MY DARTH VADER LIGHTSABERS
Darth Vader's lightsaber had changes made to it over the original trilogy, with the change in Return of the Jedi being the most significant.
Vader sabers in Ep. IV were most likely built from a British camera flashgun called the MPP. Here's is a shot of Vader's saber from Ep. IV (picture courtesy of Parts of Star Wars):
Here's my Vader saber made from an MPP-replica:
OK, OK, so I have to move the clamp up a bit and angle the clamp lever a bit more.. :)
Lastly, here's the latest addition to the family - my "Mini-Vader"!! :)
It was once thought that there were probably two versions of Vader sabers used in The Empire Strikes Back. The first (and main) version was built from a British camera flashgun called the MPP, similar to those used in Ep. IV:
The other version that was thought to have been used was based on the King Sol flashgun, because of what looked like a button sticking out of the side which you can see from the following screen shots, taken from the actual movie (the Carbonite freezing chamber scene):
The latest discovery amongst Star Wars prop fans is that that is actually not a button, but wires sticking out of an MPP!! Some people aren't 100% convinced yet though, but it's probably the case that the ESB was not based on a King Sol, but on an MPP!!
So, comparing to the ANH version, not many changes were made for The Empire Strikes Back. It is believed that the same saber was used, with the following changes made:
Giving you this:
(Sorry for the poor quality of the pics. I'll try to take some better ones once I have time.)
This version was actually made out of the saber that Luke used in ESB, as it was rumoured that they lost all the MPP sabers between ESB and ROTJ! (Remember Luke uses a new saber in ROTJ so he they don't need his ESB one anymore.) The saber is therefore actually based on a Graflex flashgun, which was what Luke's ANH and ESB sabers were based upon (you can even still see the drill holes left from Luke's saber).
The one you see below is my old saber that I no longer have anymore. it was built by SinkTubeJedi (thanks, Brian!).
Recently, I finally got hold of a superb all-metal conversion kit from Obi1Kenny (the Elvis Trooper!), which is the most accurate out there to date. I'll be using it (plus some other parts and pieces from Yodashouse and others) to convert my spare (and real) Graflex. Obi1Kenny graciously helped me to drill the holes etc. on the top shell too. I now have to get some of the parts painted before assembly (as well as some minor modifications to enhance accuracy), but here's the kit and some 'mock-ups' showing what it would look like:
Notice that almost everything is placed assymmetrically, just like the original prop! Once I finish with it, I believe it'll be one of the most accurate and best quality Vader ROTJ sabers out there!!