SabersPro Obi Wan EP3 lightsaber review: "The Swiss army knife of replicas"
Creating replica lightsabers is a surprisingly competitive business, and the SabersPro Obi Wan EP3 knows it. That's why it's filled to the gunwales with tech like a fully operational battle station.
Does it manage to outperform rivals like the Obi-Wan Kenobi Force FX Elite Lightsaber, though? The short answer is: yes. But there are some caveats.
SabersPro Obi Wan EP3 - features
As you may be able to tell from the name, this replica is based on the lightsaber used by Obi-Wan Kenobi in Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. That means it's sleeker, shinier, and less battered than the one seen in the Jedi's self-titled show or A New Hope.
Which blade type should you buy?
There are two different kinds of blade on offer for the SabersPro Obi Wan EP3; SN Pixel V4 or the Proffie 2.2. I used the latter with our review unit, but they're broadly similar. Basically, the Proffie 2.2 offers more sound effects and color options. Otherwise, they're the same.
Indeed, this is a hard-wearing hilt made of T6 Aircraft Aluminum. You could never call it cheap and tacky as a result.
That's just the icing on the cake, though. While you can choose two different kinds of polycarbonate blades (SN Pixel V4 or Proffie 2.2), both have hundreds of LEDs inside that allow for more controlled lighting effects. Either way, the onboard system also comes with an abundance of different lightsaber profiles with different colors and audio to go with music or character soundbites should you want to use them.
Finally, the Obi Wan EP3 features 'high-end' speakers with a 2/3 Watt & 4/8 ohm system.
SabersPro Obi Wan EP3 - design
Gorgeous, premium look
Screen-accurate size, even with the blade
High-quality build materials
As with all SabersPro replicas, this is a gorgeous piece of kit that doesn't skimp on build materials. That T6 Aircraft Aluminium gives it a satisfying weight that'll take you aback, providing a premium feel.
Still, the real headline is its size. For starters, it's smaller and thinner than its rivals so is a closer match to the prop Ewan McGregor used in terms of scale. In addition, you don't have to swap the emitter to insert a blade like the majority of Obi-Wan sabers. The likes of The Black Series are chunkier to accommodate a blade running through the hilt, whereas the connectors here can be found in the mouth of the emitter itself.
It provides a screen accurate take on Obi-Wan's lightsaber both ignited and turned off
I'll admit that it's not a perfect solution. Those connectors aren't very handsome if you happen to be looking at the hilt from above, and they don't attach nicely to the blade either - it just 'sits' on them. Plus, you need to secure the blade with tiny screws (which are begging to be lost) using an Allen key. But that's a small price to pay. This replica does something few others can; it provides a screen-accurate take on Obi-Wan's lightsaber both ignited and turned off.
SabersPro Obi Wan EP3 - performance
Much brighter than the competition
Features loads of cool effects (almost too many)
Menu is a pain to use
The best way I can describe the Obi Wan EP3 is "an embarrassment of riches." This thing is stacked with cool light and sound effects, offering more options than you'll know what to do with. Profiles for numerous characters (ranging from General Kenobi himself to the Mandalorian, and even Rebels-era Darth Maul) can be accessed at the press of a button, so you're free to experiment if you'd prefer a color instead of that classic blue.
Actually, you're not limited to lightsabers - or even Star Wars - here. Audio from Stargate, podracing, Marvel's Ultron, and even Jurassic Park (yes, it's the sound of a T. Rex bellowing) are included. I'm not sure why they're featured here, and I wonder whether any copyright rules have been broken along the way, but hey. The more the merrier.
Just make sure the blade is securely fastened... If not, it won't light up properly
Well, sort of. A problem I have with all Neopixel sabers is their refusal to quit while they're ahead. Rather than leaving it at cool lightsaber colors or sound effects, they branch out to random Star Wars quotes, musical cues, and even orchestral scores from goodness knows where. Why do I need a random concerto blaring out of my space wizard sword? I'm genuinely not sure.
This wouldn't be an issue if the menu was easy to navigate, but it's not. Although the instructions take a stab at explaining how to use SabersPro Obi Wan EP3, the system isn't intuitive. Worse, there's no 'off' switch. This leads to fun situations like accidentally triggering classical music that builds in volume until it's screeching across your office for minutes on end, and you're unable to switch it off so are desperately praying for the floor to swallow you up.
Anyway. The upside? I can say with absolute certainty that its 'high-quality speakers' work well. Really well. They pack far more of a punch than any other lightsaber replica I've tried and provide rounded, crisp audio. Even if it's embarrassing the hell out of you.
Is it duel-ready?
Want to use your SabersPro replica in friendly duels? Well, hold your horses. Although it can be used for light sparring, I'd recommend being careful nonetheless - the company itself says that you should "stick to a more gentle interaction instead of full-force tactics."
It's a similar story with those LEDs. This SabersPro blade is much brighter than the competition, illuminating a room with a steady glow that draws the eye like a magnet. The same isn't always the case for special effects, but most of the time they're not too far off, near-identical, or actually better. While the 'blaster deflection' isn't as precise as The Black Series, for instance, its clash is a bit more impressive thanks to a flaring, flashing white, and it even adds in a 'lightning deflection' mode where it looks like electricity is rippling across the blade.
Finally, the replica's motion detection is better by far. It feels as if it's more accurately reflecting my movements with sound when I swing it around.
Just make sure the blade is securely fastened when you do the same. If not, it won't light up properly. This was a bit of an issue for me at first as I got used to the lightsaber, but ceased to be a problem after adjusting the blade and tightening those screws.
Should you buy the SabersPro Obi Wan EP3 lightsaber?
For me, whether you should buy the SabersPro Obi Wan EP3 depends on what you want from a lightsaber. If you're looking for a truly screen-accurate design and are happy to pay a little extra, it ticks all the boxes. And if you want a blade with tons of customization (be it for fun or cosplay), you won't find anything better.
Nevertheless, it's undeniably expensive. In addition, you're getting a lot of sound / lighting effects clutter that makes navigating the menu a headache.
If those are issues you're willing to bear, though, you'll be left with a rather magnificent collectible.
Buy it if...
Don't buy it if…
How we tested the SabersPro Obi Wan EP3 lightsaber
I spent a couple of weeks getting familiar with how this SabersPro lightsaber replica worked, with direct comparisons to other types of blade by the company. I used it alongside the Black Series equivalent to see how it compared as well.
Because I take my job very seriously, I also waved it around like an idiot and threw in lots of "hello there"s. You're welcome.
For more on our process, check in with how we test products.
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