UPDATE – May the 4th, 2019 – we’ve added a new video below of a montage from Star Wars Celebration Chicago where lots of additional Star Wars stars got their turn with our t-shirt cannon!
We were contacted by our friends at Lucasfilm to create a Star Wars prop t-shirt cannon and confetti launcher to be used by The Star Wars Show live at the 2017 Star Wars Celebration in Orlando. We knew right away this was going to be a fun one!
We began with an actual T shirt launcher and a confetti launcher, both of which felt as if they were always destined to become Star Wars pieces. For the confetti cannon, we decided it could become a lightsaber. We modified the handle of the cannon by not only painting it to match the look of the lightsabers, but also by extending the length and adding saber inspired shapes and greeblies like the classic handle grips. Although there were several awesome colors to choose from when it came to the blade, neon green seemed to grab the eye the best, so we chose to go with Luke Skywalker’s Return of the Jedi style green blade.
For the T-shirt launcher, we wanted to create something that looked like a weapon which would look right at home in the hands of the Empire. We pulled some elements from the Stromtrooper’s E-11 blaster, and took major inspiration from the Sandtrooper’s T-21 Light Repeating Blaster. We also dug into our boxes of greeblies and spare parts and tried to find elements that fit the overall feel of the film props. We had to take it from our universe and transport it to a galaxy far, far away. Paint and weathering would really sell this as a Star Wars style prop, and we put extra care into capturing the right vibe with that work.
On stage, our cannon was fired by everyone from the stage hosts, the stars of the Star Wars movies, directors and crew, and yes… even Tom! Everyone from Mark Hamill, John Boyega, Hayden Christensen, Ashley Eckstein, Ray Park, and even the coolest guy in world, Billy Dee Williams got to launch t-shirts into the crowd with our blaster!
At the close of the show, we were thrilled to find out that our t-shirt cannon has become story canon! See the video below in which Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo gave the blaster an in-universe name, and dubbed our work the Merr-Sonn Munitions SWS-1013 Projectile Launcher, and threw down a challenge to video game creators to include the cannon for players to use! Here’s hoping fans everywhere will get that chance someday.
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