Without a doubt, one of the most widely-known images to come out of the Star Wars universe (aside from Princess Leia's hair) is that of a lightsaber.
You don't even have to be a huge Star Wars fan to recognize its iconic shape.
Now, with the opening of Galaxy's Edge, you have the chance to build your very own lightsaber in a special ceremony surrounded by fellow Star Wars fans and resident helpers called "Gatherers."
This experience isn't cheap, but it is truly one-of-a-kind and something you may want to consider adding on to your next trip to the Black Spire Outpost.
A short time ago in a galaxy far, far away, 2 women ventured to the far off planet of Batuu to build a lightsaber...
...and they were totally blown away with the entire experience.
Staying true to the immersive environment that the Galaxy's Edge world provides, Savi's Workshop is a wondrous place where participants get to actively dive deeper into the Star Wars story - both its history and its future.
Trust us on this one, while inside Savi's you truly feel as if you are living the life of a Jedi (or, if you prefer, Sith).
What follows includes details and spoilers. If you prefer to avoid those, you might want to skip this post.
But, one thing we can relay that is spoiler-free - we absolutely loved it all.
Here's how it works if you too want to build your own lightsaber:
The first thing you need to know is that Savi's does require reservations.
Now, of course there may be days where walk-ups are available, but if this is a must-do item on your list, a reservation is the only way to go.
Reservations can be made online up to 180 days in advance.
There are a few rules when it comes to who can do the building:
1.) For each person that paid to build a lightsaber, there can be 1 guest.
Disney World is pretty strict with this rule, and honestly, the space doesn't allow for a bunch of extra people so we understand why they have it.
Of course, the Cast Members there understand that there are instances when it may be necessary for 2 guests to go in (for instance when the number of children outnumber the adults) but this is something that is handled on a case-by-case basis.
2.) The minimum age to build at Savi's Workshop is 5, which we feel may even be a bit young.
The height of the table would make it difficult for smaller children to even be able to see.
In fact, the entire experience is a lot to take in and we personally wouldn't bring anybody younger than about 10.
3.) Guests under the age of 7 must be accompanied by somebody over the age of 14.
The total cost is $199.00 per person building (about $212 total with tax), and there are no discounts available. You pay when you arrive (not when you make the reservation).
So, yes, this isn't a cheap experience, but it is definitely something special that you might want to consider adding on to your visit to Batuu.
Details of the build
You'll be asked to show up about 10-15 minutes before your scheduled reservation time.
When you arrive to Savi's Workshop you'll notice that there aren't any obvious signs that might tip off the First Order to what is happening inside.
The Gatherers work hard to keep the location a secret, but the banner out front does provide a hint as to what lies inside the building...
You'll first check-in with one of the Cast Members outside.
There they will confirm your reservation and direct you to a kiosk where you can transfer your credits (aka pay) to Savi.
The lightsabers constructed here are unique in that they are built with "unusual parts, whimsical pieces, and miscellaneous memorabilia collected by the Gatherers from the far reaches of the galaxy."
That's part of what makes the build so personal:
Each builder gets to construct a custom lightsaber built around the pieces that are important to them.
With all that in mind, it's at this time that you will be asked to choose your theme out of the 4 that are available:
- 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
Hilt materials bear mysterious motifs and inscriptions that reconnect users with the ancient wellspring of the Force.
Tip: if you aren't sure which one you want to do, ask if you can take a look inside the chest located nearby. There you'll find all the different options laid out. They can't be removed from the drawers (because they are attached) but being able to see them in person should hopefully help you make your decision.
Once your selection is made and you've paid, the builder will be given a corresponding Star Wars cloisonné pin (which you'll be asked to wear over your heart).
The pins shape matches the theme you've chosen and is another nice memento from the experience.
You'll then be given a card identifying your build group and be asked to move into an area out front that is walled off.
This is one part of the build that we didn't like - we had about 15 minutes to wait and because of the lack of shade, we found ourselves waiting in the sun.
During the middle of the day it was dreadfully hot, making us even more thankful when we were able to move inside and into the air conditioning.
This lack of shade isn't always an issue, but something to think about when planning.
They run a very tight schedule so stick to arriving 10-15 minutes early if you want to avoid possibly waiting with no shade.
Building a lightsaber
Once you are inside each builder is asked to find a spot at the table while the Gatherers assemble to help.
First up is the selection of the kyber crystal.
For those in the know, kyber crystals are the heart of the lightsaber and what gives each one its distinctive color.
You'll have 4 different colors to choose from:
- 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
Once you've selected your crystal, you'll be given the hilt of your lightsaber and a tray of parts.
Remember when you were asked at check-in what hilt theme you'd like?
You'll now be presented with a box of parts that represent that theme.
For each section of your build you'll be able to choose which pieces to use, and you'll have a Gatherer stationed nearby you to help with the assembly (if you need it).
The parts of your lightsaber that you'll be customizing are:
- sleeve (you'll have 4 available to choose from and you pick 2)
- emitter (you'll have 2 to choose from and you pick 1)
- pommel cap (you have 2 to choose from and you pick 1)
- activation plate and switch (2 sets to choose from and you pick 1 set)
Note: Even though you'll have choices for each section of your lightsaber, you won't be allowed to take the extra parts with you.
After the hilt is constructed and you're happy with how it looks, the magic happens.
Everybody places their lightsaber in a special slot where the blade will be magically attached.
You can see by the video just how mystic this part of the build ceremony is. Seeing all the sabers light up for the first time was amazing.
This was probably our favorite part - it was very exciting to watch them all come to life in the darkened room.
After the final ceremony is over, all builders will be provided a very nice padded carrying case to help with transporting their lightsaber back to their home planets.
Can you ship your lightsaber home (or back to your resort)?
Yes you can.
You can ship from Droid Depot (skip the line out front and go straight to the registers in the back of the shop) or from Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities.
If you get back to your resort and decide before you leave that you'd like to ship it home, many of the resort gift shops will be able to assist you with that (you'll just need to make sure you have your receipt), but they'll provide the box and everything needed for shipping.
As reference, it cost us $17.95 to ship one lightsaber from Pop Century.
International rates (including Canada) will be higher.
How many guests can you take with you?
Just 1 additional guest per reservation, except in case of a young child that needs to stay with an adult or specific disabilities that may require it. They are pretty strict about this rule, too.
How big is the lightsaber?
The blade itself is about 34" long (with 31" of it actually exposed outside of the hilt). The hilts themselves vary in length but are all around 8-10" long.
You can detach the blade from the hilt.
Note: the blade doesn't squish down any smaller like a toy lightsaber; it is 1 solid piece.
How long does it last?
The entire process takes about 30 minutes.
Are there spare parts available?
Currently, the only spare parts you can purchase are additional kyber crystals which are available at Dok-Ondar's Den of Antiquities.
The price for additional crystals is $49.99. In addition to the colors that you can find at Savi's, yellow and white kyber crystals are available here (although their popularity often means that they are sold out).
Can I go in to look around?
No, you can't enter without pre-paying.
Can I take it on a plane with me?
The TSA allows it, but check with your airline for their specific rules.
What is the better choice - building a droid or building a lightsaber?
These are 2 totally different experiences.
The droids you build at Droid Depot are adorable and cute and a toy, but the lightsabers are high quality display pieces (not something you'd use as a toy).
They are at a similar level as to what you might find with serious cosplayers.
What if I need to cancel my reservation?
Just like with Advanced Dining Reservations at Walt Disney World, you'll be asked to provide a valid credit card number when you book your reservation and you must cancel 24 hours in advance to avoid paying a cancellation fee. If you don't cancel (and are a no-show), Disney says you will be charged the full $199.99 per reservation on the credit card you provided.
Is Savi's Workshop worth it?
We loved it. It was an amazing experience and the lightsaber itself was of very high quality (like a nice cosplay-level piece).
If you are a Star Wars fan that has always dreamed of owning your very own lightsaber, we think this is a great way to make that happen.
The entire process goes by very fast, especially considering the $200 price tag, but if you've always dreamed about becoming a part of the Star Wars story, we definitely think this is something you should add to your bucket list.