At last we shall have revenge......of the Sith with the release of the Darth Maul Force FX lightsaber from Master Replicas.
Along with everyone else in the known Star Wars fandom, I was highly anticipating the release of the Darth Maul(DM) Force FX(FFX). I did not jump on the pre-order bandwagon as I decided I should be patient and wait for the right time. Mostly knowing that the first runs of a saber usually aren’t as well done as the later runs. I learned my lesson from that when I preordered the Anakin AOTC saber.* So 2 months after its actual release I went ahead and put my order in for the Full DM FFX(double-bladed), knowing full well I wouldn’t be satisfied having only 1 Battle-Damaged saber to toy around with and also because I wanted the cool looking “double” box.
Only 2 weeks of waiting and my saber arrived to me in its usual brown box, but not so usual size. Thus the review begins...
*see Anakin AOTC reviewTHE SABER OUT OF THE BOXhttp://img67.imageshack.us/img67/1509/hpim0942a5fv.jpghttp://img67.imageshack.us/img67/3167/hpim0950a1dy.jpg
Packaged in the usual plastic sleeve and foam protective pieces the saber took some wrangling to get out. It seems to be a very tight fit in the styrofoam.(note: initial review of only half saber)
Once I had it out and in my hand I was very taken with the weight of it. I could indeed feel more of the weight of the blade than of the hilt. http://img67.imageshack.us/img67/5106/hpim0973a9jq.jpg
The design of the saber is dead-on to the weapon that we see Darth Maul wield in Episode I. The finish is exquisite. Resembling the finish of the Luke Skywalker ROTJ FFX, but in a more refined prequel style.http://img67.imageshack.us/img67/5254/hpim0952a5zu.jpg
The Battery Holder for the DM saber is a NEW generation 3xAAA holder. The use of a new AAA holder makes this saber 5th Generation.*http://img138.imageshack.us/img138/3541/hpim0953a0ke.jpg
The Endcap for the saber is in a Battle-Damaged form. The 2006 Lucasfilm and Master Replicas copyright stamping, along with “made in China”The detailing is very close to what was seen on the LE replica while still incorporating sound emitting holes for the sound fx.http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/9949/hpim09543eu.jpg
Note the detail on the burned wires coming from the assembly. Painted Copper and then the tips brushed with black for that “sliced by a lightsaber” look. The wires are actually part of the plastic “crystal” assembly used as an accent for the endcap. If you were to remove the crystal, which you can by loosening 3 screws, then the wires would come out with it.http://img296.imageshack.us/img296/1124/hpim0974a3qm.jpg
The On/Off switch for the DM saber is the Anodized Red Knurled Knob that is near the Emitter. It doesn’t take much movement of the knob to activate only about a 10 degree turn.http://img385.imageshack.us/img385/97/hpim0958a7ky.jpg
The majority of the saber is the exposed milled aluminum that has an elegant luster and a cold touch to it. Also note the faux LED and the hexnut detailing.
There are some sections of the saber that are painted a Bright Silver to accent certain aspects of the design. http://img214.imageshack.us/img214/2015/hpim0957a4da.jpg
The first being the “arrow-feather” section of the saber. These longitudinal angled accents add a bit of flare to the end of the saber near the emitter. Helping to make it look wider than it actually is so the design flows better with the oversized milled rings of the emitter.http://img233.imageshack.us/img233/1988/hpim0955a4ef.jpghttp://img54.imageshack.us/img54/6301/hpim0960a5zy.jpg
The second section being the center or “adaptor” which is also painted a Bright Silver. The adaptor is very well designed for one to manipulate to make the buttons of the saber line up. I had it on and alighed in less than a minute using the included Allen wrench.http://img54.imageshack.us/img54/2594/hpim0959a0lq.jpghttp://img230.imageshack.us/img230/3929/hpim0977a3aa.jpg
One aspect of the original weapon design that I was hoping the FFX would retain are the rubber rings that are placed at 5 locations on the saber hilt. With the FFX we only get 4 out of the 5 being actual rubber “o” rings. Something to note about these is that many LE owners have had an issue of the rubber degrading and the rings splitting and coming apart. Hopefully we will not have that problem with the FFX rings since it was designed to be held and used.
*See Lightsaber Variation List
in Lightsaber ForumTHE SABER IGNITED
In Normal Room Light
In Low Room Light
In Full DarknessWORKING REVIEW
When I first picked up the half or battle-damaged saber the first thing I noticed was the covertech clip was in the way of my grip.
Not a big problem since it could be removed with a few turns of a screwdriver. I also noticed what many others have stated about the weight of the saber being mostly in the blade. I can only surmise that the Darth Maul being designed mainly as a Double Bladed saber some concessions had to be made in the weight department, throwing off the weight of a half saber. Once again, not a worry since I would mostly be using the DM FFX in its Full form.
The size of the Full Maul takes some getting use to. At 7ft 4inches from tip to tip, this is definitely an outside saber. Unless you have an open gymnasium or auditorium for you to swing this deadly saber around in. It takes a bit of strength to get the saber moving into a spin but once you get it going it is a Force to be reckoned with.
The On/Off switch is not that easy to turn on at first. Im sure with some use, it may loosen up a bit but it takes quite a bit of tension to get the button to move. I also noticed that the material used for the On/Off button is different from the nonfuctional red button on the saber.
You can see that the On/Off switch has a "flat" reflection to the face of it. Whereas the non-functional one has a "stereo" reflection to the face of the button.
The Blade is a very bright Red. With the use of a semi-tinted diffuser we get a deeper Red than the Vader TESB version
The Sound, although reused from the previous Sith sabers is still well done. The ingnition is loud and crisp. The idle hum of the Full Maul definitely sets it apart. The overlapping sounds give this saber its own uniqueness. There are Four motion activated sound effects(slow buzz, fast buzz, slash and double-slash) that are well calibrated and not as easily activated like some past sabers. The deactivation,as with the Vader, begins about a second before the blade begins to deactivate.THE BOX
For those that want a closer look at the Full Maul Box
Comparison to normal size FFX box.
Weapon story on box:
“Forged as a hateful living weapon by Darth Sidious, the evil Sith Apprentice Darth Maul had but one goal: to exact his Master’s revenge on the Jedi order...
Now, with this incredible Darth Maul double-bladed Force FX Lightsaber, You can relive all the thrills of Darth Maul’s sneak attack on Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn on the hot desert sands of Tatooine, or plunge headlong into combat against two Jedi Knights in the heart of the Theed Royal Palace.
Bring home the adventure and excitement of the dark warrior Darth Maul’s unforgettable battles with this amazing replica.”
I’m very excited with this saber. Being a fan of Maul since the release of Episode I, I am very pleased with the outcome of this FFX. It is very well done and executed. Even though the sounds seem to be reused from the previous Sith sabers, that is really not a big deal to me. Just the fact that it HAS sounds is enough. The sounds are a bit muted with the saber in Full mode, but it is a small sacrifice to be able to FINALLY wield a double-bladed lightsaber. Speaking of the Full Maul, what a wonder it is to finally hold the weapon of such a dangerous Sith in my hands. Holding it out in front of myself brings me back to the moment when we see Maul ignite his Full saber before he goes into battle with those two pesky Jedi.
Realistically, the saber is missing TWO vital components. One being the Qui-Gon Jinn FFX and the other being the Obi-Wan FFX from The Phantom Menace. So, Master Replicas we come to you. I ask you to complete our Darth Maul sabers for us....no, I BEG you to complete our Darth Maul sabers for us!Bonus Pics
No true test of the Darth Maul Force FX would be complete without Maul himself giving it a go!