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Score your own lightsaber this Star Wars day with top-notch models from Solaari

Celebrate May the 4th (Star Wars Day) with great savings on great sabers.

Is there a single Star Wars fan who doesn't secretly wish to be Luke Skywalker? Or Ahsoka Tano? Maybe even General Grievous? (No judgment!) The first thing you'll need, of course, is a lightsaber. Not some cheap, plastic Hasbro toy, either — I'm talking heavy-duty, combat-ready jobs like the ones made by Solaari. I recently tested the Ka-Yogen Elite model and, well, the Force is off the charts with this one.

This thing is the real deal: light-up blade, motion-activated sound effects and even an app that lets you make changes with just a few taps. Available in four colors and with a 32-inch blade
$299 at Amazon

This is one of several sabers offered by Solaari; the Waan and Ki-Raito models (below) are largely the same save for different hilt designs and color choices. All three are available in 32- and 36-inch lengths, and each feature a polycarbonate blade that's strong enough to handle competitive dueling. (Solaari is a partner of the French Fencing Federation.) You can even buy a dual-saber adapter for joining two of these things together, Darth Maul–style.

The hefty two-handed hilt is made of anodized aluminum, which feels sturdy and substantial but is also reasonably lightweight. It houses a pair of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries; Solaari provides the necessary charger. The Ka-Yogen Elite is unique among the three in that its hilt has vertical slats allowing light from the saber to show through, which is really cool:

A close-up of the Ka-Yogen Elite's hilt.
Of the three available models, only the Ka-Yogen Elite has lighting effects built into the hilt. +1 cool factor! (Photo: Rick Broida/Yahoo)

Also really cool: There's a motion sensor that changes the "vwoom-vwoom" sound effect as you move the saber around; it also produces a "clash" sound when you strike something. Best of all, you're not limited to a single set of sound effects; there are half a dozen different themes you can download to the saber.

Thankfully, you don't need a PC to do that. These "connected" lightsabers pair with your phone via Bluetooth; a companion app lets you modify the saber's colors, sound effects and volume.

How legit is this 'saber? It's recognized by the French Fencing Federation. Be en garde for cheap imitations. Available in four colors, and with a 32-inch blade.
$329 at Amazon

Speaking of volume, there's a pretty decent speaker built into the hilt, but you can also pair the saber with your favorite Bluetooth speaker or headphones if you want bigger, louder sound. I had trouble getting this to work at first (the device in question can't be paired to anything, including your phone), and was dismayed to discover no help on Solaari's website. Even finding a tech-support email address was a struggle. It's not listed in the instruction manual; I found it only by delving into unrelated FAQ pages.

This model will, in fact, connect to your phone via its mobile app. Available in four colors and with a 32-inch blade
$359 at Amazon

Those wrinkles aside, something that's already pretty cool goes next-level when you don headphones or blast the sound through a speaker. I'm pretty sure I want my next birthday party to be a lightsaber-duel party. (My age? 54, why?)

Which of Solaari's lightsabers should you choose? Although I tested only the Ka-Yogen Elite, which is the least expensive of the three, I can't see any clear-cut advantages to the other models. In fact, I like the Elite's hilt design best. So unless there's a particular style or color you're after, I say save your money and go for that one.

Whatever you end up with, you're sure to have fun. There's an order-of-magnitude difference between a lightsaber like this one and a cheap plastic toy. Whether you're into cosplay, duels or just hyper-accurate Halloween costumes, you'll absolutely love these things.

You many not know Sith from Shinola, but there's a good change you have a young'un in your life who'd love one of these. Available in four colors and with a 32-inch blade.
$299 at Amazon

By the way, if you have Amazon Prime, you’ll get free shipping, of course. Not yet a member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

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