it works, it is a feeling hard to describe.  It’s like an orchestration of subtleties and nuances mixed with a touch of brute force and determination that culminate in a moment of stillness, when a thing you’ve hatched out of your brain finally is realized.  It’s a great feeling I chase all the time.

What kind of challenges did you face with this saber that are different from the others you have created? 

BL: The SWTOR Consular saber was a unique challenge, because most of it was done from scratch, solid rod and bar stock and plate.   And I didn’t have my milling machine till the end, and most of the fins and struts at the end of each side I had to do by hand with a hacksaw files and sandpaper.  It was one of the more physically grueling projects I have undertaken.  Also the fact that nobody had done this particular saber before meant that I had no one to look to who had gone before me.  I had to figure everything out myself.

See the whole process with images at Sloth Furnace.

About Sloth Furnace: Your friendly neighborhood Slothfurnace is none other than Bradley W. Lewis. He’s a videogame developer by day, and a robotpirate by night.

Want to see more? Here’s a video of his Obi Wan Kenobi lightsaber, complete with sound effects and everything!

Here are some more pics from the build. See the rest on his site: Sloth Furnace

Lisa Clark

Lisa has been an avid gamer since she was old enough to hold her first controller and a game writer for more than a decade. A child of the Nintendo generation, she believes they just don’t make games like they used to but sometimes, they make them even better! While consoles will always be her first love, Lisa spends most of her gaming time on the PC these days- on MMOs and first-person shooters in particular.