Let’s be honest, the Coronavirus ruined 2020 for everyone. I had to postpone my wedding and reschedule my honeymoon. I also lost my job. I had tickets for a Retro Replay photo op and Retro Replay Live, which were both canceled. I had plans to go to Vancouver BC in August for a Stargate convention (Gatecon.com) that was postponed until 2021. It’s been tough to find a new job and my mental health has been struggling.
The honeymoon plan for me and my fiancé Rachel was Disney World and Universal Studios in Florida. Though cases of COVID were up in Florida, both parks had strict rules on masks and distancing. The safety protocols were enough for us to decide we would go on this trip. Not only did we need something to look forward to, we needed something to let us forget about how absolutely horrible the state of the world is.
Anyone who knows me knows that I love Star Wars. But, I’m not one of those people who has always loved it or even knows everything about it. I started watching Star Wars about 10 years ago and I was instantly obsessed. From the costumes to the special effects, Star Wars was incredible to me. In the years leading up to the opening of Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland and Disney World, I could barely contain my excitement. When we planned our honeymoon, I was ecstatic that I would finally get to visit the planet of Batuu and get to build a lightsaber at Savi’s Workshop.
While we were planning to celebrate my birthday on our trip, I was more looking forward to the time I would get to spend at Galaxy’s Edge. Upon arrival, I was holding back tears. The joy I felt was unfathomable. The attention to detail really made me feel like I was a part of the Star Wars universe. Finally getting the chance to pilot the Millennium Falcon on Smuggler’s Run and getting to help save the Rebels on Rise of the Resistance was a dream come true. And last but certainly not least was the most exciting experience, becoming a true Jedi by building my very own lightsaber.
Peace and Justice, salvaged scraps from fallen Jedi temples and crashed starships in these Republic-era designs honor the galaxy’s former guardians.
Power and Control, originally forged by dark side warriors, this style features rumored remnants from the Sith homeworld and abandoned temples.
Elemental Nature, this theme embodies the Force - an energy created by all living things, like Brylark trees, Cartusion whale bones, and Rancor teeth.
Protection and Defense, these materials bear mysterious motifs and inscriptions that reconnect users with the ancient wellspring of the Force.
I had a hard time deciding on my theme. I was torn between Peace and Justice and Protection and Defense. I ultimately decided on Peace and Justice, due to the way the pieces looked. To me, they felt like the best choice. Once we were called into Savi’s Workshop, we were given a workspace to stand at. The room is full of a handful of Gatherers, a group of lightsaber-building experts who have traveled the galaxy collecting parts and relics.
Blue: like that of Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, and Rey
Green: like that of Qui-Gon Jinn, Ahsoka Tano, Luke Skywalker, and Yoda
Violet: like that of Mace Windu
Red: like that of Darth Maul, Darth Vader, and Kylo Ren
Going into the experience, I was trying to decide between blue and green for my Kyber Crystal. Since I didn’t have a lot of time to make a decision once the Gatherers were walking around with the selections of crystals, I hastily opted for blue. I feel as though I made the right choice, however. We were instructed to insert the crystal into our hilt, where they lit up briefly. I was given the tray of parts to choose from and started to construct it. I was surprised at how heavy the pieces were.
Once my hilt was complete, I handed it off to a Gatherer, who inserted it into the stabilization chamber. This part of the experience still makes me tear up when I think about it: The lead Gatherer then asks the builders to step forward, place their hands on their hilts and activate the lightsabers for the first time. The chambers open, and everyone lifts their lightsabers to the sky. A quick message from Master Yoda played, and I was officially a Jedi. I was given a sheath on the way out the door, and I headed next door to Dok Ondor’s for a little extra shopping. I bought 3 additional Kyber Crystals: green, violet, and yellow, which are unavailable during the build process. I was able to have my lightsaber shipped home from there, where it would arrive shortly after we returned from our trip.
I cannot begin to explain what this experience meant to me, and having a memento like a lightsaber I was able to personally construct is something I will never forget. This trip was exactly what Rachel and I both needed. While wearing masks in the Florida heat was less than ideal, being able to go on this vacation was an incredible experience. In total, we rode 86 rides and walked over 100 miles. Our feet were thankful to get back home and start up a two-week quarantine, and our cats were definitely grateful to have us home again. Going on vacation mid-pandemic was definitely interesting, but I hope my next vacation can go back to normal.
What lightsaber hilt and Kyber Crystal color would you choose?