Fans of the Star Wars universe are familiar with the iconic sci-fi knights and their strict adherence to their code. A crucial rite of passage for any Jedi is the building of his or her very own lightsaber. While we aren't exactly flying our own freighters or doing business across the galaxy yet, fans can still build their very own blade. Depending on the level of detail and quality, a DIY lightsaber can cost anywhere between $60 and $1,000, while the average build would set you back approximately $160 (around £100 or AU$210).
The lightsaber-building scene is well developed, with many online sites such as Ultrasabers and the Custom Saber Shop simplifying the build process with ready-made parts and elaborate hilts to tickle the fancy of blade-building hobbyists.
Other sites, such as SaberForge, offer custom-order lightsabers with amazing attention to detail. You can request blades adorned with cow-leather grips, as well as equipping an array of sound effects to mimic the whoosh and zap heard during a duel. A blade from its premium line, complete with sound and the ability to recharge within the device itself, would set you back around $354 before shipping, with a 10-12 week lead time for assembly.
SaberForge has taken it a step further with its latest Kickstarter campaign, Adaptive Saber Parts. ASP is a project that allows the hobbyist to create the same level of high-quality lightsaber normally found at its site -- but with a coming-of-age Jedi experience thrown in. You build your own weapon through the use of "plug and play" modular saber parts.
"Our metal parts thread together, and our electronics require no soldering," said Phillip Isherwood, founder of SaberForge in an email interview with CNET's Crave blog. "We use quick connect micro deans plugs for easy and fast installation."
Currently, the ASP modular parts offer more than 100 unique metal parts with three different finishes, with an expansion set to come every month. The crowdfunding campaign is to ensure that it has a sizeable initial order to begin manufacturing and shipping the said parts.
Backers of the campaign have little to worry when it comes to choosing their design. "All of our backers will be sent a link to a 3D digital workshop where they can build their saber in a virtual space before they commit to parts," Isherwood said.
An ASP custom hilt with an LED blade and sound effects is going for $350 per pledge (with many other pledge options available), similar to its made-to-order prices. While it is pricier than buying random spare parts and soldering them together, backers are getting a premium lightsaber with a fuss-free building process.
The campaign has exceeded its $100,000 goal by three and a half times, with a week left before it lapses. The blades are expected to ship by November this year, just a month before the launch of. If you truly want your own lightsaber, pledge or pledge not; there is no try.