Welcome, Guest
Username: Password: Remember me
Please create a new topic to post your review of the Prodigal Son.

TOPIC: Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63446

  • HotRod
  • HotRod's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 679
  • Thank you received: 343
The Prodigal Son

I have to admit, I struggled to figure out what angle to take in tackling this review. This saber is so iconic, so striking in its recognizable visage which brings up so much nostalgia. I am going to try to go about this as unbiased as possible. I know there are so many who found Saberforge via their quest for this hilt. So, let's get the nostalgia out of the way since it is a valid factor for this hilt.

PROS
- IT'S LUKE's GREEN LIGHTSABER MADE WELL....HOLLY COW. Nostalgia city!
- It is a beautiful display piece on its own right! Just look at it!
- No creaks, rattles, wobbles, or loose parts (wow, well made).

CONS
- The grip size
- The way the activation box button is executed
- Nostalgia (but I thought you said that was a good thing...let me get to that).

- Appearance - Nostalgia and Expectations -

So this is THE saber. The one I wanted as a kid (Luke's 1st Graphlex did not surpass this hilt for me until the original trilogy was re-released in the theaters and I was in college). It LOOKS as beautiful as I would have hoped. What color did I get? 12W+ Green, of course! I know, I know. How original of me. :lol: All I have had for years is my FX Luke Skywalker ROTJ saber. Now look at THIS!







Amazing, right?! Look at that copper neck. Oh, YES! And that black section at the bottom of the grenade section is small as hoped for on mine.

With nostalgia comes expectations. Expectations that everything will be perfect. Perfect grip, perfect size, perfect everything. However, with the design of this hilt looking so close to the movies as it does, some of those aforementioned "perfects" cannot be achieved here. I do not fault Saberforge for this. The design from the source material is to blame I believe. However, this saber is meant to homage that famous saber in ROTJ, and it does that OH SO WELL!

Also, on the upside of Expectations, I had heard tales of loose necks, wobbly blades, rattling parts, switches that fall off, control box rails coming off, and the like. I can tell you, despite all of those issues being very valid for those who have experienced them, NONE of those issues are present here. And that leads me to quality.

- Quality -

I think I blew the punchline for the quality review above. Saberforge did a great job putting this saber together. It feels tough and solid. No shimmies, rattles, shakes, or quakes. It's all solid Saberforge goodness here. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect given some of the issues I have heard, but my copy is solid.

- Grip in Hand -

I need to preface this with saying two things....1) The Prodigal Son evokes my childhood favorite saber and 2) I purchased the Redeemer hilt PRIOR to this thinking "I'll do my own install and if I mess it up, it won't matter as much".

So when I gripped this hilt, I was VERY surprised how much smaller it felt than I expected. When I say "smaller", I meant lengthwise. I couldn't put my finger on how until I started snapping pictures. I'm learning this with you as I write this.





Yeah, the Redeemer is longer...quite a bit longer.









What does this mean? Well, this means when gripping the grenade section on the Prodigal Son, the control box hits the palm of my hand, but when gripping the Redeemer, it hits the bottom of my hand barely. This ultimately means I find the Redeemer much more enjoyable to grip and hold. The grooves that run vertically and horizontally down the grenade section of the Redeemer and Exhalted are less comfortable than the horizontal only grooves of the Prodigal Son. However the missing real estate in the grenade section is definitely a greater of the 2 evils and a hinderance to the experience for me. I will post some pictures of this in the next section since I am out of pictures slots for this post.

So this was a huge surprise for me. The childhood saber I always wanted was not as enjoyable to hold as my first DIY saber.

- Performance -

So I won't rehash the control box and reduction in real estate compared to the Redeemer. The Tri-Ring stays nice and stationary while swinging the saber around.

I want to cover the activation switch. When I first pushed it, it seemed "hit or miss". Sometimes I could get the saber to fire up, and other times I could not. I took the card out and immediately noticed they installed a Latching AV switch.












I thought this was in error and sent CS an e-mail. They got back to me quickly and kindly explained to me that this design is intentional since the latching switches are raised and momentary switches are flat. I raised an eyebrow at this, but accepted it as Saberforge has always been kind to me. My DIY Redeemer has a momentary raised switch in it, so I know it CAN be done because I did it. But this does not mean Saberforge does it. Pressing the control card on the Prodigal Son feels "mushy", "spongey", and "uncertain" if you don't press it the right way. Pushing the control card on my Redeemer feels "springy" and "precise". I did, however, learn that the stop under the control card causes this. Sliding the card up a few centimeters past where the stop under the card hits the side of the switch allows you to reach that much more certain and precise feeling.

I felt this needed to be mentioned because the use of the latching switch was a complete surprise to me to me...and probably will be to others as well. It's not awful, mind you. You should need to know how to adjust the card and get used to the feel. It's almost as if I need to slide the card up and push down to get it to fire up and down reliably.

In the next section, I'll review blade color and brightness, and show so pictures of grip along with my final thoughts....


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by HotRod.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jaden Korr, OvrcAHst, DK44, Neesh Kedoo

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63447

  • HotRod
  • HotRod's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 679
  • Thank you received: 343
Okay, more comparisons:

- Brightness -

The 12w+ Green is BRIGHT. I know once again that the thin-neck sabers reduce the blade brightness through basic physics, but honestly, I am thrilled with the brightness!

Here we are vs the Hasbro FX ROTJ




Now, where it gets interesting. Here we are in comparison to my beloved Monarch in Green. The green on my Prodigal Son (although just green) has a "Minty" color to it. Whereas my Monarch looks more Forest Green. The difference is more noticeable in person.








The color is Excellent!

- Additional Pics for the Grip -

Here is where you can really see the impact to your grip.












As you can see, trying to grip in the same spot, the grenade section is a bit smaller.

Also, here is my AV switch depressed showing it is latching. It is also worth noting I like the little kill key and had no issues removing it or putting it back in, also to my surprise.





- Final Thoughts -

I know, I'm always too wordy. Sorry and thank you for hanging with me. :-)

The Prodigal Son is gorgeous and a beautiful analog for Luke's ROTJ Green saber. I received this saber on the 12 year anniversary of my father's passing. It will be special for me for that alone and being Luke's ROTJ lightsaber. It is a quality, well made Saberforge product in construction and does not disappoint there. But, in all things nostalgic, sometimes form takes a priority to function. The grip here is a bit small for me. Also, I feel that latching switch should have been a momentary switch and that takes away some of the elegance in the feel.

For me, this is a great lightsaber and one I am proud to make part of my saber family. If I had to make a choice between this hilt and its older brother, the Redeemer, I would go with my Redeemer every time. Maybe it's because I'm biased in that it was my first DIY build. Or maybe I cannot get over the grip. Or, maybe Nostalgia (do not turn my review into a drinking game for every use of the word NOSTALGIA), is not always a good thing.

Either way, this is an excellent saber and I do not think anyone would ever regret owning such a quality piece from Saberforge. It's all about what you want from this saber. My 8 year-old self would have LOVED to take hold this amazing hilt! However, my hands have grown since then, so I will reach for my Obi-Wan Kenobi / Redeemer or my Exhalted first. :-)


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by HotRod.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Jaden Korr, OvrcAHst, Neesh Kedoo

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63451

  • OvrcAHst
  • OvrcAHst's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • War. Mostly Dark, Often Grey, Sometimes Light
  • Posts: 2703
  • Thank you received: 1648
There's no mistaking or denying the presence of a Luke ROTJ Hilt as it's difficult not to have ever imagined a time, with its iconic appearance and stature, not wanting to be Luke and wielding such an extraordinary Saber.

Interesting measures of comparison and observations HotRod. It was known that there were some size differences between PS/Redeemer (perhaps by angle of pictures and scale with use of your hand) the differences appear greater than what I had accepted as subtle. It was also interesting to learn of the illumination comparison with a 3W Green Monarch versus a 12W PS. I had thought that perhaps blade length may have contributed from one photo but then when both were placed (vertically) side by side it looks to carry the same blade lengths.

The Switch type you referenced has become something to be conscious of, Thank you for that. I agree with your observations of the Redeemer's intersectional Grenade versus PS' horizontally ribbed Grenade as comfort between the two is noticeable. What's the actual measurement of length of each Grenade Section only between the two? Thank you for the writeup and sharing of your new addition to a mighty Collection.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HotRod

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63452

  • Jaden Korr
  • Jaden Korr's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • "Remember, [Force] abilities are not inherently good or evil; it's how you use them." --Kyle Katarn
  • Posts: 1103
  • Thank you received: 511
Always great to see another happy PS owner!

There decision to use a latching switch is interesting. Are you still able to use the in hilt menu and aux sound effect with it? The momentary switch I received with my ASP hilt had a tall thingy-you-press part, so I don't see why they couldn't use it for this:


ASP momentary on left, regular momentary on right.
2005 MR Vader
B/B/W Graflex 2.0
yellow SF ASP Interceptor
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HotRod

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63453

  • HotRod
  • HotRod's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 679
  • Thank you received: 343
OvrcAHst wrote:
There's no mistaking or denying the presence of a Luke ROTJ Hilt as it's difficult not to have ever imagined a time, with its iconic appearance and stature, not wanting to be Luke and wielding such an extraordinary Saber.

Interesting measures of comparison and observations HotRod. It was known that there were some size differences between PS/Redeemer (perhaps by angle of pictures and scale with use of your hand) the differences appear greater than what I had accepted as subtle. It was also interesting to learn of the illumination comparison with a 3W Green Monarch versus a 12W PS. I had thought that perhaps blade length may have contributed from one photo but then when both were placed (vertically) side by side it looks to carry the same blade lengths.

The Switch type you referenced has become something to be conscious of, Thank you for that. I agree with your observations of the Redeemer's intersectional Grenade versus PS' horizontally ribbed Grenade as comfort between the two is noticeable. What's the actual measurement of length of each Grenade Section only between the two? Thank you for the writeup and sharing of your new addition to a mighty Collection.


Thank you. Interestingly, I feel such a difference holding these two sabers, but in measuring the grenade section, I only see 1/4" difference at 3 1/4" vs 3 1/2". Basically, the larger black rib at the end of the Redeemer grenade section.

I must have been living under a rock. I was unaware of the size differences. ;)

Also, both the Monarch and Prodigal Son have 32" blades in that picture. The blade goes deeper into the Monarch. Could have also been the perspective I shot it. The colors do look different, but it could be a brightness factor as well.

Jaden Korr wrote:
Always great to see another happy PS owner!

There decision to use a latching switch is interesting. Are you still able to use the in hilt menu and aux sound effect with it? The momentary switch I received with my ASP hilt had a tall thingy-you-press part, so I don't see why they couldn't use it for this:


ASP momentary on left, regular momentary on right.

Yes, I can. So they leverage the fact that the switch will not latch until fully depressed. So the hope is as long as you press it "right", it will never latch under the card even though you are engaging a function. However, in a demo I sent them, it did latch and went all the way through the menu system since the switch was latched (read "held down"). For the most part, once I understood how the switch works, it's fine. It's just not ideal.

What you received for the ASP switches is interesting. I would think they would go this route as well. Very interesting indeed. Part of me wonders of if this is just a parts supply issue.


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
Last Edit: 1 year 1 month ago by HotRod.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: OvrcAHst

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63455

  • OvrcAHst
  • OvrcAHst's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Moderator
  • War. Mostly Dark, Often Grey, Sometimes Light
  • Posts: 2703
  • Thank you received: 1648
HotRod wrote:
Thank you. Interestingly, I feel such a difference holding these two sabers, but in measuring the grenade section, I only see 1/4" difference at 3 1/4" vs 3 1/2". Basically, the larger black rib at the end of the Redeemer grenade section.

I must have been living under a rock. I was unaware of the size differences. ;)

Also, both the Monarch and Prodigal Son have 32" blades in that picture. The blade goes deeper into the Monarch. Could have also been the perspective I shot it. The colors do look different, but it could be a brightness factor as well.
I arrived at that conclusion by deduction and factoring scale similarities (or difference allowances) between Vendors. Using my LDMs, MKVI (PS) versus MKIII (Redeemer), former's length=29cm versus latter's 31cm respectively. Just the grenade is separated by similar difference of about 1/4" too (0.64cm). Further troubleshooting/queries were made with ProtoKun7's PS that returned the same difference. I find my MKVI comfortable to hold and acceptable and with PS being (about) 0.5cm longer, am hoping PS builds will be consistent and the expected grip comfort isn't lost.

Without question that Monarch has a deeper socket. Am pretty sure all Thin Necks are the shallowest sitting at 3/4" deep with the blade retention sitting a few whiskers below that. Still a marvel that illumination isn't greatly compromised considering the location of the LED, the narrow mylar reliant tunnel it passes before flooding out along the blade.

I'm probably more apprehensive about the Switch Type used and also rub my chin shared with a furrowed brow about whether it's the new norm or a temporary Part substitute.
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HotRod

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63458

  • DK44
  • DK44's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 335
  • Thank you received: 163
Another great review Hotrod! Congrats on getting this saber, I totally agree with you that Luke's ROTJ saber is "the" saber to have--my favorite of all of them!

Thanks for comparing the PS & Redeemer (I'm 4 weeks into waiting for my Redeemer), I had no idea the Redeemer was that much bigger than the PS..very interesting. You're right about the activation switch...mine has a "spongey" feel to it too, in fact sometimes it's difficult to access the sound menu because of this. I just thought that's the way it is....glad to hear that Redeemer is not like that.

Bottom line like you said is that it's Luke's ROTJ saber! and it's a Must Have! Congrats & Enjoy man!.......are you gonna do a review video as well?
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HotRod

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63466

  • Jaden Korr
  • Jaden Korr's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • "Remember, [Force] abilities are not inherently good or evil; it's how you use them." --Kyle Katarn
  • Posts: 1103
  • Thank you received: 511
HotRod wrote:
Yes, I can. So they leverage the fact that the switch will not latch until fully depressed. So the hope is as long as you press it "right", it will never latch under the card even though you are engaging a function.



Okay; I can understand that; especially if the button needs depressed past flush within the switch housing in order to latch (not sure how far SF's latching switches require), which you wouldn't be able to do with pressing the flat surface of the card against it.

Though I feel they could charge a little bit more and do the "magnet on the button and magnetic tape on the card" method and nobody would complain, or at least offer it for a fee.
2005 MR Vader
B/B/W Graflex 2.0
yellow SF ASP Interceptor
The administrator has disabled public write access.
The following user(s) said Thank You: HotRod

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63673

  • HotRod
  • HotRod's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 679
  • Thank you received: 343
Jaden Korr wrote:
HotRod wrote:
Yes, I can. So they leverage the fact that the switch will not latch until fully depressed. So the hope is as long as you press it "right", it will never latch under the card even though you are engaging a function.



Okay; I can understand that; especially if the button needs depressed past flush within the switch housing in order to latch (not sure how far SF's latching switches require), which you wouldn't be able to do with pressing the flat surface of the card against it.

Though I feel they could charge a little bit more and do the "magnet on the button and magnetic tape on the card" method and nobody would complain, or at least offer it for a fee.

I 100% agree with you. And I was surprised that they said they used the latching switch because it's raised. I'm using a raised momentary switch in my Redeemer (I added the magnet for more action). I think it could be done better, and it does slightly take away from what is otherwise small but great hilt.

Nonetheless, I have to say Saberforge's customer service has been VERY VERY kind through my back and forth with them over this. They even offered to replace my body that has the Covertech knob (or hole) since I put in the notes that I didn't want a Covertech knob. They believe the tech may have misread my notes since apparently PS's don't come with Covertech knobs. I'm thinking it over but I told them I felt like it was a lot of work to make a small hole where the covertech screw would go disappear. They said if I changed my mind, I would send it in. Their Customer Service is VERY good.


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63911

  • bro2044
  • bro2044's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • "Do or do not, there is no try..."
  • Posts: 127
  • Thank you received: 28
Did your latching switch not have a small black rubber ring glued to the top?

The administrator has disabled public write access.

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63917

  • HotRod
  • HotRod's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Platinum Member
  • Posts: 679
  • Thank you received: 343
No it didn't. It has what looks like a black rubber ring cut in half and glued to the bottom of the circuit card to "prevent" it from moving around. I think this would have helped the "spongy" feel I have now had it had this like yours...although that is something I could easily do. How does your feel on activation?


- RGBA+ Monarch, FW Epoch, Juggernaut, Exhalted
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Champion Prodigal Son with Comparisons 1 year 1 month ago #63919

  • bro2044
  • bro2044's Avatar
  • Offline
  • Premium Member
  • "Do or do not, there is no try..."
  • Posts: 127
  • Thank you received: 28
HotRod wrote:
No it didn't. It has what looks like a black rubber ring cut in half and glued to the bottom of the circuit card to "prevent" it from moving around. I think this would have helped the "spongy" feel I have now had it had this like yours...although that is something I could easily do. How does your feel on activation?

Yeh, mine has that ring under the card too! Man, I bet a small ring over the latch as well would totally help. I have no issues with activation, scrolling through the menu, etc. I will say its not like I feel it clicking or anything, its still spongey I guess? But its responsive and I have no issues.

I wont lie, it kills me that they upgraded my crystal chamber version less than a year after my purchase, argh! I love this saber tho, wows everyone who comes in. Its just missing those dam control box lights! :)
The administrator has disabled public write access.

Member Login

Latest Posts

More Topics »

Forum Statistics

  • Total Users: 5688
  • Latest Member: melinski78
  • Total Posts: 59.5k
  • Total Topics: 4932
  • Total Sections: 24
  • Total Categories: 134
  • Today Open: 2
  • Yesterday Open: 5
  • Today Answer: 15
  • Yesterday Answer: 58