‘Flex’ is a common lightsaber related term that you’ll see tossed around the custom saber community, so it’s important to know what it means. ‘Flex’ stands for ‘Graflex’. Prop makers used a flashgun, manufactured by Graflex, to construct the Luke Skywalker lightsaber for Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.
The Graflex lightsaber is an important and historic piece of Star Wars lore. The iconic design remains a popular, highly sought after choice among lightsaber enthusiasts.
Watch What are ‘Flex’ lightsabers? (Lightsaber Terminology) on YouTube
Filmmakers, fans and custom saber companies have constructed many variations on the original Graflex lightsaber design. The names of these Graflex variations typically combine ‘flex’ with another word or part of a word.
Here are some commonly referenced Graflex lightsaber variations:
The skinnyflex (or skinny flex) is the nickname for the Anakin Skywalker lightsaber from Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The saber is called skinnyflex because it’s a slimmed down version for the Graflex lightsaber from the Original Trilogy.
Ultimate Works/WonderForce Flextana is a hilt model that combines the Graflex-style lightsaber and a Japanese katana (sword). The Flextana is a flattened, Graflex-style lightsaber. WonderForce and The Pach Store sell the Flextana.
SlimFlex is a skinnyflex hilt model manufactured by Ultimate Works. The Pach Store sells the SlimFlex. The hilt was released in August 2018.
AniFlex is a skinnyflex hilt model manufactured by 7 Chambers.
Stubbyflex (or MiniFlex)
The stubbyflex is a squat version of the Graflex lightsaber that maintains a similar diameter, but shorter length than a standard size Graflex lightsaber.
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Basically, any time you see the word ‘Flex’ used with lightsabers, the word is probably referencing the Graflex lightsaber in some capacity. The saber will likely be inspired by the design of the Graflex lightsaber or have some sort of similarity or connection to the Graflex lightsaber.
Custom saber companies frequently refer to movie-style Graflex-inspired lightsabers either as ‘Graflex’ or ‘Flex’ (e.g. Vader’s Vault sells a saber called ‘Flex’ and Ultrasabers sells a saber called ‘The Graflex SE’). If you see the word ‘Flex’ used in the custom saber community, the word is probably not talking about flexing your biceps. ‘Flex’ is probably referencing the iconic Graflex lightsaber.