Man fashions duel-ready lightsabbers for Jedi Master wannabes

Hidden amid a cluster of HDB flatted factories in Geylang East is a weapon-making forge.

But this forge does not produce guns, missiles or bombs.

Instead, it churns out hundreds of replica Star Wars lightsabers for wannabe Jedi Knights or Sith Lords.

Quoting the cult film series, aficionados will say that a lightsaber is "an elegant weapon for a more civilised age".

To the proprietor of Kit Sabers, Mr Kit Woo, the hundreds of lightsabers that sit in his cluttered office are the result of a hobby that has "consumed" his life.

Says Mr Woo, 37: "I started out trying to make one for myself out of some plastic pipes by following some online tutorials five years ago.

"I never thought that people would start asking about them, and then eventually buy them from me."

He has sold more than 500 handcrafted lightsabers to both local and international customers.

Each costs between $100 and $400, depending on the level of customisation and the materials used.

Compared to the officially licensed replicas, his lightsabers are designed by him or his customer and are made for duelling.

Each one takes an average of a month to make as Mr Woo has to design and source for the parts.

Then, he painstakingly machines and decorates it to the customer's specification in his workplace, which happens to be an office at his father's electronics business.

It is also where he works during the day as a sales and service executive.

"My dad might not understand what this is about, but he lets me do it," says Mr Woo. Then he quickly adds: "As long as it is all done during my free time."

Customers make orders online and collect their finished products at Kit Sabers at Geylang East Avenue 3.

JUST THE WEAPONS

Unlike his customers who are avid Star Wars fans, Mr Woo admits he cannot prattle off movie references and simply just likes the lightsabers.

He knows of several customers who have even named their children Han and Leia - after characters in Star Wars. Thankfully, he has not heard of anyone named Jar Jar - a much despised character in the movies.

But Mr Woo is not a Jedi wannabe.

His lightsaber has a red blade and is one of the more advanced ones he has made, as it emits realistic sounds and responds to the wielder's hand motions.

He reveals that he sells twice as many red lightsabers than any other colour. Red lightsabers are used by the films' antagonists - the Sith. "It just goes to show that Singaporeans prefer being evil," he says, with a laugh.


This article was first published on May 31, 2015.
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