This project we did for senior prom (2002). I've always wanted to swa fei in a big dance. In our school there are two per year: frolic and prom. I didn't go to the prom in my junior year cuz I was rushing Mankit CD (and guiltily I missed my sister's graduation for it too... and lost a lot of study time for AP). Senior frolic I had a date. My date said she'd freak out if I swa fei, so, sigh, I didn't. Last chance was senior prom. My sister said it was boring last year, so no reason not to swa fei there. I couldn't decide what to do, until two days before the prom, a few friends said they would swa fei with me. Suddenly we decided to be jedis. It was super rushed and spontaneous; we had no plan. But the results were good, and again, a project (the last by the senior kowz... stupid security paranoia later prevented me from doing a prank) and a memory. That was a damn good memory. Byris: "I so will remember this day." One of the best day of the whole year.
Our robes were hand cut and hand made; a clothes designer drew us the schematic for free (she was super nice, and she designed clothes for Jay Zhou!!!). Our lightsabers were 'chemical sabers'. They glow bright up to 8 hours, and still glow (dimly) up to 48 hours. My greatest grief from this project was that I didn't take enough pictures... sigh. What also sucked, was the pictures we took inside the prom didn't show glowing sabers. What was left of the glow, was nick's short video.
Objective: Memory, have fun, prank the boring prom, and as always, swa fei.
Budget: 400-500NT, not counting glue-gun sticks, badminton handle, thread, silicon, and 1 roll of badminton grip (which was way more than enough for the 7 sabers we made) that costs 250NT.
Means of production: Hand assembled. Used glue-gun, silicon gun, badminton handle, acryllic rod, badminton grip, glow sticks, 4m of 1.5m wide cloth for each robe. 'Kungfu uniform', the black Tang-style shirts Byris helped us get awhile ago.
Leaving off where I ended in the intro, only 6 people were in this project: asy_9 billfu byris charles shin sid. Some kowz weren't interested (which really sucked). What was dumber to me, some moms said the last prom should be taken most seriously (I thought the exact opposite). Nr9 was sick (and stupid red eye). Benbry had a date. Other people I asked were either disinterested or restricted by a date. Man, I said if I were to get a date, she would swa fei with me. It seemed like girls took the prom even more seriously than guys. The designer said some girl asked her to make a prom dress that costed around 3000NT. Uh. Man, I wore black jeans and a Kungfu shirt.
Billfu, Shin, and I left school after the sudden deicision. At first we didn't think about robes. Then we decided to get cloth to wear (simply cover us with) at Di Hua. Took a bus there. The cloth market was huge. We asked around and got referred to this designer. Funny that nobody knew what we were talking about: 'we wanna make jedi robes.' Before us was 'Hei ren', that tall guy in entertainment shows.
The lady was nice and she made clothes for pretty famous people including Jolin, Jay Zhou, Wubai, and others. She spent like 30 minutes with us, and drew us a schematic for free. Our schematic was a modified version of a doctor's operation coat. We bought the cheapest cloth we could find (50NT per meter).
We then walked around to look for pipes or pipe substitutes (our only idea was, 'use glowsticks'). Di Hua is enormous, and we discovered it has everything. We went to a hardware store (wu jin hang) and asked for pipes. They didn't have suitable pipes so we got referred to a water pipe store, where we asked for hard pipes. It was already funny, cuz we got referred from a general hardware specific store to a water pipe specific store. They didn't carry hard water pipes so we asked if they had acryllic pipes. Then they referred us to an acryllic store, hahaha!
We periodically called Byris, cuz he was responsible for getting the glowsticks.
After buying everything, we taxi'd to Billfu's house. He said he had 2 sewing machines so we thought robes would be done in 30 minutes. He couldn't find them, and we started hand-sewing, which took forever. Super late (and not even done with one), we decided to just cut up all the cloth. I brought the cloth home cuz I have a sewing machine.
I had to learn how to use the machine. After I did, the bobbin ran out of thread. I spent an hour searching for internet sites that taught you to do that! All fixed, I worked until 0200.
Woke up around 1000, and worked until 1400. Super swang after all robes were done. I wore one around before leaving, and when my dad just got home, he said I looked like a jedi, hahaha! Then I taxi'd to Billfu's house, where Billfu, Byris, and Shin started the saber work.
We hand-sewed the holes in the robes and did other length fixes and stuff. Realized the center of the robe was open after we checked pictures online, so we cut.
Nonstop work. Sid came late, and while he and I finished fixing our robes, Shin, Byris, and Billfu fit the badminton handles into the rods with silicon and glue gun. We were 3 short. Asked danchen, and he said his mom threw his 3 away. Tomkit had 2 more. He was going to California fitness center down ChungHsiao in the afternoon (what the hell?) with mankit and bryan. So me and Byris met him in the street while he was on the taxi, and he gave us the 2 geshi. And what the hell, the guys in the cab were in suits, and had big fat flower sets.
Then me and Byris went to shihlin to get badminton grips. When the clerk asked us why we had the badminton handles, Byris said it looks good and the clerk understood it as we display them as souveniers, or spoils of victory. Haha, before I kept saying people would think we're gangsters.
Billfu had one extra racket, which we ended up breaking. It was not that bad of a waste, cuz it was an old, shitty racket with a small crack in the shaft. We started the glowstick work after all rods were done (and seemingly dried).
We got a bunch of paper cups from downstairs. On the test, byris cut a hole in a white glow stick and poured it into a cup, then broke the glass rod and combined the chemicals. Glowing liquid. Then he put a blue one in... it didn't turn blue... it become super bright white! We were all amazed and really swang, cuz the sabers would be super bright.
They started filling the first saber while I went out to get new batteries for the one electric saber, using laser. I also went to pick up charles, who over icq that afternoon joined the project (he said he was in for swa fei a lot earlier, but we didn't talk any further until then).
When we got back, they turned off all the lights; byris covered the first saber with cloth, swa dramatic effect. Lifting off the cloth revealed a column of superbright green light. It was awesome. I can't describe how much excitement I felt... it's an experience of a lifetime. 'This is gonna be good.'
The bad thing was there were tiny air bubbles coming out from the bottom. We didn't really know what was happening. No time to figure or fix. So we just left the top uncovered while we filled the other 6 sabers. Then we sealed them all. Air still leaked slowly, but it would last through prom. We also couldn't get a complete seal onto the rod, so we had to keep the rods all upright. But anyway, good enough.
Kinda panicked. 40 minutes to prom, still things undone, nobody ate dinner (Billfu ordered sandwiches but everybody was working), and the room was a mess. We started cleaning up and finishing up the small things.
Countdown 30 minutes, sealed the last saber, got our robes and waist bands sorted (waist bands were long cloth strips left over from the robes; we matched up the different colors so they stood out but looked decent). Suddenly we had the issue of hiding the rods. Shit! What was leftover of the cloth was used to hide the glowing sabers.
At countdown 20, we left Billfu's place and taxi'd to school and arrived on time... but hell, they wouldn't open the gates... it took them like 30 minutes overtime for people to start getting in. 6 of us stood away from the waiting crowd to avoid suspicion.
Dumbness at its best, Charles and I forgot our tickets, so we had to wait outside for a long, long time. I kept wondering what was going on inside. Had a call, and they said they got passed the teachers at the entrance. But there was no place to hide the lightsabers and robes... so they put everything into a bathroom stall, and rotated people every 5 or so minutes to guard. When Charles and I got in, we went rotating too, which wasn't that bad, since we had 6 people -- 2 shifts an hour. Time passed slowly as we waited. Decided to bring them out after the first performances (which wasn't the best decision... we should've waited until the second performances, cuz there were more people, but it was good enough... I worried too much about the glow sticks going out). 11:30 or something, I forgot.
In fact my first plan was to raid out while the junior breakdancers got their circle of audience. But I learned that there's no breakdancing in the prom. So I said we should raid the dancefloor when people slow dance. But I was told people would get pissed (sigh...).
These juniors in the bathroom once discovered we were hiding something. They were annoying, but we never told them what it was. Billfu and Byris also talked to Mr. Ladd and this other teacher (who organized the prom... Mr. Gabert or something) before we got ready to make sure we wouldn't be in big trouble. It really annoyed me that Ladd and Evans were paranoid about a senior prank this year. It already annoyed me that our class was boring, blockheaded, and too grade-competitive.
Near the end of the first performances, we ran into the bathroom, and quickly got changed; it was super rushed. When the performing group ended their singing, we walked single file and stood in a line behind the crowd. I shouted 'may the force be with you,' then we all said 'one day, I will become the most strongest jedi ever.' Lame star wars, but the prank was star wars anyway. We walked out right after, leaving a small commotion and confusion. But the stupid MC broke our plan; 'now they got the attention they wanted...' I actually wanted more commotion than attention.
We took a bunch of photos in the gym. Some girls borrowed our sabers for a picture. Mr. Ladd said 'I like.' The hype died down in less than an hour, but I was pretty satisfied. But then the prom got boring. All I could do, was walk around, eat, drink, and take some more photos. (some people tell me having a date makes it fun. Well frolic was boring with a date. It's not the date's problem -- it's the acitivity itself. It's just boring)
Anyway, the night went pretty well. I (I bet we) made a lifetime experience. It was a great memory left of the senior prom, and I know we made that prom different from all others for many others. Nobody had any regrets of joining the project. Byris kept saying 'I so will remember this day'. So will I.