I was walking through the antique store with my wife and I saw a stack of vintage cameras. I always go through the old cameras and see if there’s something I want for my collection. And then I saw it…and I knew I had to have it…

heiland flash gun sci fi photo gear

You see, a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away…prop masters were trying to build a science fiction ‘laser sword’ and they chose an old ‘flash gun’ to build off of…

That’s right, the Star Wars light saber originated as a piece of photographic equipment. The two originals (Obi-Wan’s and Darth Vader’s) were made from Heiland 3-cell flash ‘guns’.

lightsaber flash gun

The choice made perfect sense since the prop folks could screw a ‘blade’ into the top of the tube, and after removing the original attachments, more sci-fi looking pieces could easily be plugged into their place.

Fans have since scoured antique malls and estate sales snagging up all the Heiland 3-cell flashes they can find to make their own personal light sabers. Prices for one of these rare items on Ebay and Etsy, BEFORE being modified, typically run around $300…

heiland flash light saber flash gun

So, when I saw that $10 price tag, I had to snatch it up.

But now the question remains, do I leave it as it is? Or do I build my own light saber? And if I do, which one do I make? Vader or Obi-Wan?

So many possibilities…

Tell me, nerdy photogs! Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.


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