Brad Lewis is a senior visual-effects artist at Bioware, where he spends much of his time working on Star Wars: The Old Republic. He's also the man behind Slothfurnace, a blog devoted to Lewis' other pastime — building remarkably detailed lightsaber replicas. His most recent project is a reproduction of the lightsaber Obi-Wan Kenobi wielded in Star Wars: A New Hope, a challenging endeavor he described in a recent interview with CNET.
Lewis' latest model, pictured above, is actually a more complex iteration of a saber he built earlier. Unlike its predecessor, this lightsaber is a "reveal" or detachable-blade version — something that's posed a major challenge to Lewis ever since he began building model sabers years ago. It doesn't function as a real weapon, of course, though the replica is incredibly faithful in design, with a Crystal Focus Saber Core that controls light and sound. Designed by Plecter Labs, this custom-built board endows the lightsaber with consistent brightness, vibration controls, and a host of sound and lighting effects.
The blade itself, meanwhile, is comprised of 84 bright blue LED lights, powered by two 18350 1200mAh 3.7V batteries. True to Star Wars form, Lewis even included an actual crystal in his design, lodging it in a brass chamber and surrounding it with his LED lights. Once illuminated, Lewis' "string blade" build maintains a consistent brightness from top to bottom, unlike most other custom-built sabers, which tend to be brighter at the base and dimmer at the top. All told, Lewis says he spent about a 18 months designing and building this lightsaber, with about 100 hours devoted to construction itself.