As we close in on the late 2015 release date for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," a massive marketing and merchandising machine will lumber into full swing. Chances are good that among the Princess Leia action figures and Millennium Falcon models will be some lightsaber toys sporting extending crossguards. Fortunately, you don't have to wait around for the Disney juggernaut to deliver the unusual weapon. Maker organization Le FabShop has offered up an Instructables for 3D-printing your own customizable crossguard.
The handy makers over at Le FabShop watched the trailer, studied the controversy over the new lightsaber configuration and decided the best way to test the design was to make one. Even better, Le FabShop has created a modular lightsaber system. Once you print out all the parts, you can mix and match and swap them around to create a lightsaber that is uniquely yours. Bonus points: If you don't like the crossguard, you can just take it off.
The 3D printing files include lightsaber switches, a long telescopic laser, a short telescopic laser designed specifically for the crossguard, six lightsaber tips, grips, a belt clip and a connector for attaching the lightsaber bodies together. The files can be downloaded from Thingiverse.
Once you have your special Sith-y crossguard lightsaber, you can do some real-world tests to see just how practical and/or dangerous it might be. Take a few practice swipes. Imagine it's real. Do you accidentally bump into yourself with the little crossguard energy blades? Would you have lopped off a hand a la Luke Skywalker's battle with his dad, only it's your own? If you answer "Yes," then maybe you should stick with a regular lightsaber since you're clearly not ready for the ultimate power of a deadly crossguard.