How will you watch the very last episode of the Star Wars Saga? Well for me, thanks to SOLIDWORKS, I will watch it with my very own piece of custom created Jedi lore. If you are reading this then you are every bit as excited as I am to see how the final chapter of the Star Wars story ends. Will Rey end up being a Skywalker? Will JJ Abrams pull a home run to finish up this 42-year-old space drama?
So what Jedi lore am I talking about? If you recall a scene 15 minutes into Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rey enters Luke Skywalker’s hut on his hideaway planet of Ahch-To. There is an interesting trinket hanging on a leather strap with what appears to be a red Kyber crystal. Why would this trinket get its very own precious frame in the movie? Could it be an important or pivotal part of the story? Or setup for the next movie? Was this Darth Vader’s Kyber crystal? A million questions ran through my mind.
We saw that Han Solo’s lucky dice played a small part in the end of The Last Jedi and in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Could this scene of the pendant be an introduction for the final movie? This is when the mind of an obsessed Star Wars fan kicked in. I began to research this necklace and found out that it is what they call in Star Wars fandom a “Jedi Crusader pendant.” It appears these pendants were trophies worn by the Jedi Crusaders who were a renegade faction of the Jedi Order who assisted the Galactic Republic during the Mandalorian Wars. But I digress, after watching the movie I couldn’t stop thinking about this pendant.
This is where my project’s story begins. Ever since Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge opened at Disneyland and Disney World this year, the land of Batuu at Disney has become a sort of Mecca for all of Star Wars Fandom. While I visited the “House of Mouse” I excitedly asked the Disney cast members to see if they sold Kyber crystal necklaces and was quickly taken over to the dark side of corporate merchandizing as I was told they had a necklace at one of the stores in the land.
I soon discovered all their amazing collectibles at a store called Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities. Drooling with anticipation, I quickly scanned for Kyber crystal necklaces through the store and then I then saw their version of the pendant. Unfortunately, it looked nothing like the Jedi Crusader pendant from the movie but rather something that you could buy from a local swap meet but with a Disney price tag.
I looked around on ebay and Etsy on my phone and saw some pretty neat reproductions, but I really wanted something from the land of Batuu to mark my first visit that was Kyber crystal related. I thought of buying one of those custom light sabers from Savi’s Workshop since they had a play mechanic that changed the light saber color with the purchase of different color Kyber crystals. My mind kept going back to the Jedi Crusader pendant from The Last Jedi. This is when I decided that I would make my own pendant using one of these Kyber crystals From Galaxy’s Edge.
I purchased a couple of crystals and when I got home from my trip began to plan. I decided that if I wanted to make my own pendant, I would also want to have it light up so I sourced some mini LED lights that would be to scale for the necklace.
I took some careful measurements of the LED and the crystals I purchased and took the best screenshot I could of the Crusader Pendant from the movie. I then used the master model technique along with sketch pictures in SOLIDWORKS to draw up a starting point for all the components. The sketch picture allowed me to safely scale up the design to make sure I had the proper proportions to the actual prop from the movie while still trying to accommodate the larger Disney-bought Kyber crystal and the LED.
Next, I needed to figure out how I was going to open the model so I could insert the LED and the crystal. I tried multiple combinations of male and female threads, using the thread feature in SOLIDWORKS and ended up using a combination of a female thread and some nubs to engage the threading to hold the parts together. This ended up working the best after printing multiple test prints.
Also, thanks to my test prints I was able to see that my pendant broke easily with the twisting action, so I thickened out the supports that held the crystal to the pendant and ended up with a final design.
I printed the last test print for a final test fit and began to figure out how I would finish the detailing of the pendant and the leather with the strap. I ended up using a dry brush technique using a silver paint pen to mimic the texture of a worn-out piece of metal for the 3D print.
For the leather I ended up ripping apart the outer layer of a nice journal I sourced and found some copper tubing from the hardware store that would fit the string I had.
I then printed all the parts and began to finish off a couple of these pendants.
Here are the final results of the project with the LED off and on. I was very happy with the results!!!
I got an opportunity to go back to Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge and had some fun taking pictures of the finished project.
I will be wearing my very own Jedi Crusader pendant to see the last Star Wars movie. We will see if my obsessions were correct about the pendant and if it will make an appearance in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. If not, the project was super fun and gave me a chance to scratch my Star Wars fanboy itch.
About Enrique Garcia
Enrique has been involved in technical training since 2007 with SOLIDWORKS and Simulation tools and currently specializes in Simulation Products. He is a CSWE and was given Elite Application Engineer status at SOLIDWORKS world in 2018. Enrique holds a Bachelor's Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Arizona State University. He has worked alongside and learned from companies in the medical device industry developing orthodontic devices that specializes in the rehabilitation needs of many types of patients.
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