Being a fan of Star Wars since I was about… 5, I was really excited to add yet another lightsaber to my collection and even more so to build it using ‘official’ parts (Over the years, I have crafted many lightsabers from various materials). I could go into more detail, but we’re not here for my history with Star Wars, we’re here for the Savi’s Workshop experience…so let’s get on with it:
I made the conscious decision not to take photos or video during the show or build. So sorry for the lack of visual help, but I wanted to be in the moment for the whole thing and there’s dozens of videos on YouTube you can look at if you ever want to see the show. I will say if you are looking to do this, AVOID the videos, let yourself really enjoy the show with fresh eyes.
I get there roughly 15 minutes before the build starts and they immediately ask me which version of Lightsaber I want to build (for those that don’t know, there’s 4 “sets” to choose from. I’ve been contemplating this since I decided to do this months ago, but still didn’t know. I was hoping to study the flyer they have sitting out for a little bit to make a decision, but since it’s small class, they’re already getting everyone ready to go in and so I must make a choice immediately.
I went with Protection and Defense and they give me a pin to signify what I got and a colored card.
Immediately I’m let into the waiting area and then we’re off to the actual building area. Somehow, I ended up being in front of the line so the CM asks me to knock on the door to be let into the room. After a quick check to make sure there’s no little ones who would be more apt to do so, I proceed. It’s kinda weird cause all I knew to do was knock on the door like I would anywhere else. I would’ve preferred a CM do it and have it be a sort of a “secret” knock.
We file in and there’s only 4 builders. There’s also 4 CMs in there, which is the standard crew for this show and they are to help those who get stuck in construction to build the lightsabers. We’re instructed to wear our pins we were given (why, I do not know, as this will be the only time they are referenced.)
The show begins and our lead gatherer begins his speech. It’s perfectly synced with the music of the room, and as far as I can tell, no one is hitting buttons so there’s little to no room for adlibing(which is unfortunate). When he mentions the lightsaber, it goes into the Force theme (aka twin suns theme, Luke’s theme), when he details the Kyber crystals, the room changes color and the music goes in a mystic tone.
After he finishes detailing the crystals, we are to close our eyes and think about what color we want, while we do that, the CMs have moved to in front of us with cylinders of crystals. These cylinders are wonderfully detailed for the amount of show they are given. Each of the crystals are lit up and it’s reminiscent of gems in 7DMT.
The guy to my right plucks a red one and I choose a green. As we pull the crystals from their place in the cylinder they immediately stop glowing. We are instructed to place our crystal on the table in it’s dedicated spot while the Lead Gatherer finishes his speech about lightsabers and Jedi and what not.
Soon as he announces it’s time to build, a CM appears in front of each of us. Now, you would think this would be a good thing, that we each are getting our own CM so we are going to get personalized instruction but this is actually a bit problematic when they don’t have anything else to focus on. Especially the CM I got.
He walks up, and stares at me with the seriousness of a funeral and says “My name is JT and I’m honored to be with you on your lightsaber building journey.”
Sort of taken aback by the seriousness of his tone, I said simply “thanks.” And he immediately takes my colored card that was laying on the table and drops below the counter and reappears with the Protection and Defense lightsaber pieces and places them in front of me. He also pulls one of the same type and sets it front of him.
He begins his own speech about what each pieces are. The core, the top handle, the bottom handle, the actuation plate, the emitter, and the pommel. Never indicating that the top and bottom handles are interchangeable (which they are). In fact, he even stressed which ones were the top and which were the bottom parts.
He tells me to insert the crystal into the core. This was actually a little more tricky that I’d like to admit because it’s open on both sides. If it was more of a type of “battery” style chamber (where there’s a wall on the one side), it would’ve been far easier.
Once I finally got the crystal in place, he instructed me to build the saber in a certain order. Activation plate, top handle, bottom handle, emitter, and pommel. Outside of the activation plate being first, there’s really no order that needs to be followed. But I did as I was instructed, I went with my gut and chose my pieces. In my particular case of my lightsaber, I wanted to make sure the activation switch wasn’t easily switched off when “in use”. I have had this problem in the past with lightsabers. I chose an activation plate where the switch was almost flush with the hilt itself. It was the most important part of my lightsaber construction.
Without being able to second guess anything though, as soon as I finished and began inspecting my hilt, he took the left over pieces away and stowed them below the counter. This was the part I really didn’t like. I wanted the opportunity to be left alone and really experiment with the combinations. Instead, JT here kept watching me like a hawk and felt like he was impatiently waiting for me to finish up so we could move onto the next stage.
And to the next stage we arrived. I set my completed hilt on its stand and was asked to put my hand over it to “feel the bond” of the lightsaber with myself or something along those lines. It’s kinda at this point I’m thinking Han had a point with the Blaster line.
After only a moment of that, we’re asked to take a step back and the CMs connected the hilts to the counters and we’re asked to reapproach the counter and the Lead Gatherer continues into his final speech and is interrupted by yoda’s voice. Again, perfectly synced. And the line from Yoda differs slightly from the Disneyland version(or at least the YouTube versions I’ve seen) and it’s a little less cringe.
We’re asked to ignite our lightsabers and lift them into the air. There’s a few more lines, but nothing nearly as impactful as the end to Trials of the Jedi Academy.
And then we departed.
Overall, I liked it, but I did feel it was very rushed given the circumstances. What should have been a very personal experience felt like it was an appointment wedged in where it shouldn’t have been. Had this been a full class where the CMs were busy checking on everyone instead of just us 4, I think it would’ve been a far better time as we would’ve been able to really get to know our options of hilt pieces and what combinations we could achieve. I don’t know if you can adjust your appointment if it’s looking like a small class, but if you can, I would definitely suggest doing it. Keep in mind, while I didn’t have a bad time, I just would’ve liked to feel a little less pressure. Who knows, might’ve been completely in my head.
The show itself is phenomenal, I was grinning the whole time, even if this did slightly deviate from the original lore (original lore had Jedi either find or create their own crystals and then use whatever parts around them at the time or fit their personality. “Gatherers” weren’t a thing.) and the detailing of the room was wonderful from the melted candles, to the lighting, to the way the lightsaber blades are hidden in the counter. Truly top notch. And high marks to the cast who hit their mark in the speech with the music so it perfectly synced up the whole way through.
I also am very impressed with the lightsaber itself for the most part. I love that the blade is detachable, different Kyber crystals produce slightly different sounds and obviously different colors, the blade flashes yellow upon impact, and the weight of the hilt is no joke.
That said, there is a slight pitfall when it comes to the blade but it’s mostly a limitation of the LEDs. Violet and Red you can see the “LED ribbon” in the blade when lit. This is a common “thing” you can see when you light up the cheaper $40 ones that they sell everywhere. It’s not super bright either. This could be an issue with the batteries in my lightsaber already low (yes, I have 2 crystals, don’t make it a thing) and I’ll have to see once my lightsaber reaches my house later this week or next.
And speaking of that, shipping for the lightsaber is pretty easy. I didn’t want to bring it on the flight because flying right now is a pain as it is, so I decided to ship it. It’s $18 (after tax) for ground shipping and $39 for expedited air. I chose the ground shipping. I’ll update later on how they ended up packaging it up.