A hero lightsaber is a screen accurate version of a lightsaber used during close-ups in Star Wars movies. A hero lightsaber will be the most detailed version of a lightsaber shown in the film and will be the lightsaber that you imagine in you mind’s eye when you think of Darth Vader’s lightsaber, or Kylo Ren’s lightsaber or Luke Skywalker’s Return of the Jedi lightsaber.
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The Star Wars actors and stunt people use different lightsabers throughout filming, depending on the situation. For example, during stunt sequences the actors and stunt people will use stunt lightsaber. The hilt design won’t be as detailed because the characters and the lightsaber will often be shown in medium or long shots, rather than in close-ups.
The term ‘hero lightsaber’ has nothing to do with whether the character is a hero or a villain in the movie. In other words, you can have a Luke Skywalker Return of the Jedi hero lightsaber and you can also have a Darth Vader hero lightsaber and a Darth Sidious hero lightsaber.
The term ‘hero’ applies to other non-lightsaber props within Star Wars movies as well (e.g. hero helmet). The term ‘hero prop’ applies to other film franchises and the movie business as a whole.
Saberforge Hero Tier
Saberforge sells ‘Hero Tier’ lightsabers, which have NOTHING to do with hero lightsabers. ‘Hero Tier’ is a Saberforge-specific term that means the saber is an RGBA lightsaber with 5 soundfonts.
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Prop replica company eFX released several officially licensed hero lightsabers, including a Luke Skywalker Return of the Jedi Hero Lightsaber, in the 2000s (all eFX hero lightsabers are out of production). In September 2018, custom saber manufacturer Ultimate Works released a lightsaber called Luke Hero V1.
Search for eFX officially licensed hero lightsabers on eBay. [AFFILIATE LINK]
IMAGE CREDIT: Lucasfilm
The image depicts a Qui-Gon Jinn hero lightsaber from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. The lightsaber is shown in a close-up during the Obi-Wan Kenobi vs Darth Maul lightsaber duel near the end of the film.