Shameem Moshrefzadeh is the arms dealer for the nerd warrior.
“I build lightsabers to pay the bills,” he said.
The 31-year-old Oakdale resident turned his hobby of collecting lightsaber replicas into a full-time business called Shameem’s Saber Customization Services, serving the LED saber combat and collecting community.
He can dress up a saber with powder coating or chrome, gold, copper or nickel plating on the hilt. Or he can artificially age your weapon to make it look battle-tested, “from minor damage here and there, to completely shattered and having barely survived an explosion.”
He also installs the custom sound and lighting options used in replica sabers such as “flash on clash” or “blaster deflection” noises.
Moshrefzadeh will study movie screen shots so he can make a lightsaber that exactly mimics a prop used in a movie. (He once made a limited-edition $1,500 LED saber with glowing “infinity stones” inspired by the most recent Marvel Comics “Avengers” movies.)
An English major in college, Moshrefzadeh is a self-taught sound engineer, creating dozens of “sound fonts,” or the custom sci-fi noises emitted by tiny speakers built into the LED sabers.
His Size Matters Not and Angsty Apprentice II sound fonts feature dialogue from “Star Wars” movies. Another sound font uses the voice of actor Samuel L. Jackson, who played a Jedi knight in the “Star Wars” films. Thanks to Moshrefzadeh, a rechargeable plastic sword can sound like Jackson yelling a trademark epithet he’s famous for using in non-“Star Wars” films.
Depending on the customer, Moshrefzadeh said, he can make the electronic buzzes and beeps sound heroic or villainous.
“Customers will come to me and say, ‘I want my lightsaber to sound like Godzilla,’ ” he said. “Some people are very particular about this sort of thing. There’s different levels of obsessiveness and nerdiness.”
But he doesn’t mind. After all, he’s crafting “arguably the most iconic weapon in all of science fiction.”