This group is open to all Star Wars fans and users of the Force, either Jedis or Siths (we don't discriminate against the Dark Side!). It's primarily for those interested in either Star Wars cosplay or LIGHTSABERS -- buying lightsabers , building lightsabers, trading parts and accessories for lightsabers, or just showing off your favorite lightsabers to your fellow Star Wars fans! We'll also talk about all things Star Wars, from movies to books. There are now at least 10 live-action Star Wars movies (counting episodes 1-8, Han Solo and Rogue One), and I have all 10 of them on DVD!
Updated 7/2/2019: Lightsaber dueling: For practice, I have a martial arts target at my house that we can use to safely practice dueling without protective equipment. For dueling against another person, we will take part in monthly events offered by The Saber Legion (TSL) New Jersey chapter. TSL has more information, but for dueling against humans, you need protective gear, which means not "costume helmets" but actual fencing helmets. You'll also need other protective gear such as gloves (lacrosse gloves work well), shoulder pads, shinguards, elbowpads, chest pads, and a cup. TSL requires lightsabers to have round tips, not pointed or "bullet-shaped" tips, and TSL requires heavy-grade blades, so bear that in mind when purchasing blades. Contact The Saber Legion for more information. The TSL New Jersey chapter's Facebook page is located here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/TSLNewJersey/ and their national website is here: https://www.saberlegion.org/ .
Beginners welcome! We're open to Jedis and Siths of all skill levels, whether you're still a young apprentice seeking advice about where to buy your first lightsaber, or you own several lightsabers and are looking for people with whom to practice lightsaber dueling, or you build lightsabers from scratch just like Luke Sywalker learned to do.
Cosplayers are welcome too, although cosplay is not required. A good excuse for not having a lightsaber would be if you prefer to cosplay the many Star Wars characters who don't use lightsabers, such as Imperial Stormtroopers, Death Star officers, or "rebel scum" like Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Lando Calrissian! For those who agree with Han Solo that "hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster by your side," we'll share information about how to build your own blaster or where to buy one from rebel smugglers.
Meetings: We'll try to meet locally in the greater Woodbridge, NJ area at least once a month, either at restaurants (such as Panera Bread, where I also hold my meetups for the Woodbridge Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Meetup), at a member's home, or at a special event. Some of the special events some of us plan to attend include science fiction conventions (sci-fi cons), comiccons, Star Wars movies (Episode 9 is coming 12/20/2019), showings of Star Wars movies on DVD or Blu-Ray at member's houses, etc. (again, I have all 10 live-action Star Wars movies on DVD). I expect us to have a Star-Wars-themed Halloween costume party (location TBD).
At least two of these companies, Ultrasabers and Saber Forge, have cheaper options for people on a budget, including "stunt sabers" (no sound), which look and function just like their more expensive models, except they have no sound and no "flash on clash." You can buy an inexpensive stunt saber for under $100 from Ultrasabers, and Saber Forge has "Youngling" sabers that are complete, including sound, for $99.99. Earlier I had recommended Kyberlight for inexpensive sabers, but since then I've experienced some quality-control issues with Kyberlight (two out of four sabers were defective out of the box and had to be returned under warranty!), so I'm switching to Ultrasabers and Saber Forge. Be aware that Saber Forge is notoriously slow to ship everything!
For an inexpensive but extremely sturdy and water-resistant "stunt saber" (no sound), you can even make your own lightsaber starting from a Maglite Classic flashlight (C- cell or D-cell) or Maglite D-cell LED (168-lumen, not the newer ones that are hundreds of lumens -- those won't fit), just by adding a blade holder (emitter), blade, and pommel adapter from The Custom Saber Shop (TCSS), as seen here: https://www.thecustomsabershop.com/Maglite-Parts-C114.aspx . You'd be amazed how good these conversions look just by adding adapters from TCSS plus pommels from Ultrasabers or TCSS. Remember, the original Star Wars movie lightsabers were constructed by simply using spare graflex parts they had laying around the studio!
BLADE LENGTHS (updated 7/2/2019): For show blades (blades to carry at cons), for someone 5' 9" (like me) or shorter, 24" to 30" blades are good if you plan to wear the lightsaber on our belt with the blade attached, but if you're taller (or if you don't plan on wearing the lightsaber on your belt with blade attached), you can choose a longer blade. Blade lengths can vary greatly, between 16" (for staffs) and 40", and they're not easy to cut to size, so choose wisely, padawan! I like the 24-inch "Initiate" blades from Ultrasabers, which are very bright even in the heavy-weight versions, and would be even brighter in their midgrade versions, but YMMV. For dueling blades, you want blades from 30" (minimum) to 37" long (maximum). Anything shorter than 30" would give your opponent an advantage. Dueling blades should be heavy-grade and must have a round tip (not a bullet tip). Common lengths for dueling blades are 32" or 34". The maximum length for TSL duels is 37" (because with two inches of blade inside the emitter, that means you'd have 35" of blade showing, which is their maximum allowed by TSL rules).
On May 4th (Star Wars Day), you will find the best sales for lightsabers from practically every company in the galaxy!
For a comprehensive list of lightsaber companies, see
Disclaimer (updated 7/2/2019): this Meetup group is not affiliated with any lightsaber manufacturer, but we are welcome to participate in The Saber Legion (TSL) events. FYI, The Saber Legion (TSL) is devoted purely to lightsaber dueling as a martial art (just like fencing, with as much protective gear as fencing), but unlike our Meetup, TSL is not intended for cosplay or discussion of the Jedi religion, the Sith religion, or Star Wars politics! Our Star Wars meetup, on the other hand, encourages cosplay and allows discussion of the Jedi religion, the Sith religion, and politics -- as long as you're not a fan of evil emperor Donald Trump. Fans of Emperor Palpatine are tolerated, but Cult-45 followers of evil Emperor Trump are frowned on by the Jedi Council!