Alex of Alex Lab is a master engineer. Now he’s striving to become a Jedi Master – and of course every Jedi Master must eventually build his own lightsaber, so of course Alex has done just that.
The lightsaber he built is strongly reminescent of Luke Skywalker’s, but with a few added features. First, the entire mechanism fits inside the handle, unlike other home inventors’ versions which require massive backpacks. It also has a pretty serious heat sink on the outside of it to dissipate the heat from the internal mechanism, and a flashback arrester, to keep the combustion of the hydroxy gas fuel from its cartridge from backing up through the feed conduit and turning the entire device into a small bomb.
Alex notes in the video that not having the correct flashback arrester will facilitate one of the favorite tricks of the Skywalker family, the sudden removal of a hand. You can see a clip of this almost happening in the video, there’s a loud bang, and he nearly drops the saber.
The science and engineering involved is substantial, and the lightsaber consists of four main sections: a gas storage system, a flow control system, an ignition system, and and the emitter itself, all of which has to be hand fabricated and assembled into the 11″ hilt. A good portion of the video is spent showing you how he made and assembled every single component, and he does it all without actually using the Force.
Well, he did use some force. Just not the midichlorian type.
Every component does something. None of it is for decorative purposes only. It’s a work of art. The blade itself is wild, untamed fury. It crackles and sputters as though it were a living thing, just as Kylo Ren’s saber does. Unfortunately the saber can only run about 30 seconds on a tank full of hydroxy gas, so if you’re going to duel with one of these, do it fast and make it count.
Is it the first self-contained lightsaber with a real burning blade of flame? No, it’s not, so Alex’s claim is true – from a certain point of view. It is, however, the first one that has this raucus, violent, nearly out of control blade capable of cutting holes in steel.
Alex will be making a PDF guide for manufacturing your own lightsaber to channel members of his YouTube channel soon. He’s also working on making the resulting plasma blade a bit more stable.
This is why we love sci-fi fandom, and Star Wars fandom in particular: it is an endless source of inspiration, and things that begin as daydreams become real with the application of skill and imagination.
What will you make?