Growing up, Star Wars’ iconic lightsaber had always been something I’ve always wanted. There’s so much to like about the fictional weapon: from the bright, pulsating plasma blade, to the way it hums and crackles as it’s being swung around in combat.
And those descriptions perfectly fit the Xenopixel lightsabers from Damiensaber. In this review, we take a look at two lightsabers from the company at different price points. Despite the price difference, these two lightsabers are actually quite similar to each other, bar some distinct design elements.
What It Is
Before we get to the meat of the review, let’s talk about the Xenopixel lightsabers that we got from Damiensaber first. The silver hilt model costs $169 (about RM755), while the other one with an exposed kyber crystal chamber – inspired by Galen Marek/Starkiller’s lightsaber from the first Star Wars: The Force Unleashed game – goes for a cool $379 (approximately RM1,695).
Yes, there’s no doubt that these two lightsabers are not exactly…affordable, and this especially the case with the Starkiller-inspired model. But the sheer quality of these two sabers is evident the moment you pick them up, not to mention their vast feature set and refinement.
Both lightsabers in this review feature a Xenopixel soundboard, so they’re functionally identical. Then…why the huge price difference? Well, it’s all down to the hilt design (for the most part). Yes, I paid twice as much just to get a Starkiller-inspired hilt, though it’s worth noting that this particular model also comes with a sweet carrying case and acrylic stand.
The Good Stuff
The big price difference is obvious from the detail and refinement of the Starkiller hilt; its build quality is a step above the more affordable, more minimalist silver hilt. I love the fact that the exposed kyber crystal chamber also matches the colour of the blade I set, not to mention the fact that there’s no visible charging port, so it looks more like an “authentic” lightsaber.
That being said, the elaborate design elements of this hilt also make it a harder lightsaber to spin and perform tricks with. I’ll get back to this further down this review.
Aside from that, the neopixel blade that comes with the two lightsabers also look great. While the blade doesn’t look particularly impressive in a brightly lit room, it looks absolutely incredible in slightly dimmer lighting conditions. Needless to say, it’s even more impressive in a darker environment.
These being Damiensaber’s Xenopixel lightsabers, the colour of the blade can be changed to whichever shade that catches my fancy. Whether I want the menacing red glow of Kylo Ren’s lightsaber or Luke Skywalker’s calm, steady green gleam, I can get that with these two sabers.
Speaking of which, every Xenopixel lightsaber has 34 different “sound fonts,” which affect the swing sound, blade colour, and ignition effect – the latter is dependent on the font itself. Some of the sound fonts that are pre-installed include Starkiller, Darth Vader (naturally), Kylo Ren, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Cal Kestis, and of course, Rey herself.
Beyond the default sound fonts, you can also change the lightsaber’s different effects to your liking, including the aforementioned blade colour, blade effect, and ignition style. There are many different combinations for you to explore, and we’ll show them in our upcoming video review – stay tuned for that.
Motion controls of these Xenopixel lightsabers are also worth a mention. I can twist the hilt counter-clockwise with my right hand to switch the blade on and off – I can even do a “stab” motion to ignite the saber – and I can change the sound font quickly too with the same counter-clockwise motion…but with the blade facing down.
Last but not least is my absolute favourite feature of Damiensaber’s Xenopixel lightsaber: its fantastic swinging sound. Not only do swinging motions sound extremely smooth with every spin of the blade, the lightsaber even hums and crackles – yes, some sound fonts do have a neat crackling sound effect – with the smallest of wrist movements.
It really, really does feel like I’m swinging an actual lightsaber with the smooth swing of these Xenopixel lightsabers.
The Bad Stuff
As impressive as the Damiensaber Xenopixel lightsaber is, it does have a few shortcomings. If you want to get it for spinning, for example, keep in mind that it is a heavy lightsaber. This makes it quite a bit more challenging to spin the saber effectively, especially if you want to do fancier tricks with it.
The difficulty to perform tricks with this Xenopixel lightsaber is compounded if you get “fancier” hilts…like I did. The design elements of the Starkiller-inspired hilt, for one, can get in the way as you’re spinning the saber. Some sharp edges on the hilt even cut my thumb as I was practicing my spins; not fun.
Last but not least is the single button input of the Xenopixel lightsaber. Whether I want to change the blade effects, sound fonts, or just switch off the saber, it’s all done with this one button. To access the different settings of the blade, I have to hold the button down, wait for the button to blink a certain amount of times, and release it.
But this is assuming I have a model with an illuminated button, such as the silver hilt lightsaber you see above. For my Starkiller-inspired model, well…the button does not illuminate, so I have to rely on timing instead. Needless to say, it will take some practice to get accustomed to the single button input method.
Is It Worth It?
If you want one of the best lightsabers in the market now, Damiensaber’s Xenopixel lightsaber is absolutely worth it. You don’t really have to spend as much as I did to get the same feature set either: some Xenopixel lightsabers from the brand can be purchased for as low as $130 (about RM580).
Yes, the hilts of the more affordable models do not look all that fancy, but you will get the same bright neopixel blade, lighting effects, sound fonts, and most importantly, extremely smooth swinging sounds. Whether you want an eye-catching lightsaber to perform tricks with or for cosplay purposes, I cannot recommend Damiensaber’s Xenopixel lightsabers enough.
If you’re keen to purchase these Xenopixel lightsabers from Damiensaber, you can do so on its official online store. You can also join its Discord server to get some valuable resources (and updates) on its products.