I've yet to meet someone whose eyes don't light up at the sight of this Star Wars: The Black Series Leia Organa Force FX Elite Lightsaber. Besides being absurdly handsome (to the point that it feels as if it's been nicked from the movie set), it has bonus features that push it far beyond what we've seen from replica sabers before. The team at Hasbro isn't wrong to use words like "collector-grade" and "realistic" here.
But is it worth the money? That's the real question. Quality or not, there's no denying how expensive Force FX props can be. And at a grand price of $264.99 / £266.99, Star Wars: The Black Series Leia Organa Force FX Elite Lightsaber isn't something you'll buy on a whim. As such, are you going to regret picking up one of the fanciest Star Wars gifts around?
Features & design
Modelled after the weapon used by Princess Leia in a Rise of Skywalker flashback (and later by Rey, if you're keeping score), this is a picture-perfect recreation of the prop seen on-screen. While that attention to detail is par for the course with Hasbro's Star Wars: The Black Series, the team has outdone itself in this instance.
That's because little expense has been spared in its construction. Unlike so many other collectibles, this one doesn't skimp on building material; the Leia Organa Force FX Elite Lightsaber has forgone cheap plastic in favor of actual metal. Such heft offers a sense of authenticity that's otherwise hard to come by. It's surprisingly heavy and well-constructed as a result, signalling a premium design worthy of the price tag (naturally, that lavish rose gold finish doesn't hurt either).
It's a similar story under the hood. While you get the light and sound effects you'd expect, this one has extra bells and whistles that put Hasbro's Lightsaber Forge - and even earlier Force FX models - to shame. To begin with, a gradual ignition has been added for a more screen-accurate look. Next, the classic clash light has been joined by 'blaster deflection' and a cutting effect activated by a small, cleverly hidden button that looks just like one of the screws built into the hilt. They're fun novelties which elevate this replica.
The downside? Much like Obi-Wan's saber, you'll need to swap out the emitter for a thicker one if you want to add the blade (the display equivalent is much too delicate for it). And even though both emitters look similar, the larger version isn't quite as elegant.
Still, at least you're getting a metal stand to go with it; you won't need to pay for one separately. Because this is modelled after the design seen on Star Destroyers in the original trilogy, it certainly looks the part.
Held up alongside replicas like my (otherwise very nice) Galaxy's Edge hilt from Savvi's Workshop, this Force FX Elite Lightsaber is noticeably more refined. While the handle itself is of a similar - or identical - quality, the blade is much fancier. To start with, that slow ignition makes a big difference in practice. It's simply more dramatic, particularly in a dark room.
It sounds fantastic when lit up, too. You might argue that the audio could be a tiny bit crisper, but it's still more than enough to impress and blows cheaper equivalents out of the water. The distinct hum of Leia's saber comes through nicely, and impact noises are equally sharp.
Next, its deflection and wall-cutting effects are stellar. The blaster strikes appear at random points along the blade so it feels more organic in motion, for example, and I was taken aback by how effective this small addition was. It boosts the fun factor significantly.
But it isn't all a homerun. I don't know whether I've got my rose-tinted glasses on, but I don't remember old Force FX Lightsabers being as sensitive as this. If you move too suddenly, particularly with your hand on the lower part of the hilt, the blade will make a 'clash' sound (and, no, I wasn't accidentally hitting the deflection button by mistake). Similarly, giving it a little spin - because who can resist that? - has the same effect. Moving slowly and carefully provides the 'whoosh, whoosh' noise you expect, but it's a little over-enthusiastic otherwise.
That's the one downside I can think of, though. As an example, I only have nice things to say about the hilt itself. For starters, it's utterly magnificent to look at and is arguably the prettiest saber The Black Series sells at the moment. Secondly, the hidden button amongst the screws is really cleverly done and doesn't detract from the overall aesthetic. If you weren't looking, you'd barely notice it.
The fact it comes with a display head instead of just the blade-safe emitter is also fab. That way you get the screen-accurate version and one that lets you mess about whilst pretending to be a fearsome Jedi swatting away laser blasts. It's having your cake and eating it, which I very much appreciate.
Should you buy the Leia Organa Force FX Elite Lightsaber?
If you're a fan of Star Wars replicas and the Princess of Alderaan, it doesn't get much better than this. Sure, it's not from the most well-liked part of the saga. It's also expensive. But it's a gorgeous prop with connections to even the likes of Obi-Wan (it's clearly modelled after his saber, which makes sense considering their relationship), and it has some cool new features as well. While the clash effect doesn't always work as intended, this replica is otherwise exceptional.