The Taiwanese Makoto Tsaï couldn’t find a lightsaber worthy of this name in the toy stores. Then, as a good fan of star wars, he became a civil engineer and has spent years perfecting the precise replica of the sword of light. At the age of 36, he is part of a small group of artisans around the world who have made a career from making clones remarkably realistic of the famous swords of pure energy of the saga, intergalactic.
While fans of the planet will meet on the 4 may on the occasion of what has become the party of the official saga, overshadowed this year by the recent death of Peter Mayhew, the incarnation of Chewbacca, many will brandish a sword of Makoto Tsaï.
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From his studio near Taipei, it exports its blades in a quarantine of countries as diverse as the United States and Cuba, France, Peru, Iceland or Tunisia. Approximately 80% of its orders come from abroad. It costs a minimum of $ 255 to get one of his swords, which he sold a thousand copies in ten years.
fans taiwanese or chinese origin are granted a 50% discount to the condition of pass a written examination SAM YEH/AFP
fans taiwanese or ethnic chinese will see themselves granted a 50% discount to the condition of pass a written examination “to prove that they have enough passion for star wars “. “I make each piece by hand, it is very intimate for me,” said the young man with the AFP in his studio filled with memories in connection with the saga. “I want that only those who really love to have”.
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The series was beautiful to be a franchise hollywood weighing in at several billion dollars, fans have long complained of the poor quality of the swords, the official found on the market, accusing them of being pale imitations of the swords électrifiantes and bright that you see in the movies.
Pursuit of perfection
as a Result, a cottage industry was born to compensate for the vacuum left by the major manufacturers of toys. Thanks to advances in batteries, LEDS and digital technologies, these artisans produce tirelessly replicas of the more developed of the characteristic weapons of the series. Tubes, luminescent, and sound cards react to the movements, everything is good to build the blade ideal.
one of The greatest specialists of the lightsabers is the American Michael Murphy, a California-based. Its online sales site and forum FXSabers.com is the best place for the exchange of the lightsabers.
“The number of people able to make them, like me, or Makoto, is increased from about 25 in the early years to over a hundred, contributing today to the forums and offering their services in terms of the lightsaber, one way or another”, explains to the AFP whoever gets him the nickname Yoda.
But copyrights force, many avoid to give their creations names directly borrowed from the series and vary certain aspects. The original sword used by Luke Skywalker in the first film released in 1977, is a low-cost production of light-years of expensive future episodes, had been made with a handful of flash of old cameras Graflex.
The Taiwanese Makoto Tsaï, a fan of “Star Wars”, here in his workshop in Taipei, manufactures replicas in a very realistic of the famous lightsaber. HSU TSUN-HSU/AFP
And because of the aficionados, these handles retro are now very hard to find. The swords of the more expensive, mounted on these older flashes, are selling for up to $ 15,000 on eBay.
Makoto Tsaï fell in love with as a teenager, to the universe, Obi-Wan Kenobi, princess Leia and Darth Vader. His quest for the blade of light perfect led him to pursue studies in engineering electro-optical and then to work in this sector. Today, it produces swords full-time.
The engineer explains to perform constant research in order to shape swords “more luminous, more durable, easier to handle” during the duels fencing, which he is promoting.
“may the force be with you”
His activity allows him to hold rallies free of charge for the fans of the saga created by George Lucas, as well as charity events, ” he says. “I spend two-thirds of my time to organize events. My mission is to promote +star wars+ Taiwan more and attract even more fans”. One of the moments in which he is most proud of was an outing to the presidential palace on the occasion of the day Star Wars 2018.
an assortment of Jedi knights, Chewbacca, and other characters intergalactic had chanted, “may the force be with you!” on the side of the vice-president Chen Chien-jen. The imperial soldiers with dummy guns were attached to the military police to stand guard outside the headquarters of the presidency in the heart of Taipei. This year, fans will gather near the famous skyscrapers of the capital, Taipei 101.
Disney has promised many other films, and the engineer from taiwan is certain to attract new generations. Makoto Tsaï is said to be “very optimistic about the fact that there will be more and more fans are diehards and that we will be able to without problems continue on our momentum for at least ten years.”
Kuo Shun-hao, 20 years old, took the bait two years ago, with the seventh episode of star wars: The Awakening of the force . Now, he regularly fencing “laser”. “I like the duels and talk about films with other fans,” he said. “I made new friends because there are often lots of new who come to our gatherings fencing”.
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