The Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber shows just how far we've come in terms of collectibles. This isn't just a replica that glows and makes the appropriate 'vroom' noises; it's a tricked-out hotrod of a prop that also serves as an impressive display item.
While it's not perfect and is expensive compared to the competition, you can't do much better than the Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber in terms of 'cool factor' - it's a king amongst Star Wars gifts.
Price: $278.99 / £299.99
Includes: Progressive ignition, battle clash, duel effect, battle sequence, metal display stand, display emitter
Uses: AA batteries
Although it's a prop with lights and sound effects that you can swing around, Star Wars The Black Series Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber isn't a toy. You can certainly try dueling with it, but you won't get far. (The blade will shatter first.)
Instead, this is a high-end replica designed for display and posing with when you don't think anyone's looking. It comes in two parts as a result; the hilt can be fitted with a thinner, more screen-accurate emitter for when the lightsaber is 'turned off', or one able to accommodate the blade itself. Either way, it comes with a metal stand that feels as if it's been stolen from the Death Star.
Like the Darth Vader equivalent, it also has more tricks up its sleeve than most lightsaber replicas. Along with a more realistic, gradual ignition, it features the blaster deflection and wall-cutting effects we saw in the Leia Organa Force FX Elite Lightsaber. There's a brand-new addition, too: the 'duel' effect that represents two sabers locked in combat.
This is all thanks to a series of LEDs running along the inside of the blade itself, allowing for more flexibility than third-party equivalents that are more like torches with a hollow tube on the top. The result is a consistent glow from top to bottom with individual sections able to act independently from one another.
That's why it can't be used in combat, though. The design is clever yet fragile, so proceed with caution when pretending to cut down Stormtroopers.
- Made from heavy, premium materials (mostly)
- Comes with two emitters that both look great
- Display emitter uses cheaper-looking plastic on the neck
You're getting two different products here, to an extent: one is a screen-accurate display item designed to mimic the prop as seen on Obi-Wan Kenobi, while the other is a thicker, more practical design with an emitter that can accommodate the light-up blade. Wondering why it needs both? Short of some clever - and probably expensive - engineering, you couldn't fit the Force FX blade through that thinner neck and still connect with the pins in the hilt itself. As such, you've got to swap the tops around if you want to power up your saber.
While that's frustrating in an item so focused on attention to detail, it's unavoidable... Unless you want the cost to skyrocket, anyway.
It's not like the 'action mode' emitter is poorly made either. This is a weighty, all-metal piece that does its best to replicate the prop despite those restrictions, and even though fans may find the compromise disappointing, it looks good nonetheless thanks to an excellent paint job and weathering effects. If we're being honest, your attention is probably going to be on the blade itself in this instance anyway.
At the other end of the spectrum is the display emitter. This is a spot-on recreation of Obi-Wan's weapon as it appears on-screen, so when combined with the full metal hilt (featuring believable wear and tear that makes it seem so much more realistic), it's worthy of being in pride of place on your shelf. Get this thing in your hands and you'll understand why it costs so much.
There is a downside, though. Namely, much of the bronze neck is plastic with mold lines that aren't an eyesore but are still noticeable, and the metallic paint isn't as convincing as it could be. Because the rest of the saber feels distinctly premium, it's a slight letdown. (And considering how the Leia lightsaber features a similar design made of metal, a confusing one at that.)
The same is true of a button that activates the lightsaber's effects. It replaces an actual button on the real prop, and that's very clever. But it's made of unconvincing plastic-masquerading-as-metal too. While this is a small niggle in the grand scheme of things, it's one worth mentioning considering how expensive the Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber is.
On much the same note, a word of warning: be careful when swapping out the display emitter. I accidentally tightened it too much, and when trying to remove it, the metal section at the top screwed off when it really wasn't supposed to. It was an easy fix in the end, but something to be aware of nonetheless.
- Duel effect impresses
- Blaster deflection is a fun addition
- Much more impressive than cheaper alternatives
No matter what you think of the design, the Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber looks and sounds incredible when you activate it. Besides lighting up with a rich blue glow that's consistent all the way up the blade (something that cheaper alternatives don't always manage), that iconic noise rumbling out of the base has been captured perfectly. Sure, you'll notice a very slight pause every few seconds before the loop starts again if you're really listening out. But it'll still put a massive smile on your face, particularly when it responds to your movements with that instantly recognizable 'vroom.'
If you've browsed ShopDisney, you may have noticed a very similar replica for slightly less (opens in new tab) - the Obi-Wan Kenobi Legacy Lightsaber. What's the difference? I've been hands on with this version, and although I'd say that the paintjob is slightly nicer (it has arguably better weathering and the display neck looks more screen-accurate in terms of color), its blade isn't nearly as good. This one doesn't have the progressive ignition, blaster deflection, duel, or wall-cutting effects, so I'd go for the Force FX Elite equivalent if you want all those bells and whistles.
The effects are equally great; Hasbro has outdone itself here. Twitching your wrist or (gently) hitting something will make part of the blade flash white, accompanied by a convincing crash as if you've struck another saber. Meanwhile, tapping the button on the side will light up small, random sections of the blade to the tune of a noise like you've just batted away a blaster bolt. Holding that same button with the saber pointing downward starts the 'wall-cutting' mode, complete with the tip of the blade transitioning from red to yellow to white.
The big selling point for Obi-Wan's Force FX Elite Lightsaber is its duel effect, though. Hold that button down with the blade pointing up and the middle of it will flicker white as if you're caught in a bind with another saber. It's a cool addition that cosplayers in particular will appreciate, and it's screaming out for a clash between a fully-costumed Kenobi and Vader wielding the Darth Vader Force FX Elite Lightsaber. The button's position makes it easy to activate too, and you're unlikely to hit it by accident.
To summarize? I can't find anything to criticize about how this thing works. It's simply delightful.
Should you buy the Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber?
The Black Series' reputation for being the go-to Star Wars collectible line is well deserved, and the Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber is a good example of why.
While there are some small shortcuts that knock it down a peg or two, this is a fantastic bit of kit overall regardless of whether you want something more practical or a replica based on the original prop.
Buy it if...
You want cool effects
The Force FX Elite blade is the real MVP of this collectible - its effects are arguably the best on the market, and they run rings around the competition.
You want to display AND play
The addition of two emitters (one for display and another for action) gets you the best of both worlds, and the stand means this is a very handsome display item for your shelf regardless of what you choose.
Don't buy it if...
You just want a display item
If you're keen on getting a prop that's only ever going to be on display, I'd argue that the Legacy version (available on ShopDisney or via the Galaxy's Edge theme parks) is the better option because it's slightly cheaper and still looks fantastic.
You want it to be perfectly screen-accurate in use
Due to how this saber works, the screen-accurate emitter must be swapped out for a thicker alternative if you want to get the blade in. Sticklers for detail may find this frustrating.
How we tested the Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber
I used this replica over a number of weeks to get a good feel for its performance and compared it directly to other sabers in the Force FX line as well as from rival manufacturers. And yes, I quoted both Alec Guinness and Ewan McGregor throughout.
For more information on our process, take a look at how we test products.
Want other cool treats from a galaxy far, far away? Don't miss these Star Wars board games. They're arguably some of the best board games overall and make great Disney gifts.