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Author Topic: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ  (Read 12053 times)

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Offline drysdalk

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Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« on: October 01, 2005, 08:30:18 AM »
I recently acquired a 2003 Luke ROTJ saber, and thought I'd post a review of it, since it seems to be one of the more overlooked and under-rated of the FX sabers out there. 

So, looking at the hilt first.  It is certainly unique, and very different from most of the others, which are based on Graflex or MPP flash tubes, with the exception of the Mace Windu AOTC.  The feel of it is very smooth and polished, and it sits very well in the hand.  It is very light and manoeuvrable, and twists and twirls and suchlike can be very easily performed.  It also seems to be much lighter than most other FX hilts.  Whether it really is lighter or just feels much lighter due to its simple, streamlined design I'm not honestly sure.

On the downside, the hilt is certainly not  the most accurate in terms of faithfully replicating the look of the original.  It is quite a bit bigger, and this is most noticeable at the neck.  The tapered, thin neck of the on-screen saber and the LE/SE hilts is not carried across to the FX.  Due to the amount of electronics that have to be crammed into it, and the necessity of securing the blade properly, the neck is much fatter than the actual on-screen saber.  But it is still thinner at the neck than elsewhere on the main body of the saber, and in all other respects it does faithfully resemble the actual saber hilt in terms of the design, look and feel.

Moving on to the actual behaviour of the saber.  The sounds are very loud and crisp, and surprisingly the power up, power down and idle hum seem identical to that used in the later Mace Windu AOTC FX.  The idle hum has the exact same stutter when it cycles around that the Mace does, and the power up and power down samples are also seemingly identical.  However, the sound is far louder than the Mace (which is notoriously quiet), and so even though it is an earlier saber than the Mace the sound of the Luke ROTJ is actually better.  It is much clearer, more vibrant and not of the same 'muted' character as that of the Mace.  The swinging and clash sounds are also loud and clear, and the overall motion and collision detection is about on a par with that of the Vader ANH FX.  This sound playback behaviour is also similar to the Vader ANH, however, in that if the direction of the saber changes mid-swing, for example, then the alternate swinging sound effect will start playing right away without waiting for the previous effect to finish.  This was the case in all sabers released up to this point, however, and so is not an issue unique to the Luke ROTJ.

On to the blade.  The blade in the 2003 Luke ROTJ is an EL (electro-luminescent) blade, and not the later LED technology.  This means that the blade does not have the same power-up/power-down effects that the later LED sabers have - when switched on, the entire blade lights at once rather than the light travelling quickly from the hilt to the tip.  Similarly, when switched off the entire blade snaps off at once when the sound-effects finish, rather than sliding back down into the hilt in time with them.  Interestingly, the blade does not have the 'fade out' effect that the original Anakin AOTC blade had - rather it simply snaps off sharply.  Perhaps people felt this was closer to the actual saber experience than fading out when switched off, or maybe there were other electronic reasons for not including this effect - who can say ?

The colour of the blade is the main sticking point that most people have with this saber, saying that it is more aqua blue than green.  I personally don't feel this to be the case.  Photographs almost never do this saber justice - true, in a photo it does invariably show up an aqua blue colour.  In person, however, the blade is indeed green, and does not have so much as a hint of blue to it.  It is also true that it is not the same shade of green as the on-screen saber Luke wields in ROTJ, but it is still clearly a definite green, though more of a lighter, apple/lime green than a strong, burning, deep green.  I have taken some photographs that don't honestly do the saber justice, but you can see them at the bottom of this review nonetheless.  The blade is also because of its EL technology not as bright as the later LED sabers, but it is certainly bright enough to cast an eerie green glow around a darkened room without any difficulty.

On a final note, a lot of people tend to think of the Anakin AOTC and Luke ROTJ as being of a similar design from a technology standpoint, since they are both EL sabers.  However, there are very large differences between them.  In particular, the wrap-around point of the EL sheet in the blade is just a faint line in the Luke, and not the glaring crack/tear that it looks like in the Anakin.  As already mentioned, the sounds of the Luke are vibrant, crisp and clear, and there is more than one swinging/clash sound.  The biggest design difference, though, is the battery compartment.  The Luke has the more modern compartment found from the Vader ANH onwards - you only have to unscrew the pommel and slide out the battery holder, rather than practically dismantle the entire thing to get at the batteries as you had to do with the Anakin AOTC.  So it really is very different from the Anakin - I generally recommend not thinking of it as Generation 1, but rather as a Generation 2 with an EL rather than LED blade, since aside from the type of blade it is from a technology standpoint just as good as say, the Vader ANH.

So, that's more or less that.  I feel this is a greatly under-appreciated saber, and would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone.  It has a green blade, a hilt that looks as close as the technology of the day permitted to Luke's saber in ROTJ, and sounds that are just as good, if not better, than some of the later sabers (the Mace AOTC in particular).  So if you have been thinking about getting one, don't be put off by the tales of a blue blade or oversized hilt - it is, in my opinion at least, a very worthwhile purchase.



Full size: http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j248/drysdalk/LUKE-ROTJ-1.jpg


Full size: http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j248/drysdalk/LUKE-ROTJ-2.jpg
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 05:01:42 PM by drysdalk »
---
My lightsaber collection:
2003 Vader ANH
2005 Mace AOTC
2005 Anakin ROTS
2003 Luke ROTJ
2002 Anakin AOTC
2006 Obi-Wan ROTS

Offline Bandit-Jedi

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2005, 09:08:11 AM »
Awesome Review

and I agree with you on many points.

I strongly agree with you on the designation of the technological differences between the Luke and AOTC Anakin.  I consider the ROTJ Luke to be the only Gen 2 saber out of the total 4 Generations.  But it seems that most people don't know about such differences and have designated the sabers incorrectly. 
I love my Luke ROTJ, its the most comfortable saber to hold and wield.  I like the placement of the on/off switch which makes it near to impossible to accidentily activate or deactivate.
I can't wait to get the new LED version and compare the two!

May The Force FX Be With You!


Offline benlurkin

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2005, 09:36:05 AM »
I've got to agree as well, very good descriptions of the real color of the el, and everything else really.  It made me think of something else, have you noticed that the ROTJ Luke really holds the light, that is to say, even after it is off it has a bit of a glow?  Try turning it on and off in the dark, is kinda cool.

Offline PLO KOON

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #3 on: October 01, 2005, 09:45:07 AM »
Nice review drysdalk...this would give some insight to the Luke ROTJ i'm getting in November... (or earlier hopefully)

Offline trexy

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #4 on: October 01, 2005, 09:48:26 AM »
thats a very good positive review of the luke rotj :)



 

Offline drysdalk

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #5 on: October 01, 2005, 10:03:18 AM »
Thanks - I'm glad people have found this to be useful and/or informative.  It certainly will be interesting to compare what people have to say about the new LED version when it finally arrives.
---
My lightsaber collection:
2003 Vader ANH
2005 Mace AOTC
2005 Anakin ROTS
2003 Luke ROTJ
2002 Anakin AOTC
2006 Obi-Wan ROTS

Offline benlurkin

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2005, 10:03:23 PM »
With any luck, should be within a couple of weeks!

Offline Nightmare

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2005, 06:44:25 PM »
mine just came today and I couldn't be more happy about it.
I agree with your review, the blade is actually green and not blue at all
at first when I saw pics of I thought it was blueish, but there is 1
pic that does  do it justice

and it is this one



My FX Lightsaber Collection:
2002 Anakin AOTC
Two 2003 Luke ROTJ
2005 Anakin ROTS
2005 Vader ESB
Two 2005 Luke ROTJ
2005 Mace ROTS

Offline Wat-Gav Martra

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2005, 07:46:20 PM »
See thats the problem it always ends up looking blue in pictures. It looks nothing like that, in the pic it looks spearmint blue but its actually a light aqua green.
Luke ROTJ FX Lightsaber: £89.99
Star Wars OT Boxset: £29.99
Fighting for the Light Side: Priceless
(Borrowed(Stole) this idea from Dark Skywalker)

Offline benlurkin

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #9 on: October 04, 2005, 12:08:40 AM »
Every few times I see such a blue picture it makes me go get my ROTJ off my rack just to look at the real color and remind myself what it really is.

Offline Bandit-Jedi

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #10 on: October 04, 2005, 10:39:50 AM »
mine just came today and I couldn't be more happy about it.
I agree with your review, the blade is actually green and not blue at all
at first when I saw pics of I thought it was blueish, but there is 1
pic that does  do it justice

and it is this one





Hee hee, im glad you appreciate my picture!

May The Force FX Be With You!


Offline trexy

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #11 on: October 04, 2005, 11:08:20 AM »
th aqua color makes it look blue



 

Offline Nightmare

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2005, 02:48:28 PM »
I found something weird if you take the Luke ROTJ ignite it and put it
next to a Vader also ignited, and then take a pic, the Luke will show up the
actual color or even greener. I took a photo of this but it was to large to post.
My FX Lightsaber Collection:
2002 Anakin AOTC
Two 2003 Luke ROTJ
2005 Anakin ROTS
2005 Vader ESB
Two 2005 Luke ROTJ
2005 Mace ROTS

Offline benlurkin

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2005, 03:15:05 PM »
I see what you mean Nightmare:



I think that looks much closer to the real color.

Offline trexy

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Re: Review: 2003 Luke ROTJ
« Reply #14 on: December 21, 2005, 02:20:04 AM »
It doesnt look greener??



 

 

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