DIY: Put the 3D into your Star Wars viewing

Star Wars Episode 1 returned to the theatres on Friday in 3D.

I’m a fan of the series. Star Wars books are popular books with my students. I’ve seen many so-called “reluctant readers” huddled over a Star Wars book.

The film opening is heavily promoted and the kids are talking about it. The last time this film was in the theaters was 13 years ago, so this is the first time my students can see Star Wars on a big screen. It’s a big deal to them.

We always start library with story time. I pulled out a book on Pioneer Recipes and told the kids it was a special day and held up my book (moans and groans). Then I pulled the cover away and replaced it with Star Wars: Anakin in Action! and said “Star Wars comes out today!!”. The kids cheered. It was fun to see the little boys light up. They love Star Wars so much.

I have the best job in the world.

The most awesome part of Episode 1 is the brilliant light saber duel with Darth Maul. The martial arts and cool moves are non-stop. Thank you, Ray Park.

We didn’t go see it this weekend, a 3d outing is too expensive to justify when we already own the movie. If the movie wraps around to show at Pollack Tempe Theater that would be a fun place to see it. It’s a second run theater with a first rate gallery of movie memorabilia including some Star Wars figures (gallery link).

For us, the movie meant catching the spirit. We fought with lightsabers at home. You can build your own, there are many ways of doing this. I’ve tried two, both involving pool noodles. The simplest approach is cut a pool noodle into desired length and wrap the base in silver tape. The net effect looks good, but it doesn’t have a satisfying heft.

My husband was a hero to my children when he made these

To introduce heft, you can add a length of PVC pipe, fit the noodle over most of it and leave enough exposed pipe to form a comfortable handle. Embellish it as you like. The sky’s the limit. I’m not very crafty so we just wrapped it in black electrical tape. You can also make a double light saber. A trip to home depot will give you PVC pipe, caps for the end (glue that on) and tape. Pool noodle from the dollar star and your crew will be over the moon. Kids of all ages will enjoy these.

Further searching will yield increasingly complex light sabers for older kids. I like the Parts and Crafts light saber featured in one of my favorite blogs, Instructables. Definitely a project for someday.

May the force be with you my friends.

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