Detail from a rare publicity photo.
Photo: Jim Fowler
(Note: All the photos above are post and pre-production photos. For filming, the top of the flashgun was turned 180 degrees.)
This lightsaber originally belonged to Anakin Skywalker and was passed on to his son Luke by Obi-Wan Kenobi. It is of course made from the most well known Star Wars prop part, a Graflex 3-cell camera flash. This antique flash mounted on the side of a Graflex large format camera commonly carried by press photographers in the 1940's.
Graflex 3-Cell Flash Gun
Seven 3 5/8" long black handgrips were added to the bottom half of the flash. The exact identity of the grip material has yet to be determined, but recent revelations suggest hard black plastic T-track from old cupboards with sliding doors.
(Note: It was previously believed that the Skywalker saber had six grips due to the limited reference available and that Icons made their replica with six grips. This was recently proven incorrect. The Skywalker ESB version however does have six grips.)
In the middle of the flash is the mounting clamp that attached to the camera. Slid into this clamp is a Light Emitting Diode display bubble type lens from a vintage calculator. These lenses are 2 inch long clear strips with a row of convex lenses referred to as "bubbles" to magnify the glowing red LED numbers. The lenses used on the lightsaber props had seven bubbles. Very few calculators have 7 bubble lenses so far only two models are known, the Exactra 19 and the Exactra 20. These were introduced by Texas Instruments in 1974 and are referred to as 6 digit displays (only six of the spaces are used for numbers, the leftmost is for modifiers like a negative sign).
Texas Instruments Exactra 20 interior detail
Photo: Justin of World Famous Comics
The D-ring assembly on the bottom of the lightsaber was probably a single screw mount design common on many products of the time. It's unknown exactly how it was attached either by screw or rivet. It was mounted so that the D-ring hinged at the center of the flash bottom.
Type of D-ring Assembly Used
Part from EDC Studios
Note: The previous D-ring assembly we listed here was incorrect. That assembly matched the design used on the Icons replica Skywalker lightsaber, but not the one on the real prop. It seems Icons copied a D-ring assembly from a picture frame kit due to lack of reference for the real prop.
Click Here for Lightsaber Grip Spacing Templates
in the Downloads Section