StarWars.com catch up with Patrick Schneider, senior manager, global brand development and marketing for Star Wars, and Chris Reiff, product designer both from Hasbro to discuss the creation of the Darth Revan Force FX Elite Lightsaber.
StarWars.com: On the note of technology, with Revan there’s the blaster deflecting effects, there’s the color change, there’s the wall cutting effect. How have you approached technology within your lightsabers, knowing what might be possible, what might not be possible, and how far you think you can push it?
Chris Reiff: Technology changes fast and as new technologies become more accessible, we definitely want to integrate newness where we can. Keeping features evolving and improving is core to what we strive for with every new product.
To Patrick’s point, it’s ways to continue to make each saber special. Whether that’s innovation through how you interact with it or what it does, or whether it’s a technology piece, that’s all stuff that we want to continue to do, to add and expand on. With these, the ability to change the blade colors and have addressable LEDs in there so we can actually do that and give those very specific effects like the blaster deflect and the wall cutting, and even on the Palpatine one, the lightning effects. That’s all stuff that, because of the initial jump we made to the addressable LEDs, opens up a whole new ballgame for ways we can interact with those. It gives us a baseline to then innovate idea-wise and story-wise and play-wise on top of that.
Patrick Schneider: A lot of those features are now standard for the Force FX Elite line. Addressable LEDs, the blaster deflection, the molten lava cutting-through-wall effects, that’s something that’s on all of them, from Kylo Ren last year through all of the ones we have planned. It’s interesting. Chris touched on technology and innovation; Hasbro as a company talks a lot about product innovation and then insights. We try to ensure that we’re always led by what the consumer, or in this case the fan, wants.
A few years ago now we did a lot of research on this. Both talking with fans at conventions and seeing comments online, but also some focus groups and some more quantitative research, and looked at all the features we could add. Basically, [we] let the fans tell us what they cared about most and then prioritized those for the innovation. I think the result is a great product.
- ADVANCED LIGHTS WITH SOUND EFFECTS: Combining advanced LEDs and video game-inspired sound effects, the Force FX Elite Lightsaber is most realistic Force FX Lightsaber yet
- PREMIUM DETAILING FOR AUTHENTICITY: The real metal hilt features design and deco based on Darth Revan's iconic lightsaber featured in the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic video game
- VIDEO GAME-INSPIRED EFFECTS: Press buttons on the hilt to activate sound effects, progressive ignition, blaster deflection effect, wall-cutting effect, and purple-to-red color-changing blade effect
- INCLUDES STAND AND REMOVABLE KYBER CRYSTAL: Proudly display this lightsaber on the included stand, with or without the removeable blades, and show off the included removable kyber crystal
- BUILD AN EPIC COLLECTION: Look for other Star Wars The Black Series premium roleplay items such as Force FX lightsabers and helmets (Sold separately. Subject to availability.)