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7Chambers x Veracity Labs MoM of all Heroes Gen2

“I am a Jedi, like my father before me.”

In a galaxy far, far away, the legacy of the iconic artifacts that have left an indelible mark on popular culture, none shine brighter than the lightsabers wielded by the Jedi and Sith. Among these, Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber from “Return of the Jedi” holds a special place, even though its on-screen prominence was overshadowed by its siblings.

One of the early deleted scenes from the movie occurs shortly after Darth Vader proposes that Moff Jerjerrod discover innovative methods to motivate the workers on Death Star II. The scene transitions to Vader inside his meditation chamber, a shot repurposed from The Empire Strikes Back, as he reaches out to Luke using the Force. Meanwhile, Luke and R2-D2 are safely situated within a cave on Tatooine. Inside the cave, Luke is busy constructing his new lightsaber with a green blade, eventually passing it to his faithful astromech droid. However, in the final version of the film, the audience’s first glimpses of Tatooine feature C-3PO and R2-D2 progressing toward Jabba’s Palace.

Deleted Cave Scene (Source: Return of the Jedi Despecialized Edition with Deleted Scenes)

The Evolution of a Prop: Luke’s ROTJ Lightsaber

Today, we embark on a journey to unravel the mystique of Luke’s ROTJ Hero Lightsaber and explore its fascinating history, from its inception to its current status as a cherished exhibit.

While the V2 and V3 lightsabers took center stage in “Return of the Jedi,” Luke’s ROTJ Hero Lightsaber occupies a unique position in Star Wars lore. While it might not have enjoyed as much screen time as its counterparts, it has earned its place as an “official” lightsaber in the LucasFilm canon. This distinction stems from its appearances in various exhibitions and its eventual journey to becoming a part of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.

The Magic of Myth Exhibition: 1997-2003

The enigmatic lightsaber made its first public appearance in “The Magic of Myth” exhibition, which ran from 1997 to 2003. This exhibit provided fans with an up-close and personal look at a wide array of Star Wars memorabilia, prop replicas, and concept art. The ROTJ Hero Lightsaber stood out as a symbol of Luke Skywalker’s journey and his pivotal role in the saga.

The Art of Star Wars Exhibition: 2005-2006

Continuing its tour across the galaxy, the ROTJ Hero Lightsaber made its way to “The Art of Star Wars” exhibition from 2005 to 2006. This exhibit delved into the creative process behind the Star Wars universe, showcasing original artworks, production designs, and iconic props. Luke’s lightsaber, with its intricate details and rich history, became a focal point for attendees seeking to connect with the magic of the movies.

Star Wars Identities Exhibition: 2012-2021

The legacy of Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber continued to thrive as it graced the “Star Wars Identities” exhibition from 2012 to 2021. This unique exhibit explored the psychology of Star Wars characters and their identities, allowing visitors to engage deeply with the franchise’s beloved heroes and villains.

The Future Home: Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

As the lightsaber traveled from one exhibition to another, it captivated generations of Star Wars enthusiasts, becoming a symbol of hope, heroism, and the battle between light and dark. Its journey, however, is far from over. The ROTJ Hero Lightsaber is set to find its permanent residence at the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, a testament to its cultural significance and enduring appeal.

For those interested, these deleted scenes from Return of the Jedi can be accessed on Disney+ under the “Extras” section, where you’ll also discover an original trailer for the movie.

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