I have recently come to realize that my daughters’ obsession with Harry Potter magic wands can be justified … simply because I found these Star Wars lightsabers utterly irresistible 😉
Yeah, I know, it’s downright silly 😉
My debut as a lightsaber owner was in late October last year, and happened as we walked out of the Star Tours attraction in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For some reason the gift shop was littered with Star Wars items including, but not limited to, a sizeable collection of replica lightsabers, every single one of them a Darth Vader model.
Apparently all the other models (Anakin, Luke Skywalker and Mace Windu) had sold out almost immediately, were impossible to come by, and they were stuck selling the least popular one for the rest of eternity. I almost felt sorry for them, but it wasn’t sympathy that made me walk out with one. I just had to have it.
I must admit I didn’t grab one and declared it mine right away. I strongly suspected that it wouldn’t fit in the suitcase, and I’ve read all sorts of horror stories about people trying to bring these on planes as carry-on luggage. But having weighed for and against for a bit, I decided to go for it.
Bringing it home
I’m always right about the wrong things. The saber, even without the box, was just one inch too long to go in the suitcase diagonally. Or any other direction for that matter. Bummer. It would have to be carry-on, and I feared the worst; that I’d end up pinned to the airport floor by a half dozen TSA agents, with a Glock pressed hard against my temple, safety off, and a hairy voice in my ear demanding to know what on Earth had possessed me to try to bring a weapon aboard an airplane in the United States of We Do Not Allow Weapons On Our Planes.
A couple of phone calls later I was a little more optimistic. The guy at Continental Airlines wasn’t altogether certain what a lightsaber is supposed to be (what planet have you been on the last 34 years?), but since I described it as a toy he figured that even the most anal of TSA agents would probably see reason or, at worst, even if they didn’t I would most likely *not* be held at gunpoint, although if they disapproved I might have to relinquish my weapon and go home without it. There was hope after all. Next, the guy on the phone at TSA was not only well versed in the lore of lightsabers, but he demanded to know where I’d got it because he wanted one too. “Do bring it,” he said, “and don’t be shy if they want to see how it works. The only possible problem I foresee is that the flight crew may want to hang on to it, so make sure you get it off the plane after you land”.
When I went through airport security nobody as much as batted an eyelid, let alone spoke a word about it. So much for untamed excitement; I was actually disappointed. The upside was that, aside from leaving USA on a surprisingly blizzardy day and nearly getting stuck at Newark airport, there was no problem getting it home to Norway.
Today, two and a half months later, I came across something rather unexpected: At a nearby supermarket, 7436 km (4620 miles as the Google Map flies) from where I bought the first, I encounter another lightsaber, staring affordably at me from a box amidst Transformers and Barbie dolls. But if it’s supposed to be so rare, so unobtainable, what is it doing here? It’s the same manufacturer, same series, but not the same model. What I’m looking at is the one that belonged to Darth Vader’s son, Luke Skywalker. How can I not buy this? The answer is simple: I can’t not buy this. Keeping these two apart would just be wrong. So now all of a sudden I have gone from lightsaber owner to lightsaber collector.
Who knows, maybe a future paycheck may bring home a third?
And whenever my daughters talk passionately about their Harry Potter wands and other merchandise, I won’t say a word 😉
To be technical, these are not the famous Force FX sabers offered by ThinkGeek, but a slightly cheaper variety by Ultimate FX. The hilts are made from plastic, whereas Force FX use metal, and the blade is supposed to be sturdier because it’s made from softer materials that are more likely to survive a sword fight than their more expensive counterparts … within reasonable limits. They are however supposed to be the exact same design and size.