[Disney Hollywood Studios] Savi’s Workshop Handbuilt Lightsabers

In my other article about my experience at the Black Spire Outpost at Galaxy’s Edge (GE) I only briefly mentioned Savi’s Workshop Handbuilt Lighstabers. Since I consider this the highlight of my trip and what I wrote for it was fairly long I decided to split up one of my favorite experiences of my trip into its own article.

I am not a lightsaber connoisseur. This is in fact my first higher end lightsaber but the experience of customizing and building a lightsaber at GE was the highlight of my trip. In fact I waited until Savi’s reopened to plan my trip to Disney.

Prior to heading to the park you will want to do some research. First I highly recommend that you make an appointment for Savi’s well in advance of your trip, spots were not fully booked when I planned my trip but as we are nearing the holiday season I see a majority of days are already full. While spots can open up as people cancel their reservations and there is a walk-up queue I still highly recommend having a reservation before the day of your trip especially if you know this is something you want to experience. Once you have your spot it would a good idea to do a little online research on the different lightsaber themes available to at least get an idea of the type of saber you want to build.

Currently there are four themes to choose from:

  • 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.

Though I will mention some of actual pieces differ slightly from the graphics Disney provides.

There is no right or wrong choice here and really the theme you choose depends on the aesthetic that most speaks to you. For my trip I actually went through Savi’s twice first building the Protection and Defense theme and then a Peace and Justice themed saber. Also based on your choice you are given a pin, this also helps the gatherers identify which theme you have chosen.

Once you get through the transaction part it’s time for the experience, and this is truly what makes building a lightsaber a unique. To begin you and your fellow travelers are taken to Savi’s workshop where gatherer’s inspired by Rey have found scrap from throughout the galaxy. These are the pieces you will use to assemble your very own saber. The main gatherer walks you through a history lesson on lightsabers and then moves on to the core of any saber, the kyber crystal. The gatherer goes on to describe the traits and users of the various kyber crystals you can choose from such as blue for Obi-Wan, green for Yoda, Purple for Mace, or red for Vader. While the gatherer is telling us the history of the lightsabers and crystals there is music playing set to the pace of his story, when he gets to the red crystal the lights get a bit darker the music goes to a more Sith theme but as he moves away from the red crystal and goes to a more softer note of hope the lights brighten and the tone of the music shifts. The gatherer asks you to envision which color speaks to you and you then get to choose a crystal from among those four choices. From there it is time to start assembling your personal lightsaber.

A tray is then placed in front of you with pieces from your chosen theme. Along with a core chassis piece, the base of every lightsaber and where your chosen kyber crystal is placed, each tray contains ten total pieces separated into four sections The first piece you are instructed to place is the switch, with a choice of two options this is the center piece of the lightsaber and the piece which activates and deactivates the lightsaber. Once you have chosen a switch it’s onto the next section the sleeves. Here is where you have the most variety as there are four sleeves to choose from and since the sleeves are interchangeable they can go into the spots either above or below the switch. After you have chosen your sleeves it’s time to move to the emitters and endcaps, these are the end pieces and here again you only get a choice between two options for either piece, these end up forming the base and top design of the lightsaber.

All the pieces simply screw in together and you are given plenty of time to switch pieces around, there is no rushing you and you are not locked in to a choice as you are building your custom scrap until you are satisfied with your choices, though I will say certain pieces will call to you and some pieces work better together. Leading up to my visit I knew I was going to choose Protection and Defense and from the images online I mostly knew what pieces I wanted and where I wanted them to go and after building my lightsaber I actually ended up with four of the five pieces I had anticipated using.

Once the entire party has assembled their lightsabers the gatherers assisted by Yoda explain the final step in the process – starting the saber up. The gatherers come around and insert the lightsaber into the blade and everyone ignites their saber as one, even if as a lefty they did insert the blade to my right. In the darkened room the colors are crisp and clear and you just see purples, reds, blues, and greens in the air.

That ends the experience. Visitors are given a sleeve to safely carry the lightsaber around the park and told they are ready to go out into the galaxy. Luckily I did my builds in the evening so I didn’t have to carry the lightsaber around all day.

After you’ve built the lightsaber you may need some accessories. If you didn’t buy the lightsaber stand or clip initially you can head to Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. This is where you can grab a few different things for your lightsaber. On top of the aforementioned clip or stand you can pick up a longer blade. The blade you get with the experience is 31” long and only available in that size from the experience but you can buy a 26” or 36” blade at Dok-Ondar’s. Another good thing to note here is that the blades are interchangeable with the legacy sabers also sold Dok-Ondar’s so if you do a Savi’s build and buy a legacy saber you technically don’t need to buy another blade. The 31” blade feels a drop short for me since I am a bit taller but I personally didn’t feel the need to buy the longer blade either. The other thing you may want to buy are extra kyber crystals. At Dok-Ondar’s they sell the four colors you were given an option of when building the scrap from Savi’s but there are also an additional two colors – white and yellow. I do notice some colors work better with certain themes but I will say here the white crystal is by far my favorite. The sound effects of the blade also change based on the current color.

Two words of advice here when getting kyber crystals.

The first is that the yellow crystal is more of a greenish yellow, in photos it looks yellow but in person it comes off a bit different and you may want to ask the staff to see the temple guard legacy lightsaber before buying that color crystal to get an idea of what it really looks like. The white crystal on the other hand comes out as a true white and to get an example of what it looks like in person you could ask to see what the blade from the first Ahsoka Tano set. I made the mistake of blind buying the yellow assuming it was more of a gold color and was disappointed when I saw how the color came out but I was also happily surprised when I blind bought the white crystal and saw how well it worked with almost all my blades.

The second bit of advice is if you are building a Savi’s and intend to get extra crystals with red as one of the choices do not select red while building the saber, instead choose a different color and buy your red crystal at Dok-Ondar’s. It is rare but there is a chase variant where you can pull a black crystal out of the tube, the color still comes out red but the crystal is black and is rarer and not something you would get at Savi’s.

Another cool thing Disney reintroduced, and this may or may not change, is the selling of individual scrap pieces. If there were individual pieces from sets you wanted you can now buy them a-la-carte. I will say most themes work together because of finishes and styling but it is still a really good way to get an extra piece or in my case five into your collection. Yes, that’s right I chose a switch, emitter, endcap, and two sleeves from the Power and Control theme so while I don’t get the pin or chassis I can build that dark side style blade. Currently each piece is $25 plus tax or two for $40 but you need to buy in multiples of two for the discount.

Before leaving the area do be sure that the pieces line up properly and there are no other issues, gatherers can address any issues you have with pieces while in the park and swap out pieces if there are any quality issues. One of my Protection and Defense sleeves lined  up properly when I first built the saber but when I got home a few days later I notice that in order to tighten the sleeve it is no longer close to being center and as this piece lines up with another piece it is a bit annoying. Also swing the saber around to make sure there isn’t a loose chassis and blade, tap the blade to make sure the sound and light effects work. One of my blades turns off after a light flick. I’m in contact with Disney about my issues and I am sure everything will work out fine but it will likely be an easier issue to deal with inside the park.

All that said at a price tag of $212 after tax this is not a cheap experience but neither is planning a trip to Disney so even with my sleeve issues I still wholeheartedly recommend including this into your budget and is not something I regret in the least. This is also not a cheaply made product, outside of the middle chassis piece all of the other parts are machined metal and once assembled has a very solid weight to it. I enjoyed every last minute of the experience and though I have described the process in detail here there really is nothing like the actual experience of being in the shop and building the lightsaber. The whole experience is more than just building the lightsaber, it’s the subtle shift in music and lighting as the gatherer talks about why you are here, it’s the thrill of lighting up the saber for the first time, it’s immersive from the moment you step in to Savi’s. That is one thing I can’t put into words and is something you need to just experience.

[Update January 9, 2021] Since returning from the parks I picked up some parts from the elemental nature theme and added a purple kyber crystal to my collection so here are some new photos!

One final tip; if you are going to be in the area invest in a Spira (Gift Card.) It’s a nice heavy metal card and is easily one of the coolest small souvenirs you can get in the park. The Spira itself costs $5 and requires you to put $100 on the card to activate but you can use the money anywhere within the Disney Park including food, souvenirs, and even on a on a droid from the Droid Depot or the Savi Lightsabers and if you are spending time in GE you will easily spend $100.

About the author

Media Journalist | Michael loves all things Pop Culture. He has an opinion about everything, whether you ask for it or not. Michael collects Convention Exclusives, Legos, Prints, Steelbooks, Transformers, and everything in between.