Galaxy Built on Hope gets into the details of how the original props of Star Wars were conceived and built. You'll see these stories and many more:


The laser guns for Star Wars were Roger Christian's responsibility. He didn't want them to look phony. He wanted them to look dangerous. His idea was something completely new in science fiction: modify real WWII guns to look "otherworldly." Thus was born the "Roger Christian special" and a whole new look in sci-fi weaponry. Galaxy Built on Hope tells the tale of how Roger equipped the Empire's Stormtroopers with British submachine guns fitted with some T-strip and a few other "greeblies" to become the most fearsome weapons fantasy cinema had ever seen.


The lightsabers as described in George Lucas' Star Wars script were just simple empty sword hilts. The prototype lightsabers produced for the movie looked like nothing more exciting than ordinary flashlights! Roger Christian was inspired by the samurai swords in the movies of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa to make the lightsaber a two-handed weapon. Animated sequences in Galaxy Built on Hope dramatize this important influence on the ultimate form of the lightsaber prop.


Another major influence on Roger Christian's design of the Star Wars lightsabers was the great mythic sword of King Arthur, Excalibur, the greatest sword in British legend. An animated sequence in Galaxy Built on Hope illustrates the awesome impact this icon had on the imagination of those who grew up with the legend.

Roger knew that when we first see the lightsaber in Star Wars, the prop had to be an icon worthy of serving as the new Excalibur in a myth for a new era. It had to look like a fascinatingly unique object, yet it also had to look like a believable piece of high technology. His solution was a stroke of genius.


Roger Christian's answer to the challenge of designing the Star Wars "laser sword" was so effective that Luke Skywalker's lightsaber has become one of the greatest prop icons in cinematic history. The prop has endured unchanged over the years in the Star Wars sequels, symbolizing the core appeal of the saga across more than four decades. Galaxy Built on Hope finally reveals the true story of Roger's "holy grail moment," when he discovered the basis of the lightsaber in a vintage camera store.


Han Solo's gun needed to read instantly on film as a gunslinger's pistol, but it also needed to look immediately distinctive. Roger accordingly built Han's gun from a particularly complex automatic weapon to make it look sophisticated. He dressed it with accessories like a scope and a muzzle flash suppressor to make it look "familiar yet unfamiliar." The result created the necessary visual impact and has been famously successful in supporting Han Solo's look as a dangerous but cool smuggler-pilot.


During the shooting of the Death Star scenes, the Star Wars production realized that they needed a commlink prop to serve like a walkie-talkie for the hero characters. Nobody had foreseen that the actors needed something to talk into, so Roger Christian had to produce the commlink immediately upon request. He whipped something together out of the parts available and sent it down to the set. It was considered so good that it got an extreme closeup!

The commlink that Roger created in a few minutes has become a legendary design amongst fans, with many online commentators striving to figure out exactly what it was made of.