From Chewbaca’s bowcaster to various types of lightsabers, the weapons in the Star Wars universe are immediately recognizable. One of the most iconic, is a simple blaster. The DL-44 heavy blaster pistol has become a distinguishable piece of cinema lore thanks to Han Solo.
Like most kids I hated Luke Skywalker and thought Han Solo was a badass. Yet for Christmas and my birthday I always wanted a green lightsaber. Blasters were cool, but what kid wouldn’t want a lightsaber?
Other than a lightsaber, I wanted nothing to do with Luke. I constantly dreamt about owning the Millenium Falcon toy and I wore my Star Wars hip bag a little low to imitate the way Han wore his holster. I never asked for it, but deep down I really wanted Han Solo’s blaster. I never got it and never really cared until this year when out of the blue my friend Pablo gave me the DL-44 for my birthday.
To say I was shocked would be an understatement. I have grown up a Star Wars fans and aside from the prequels have enjoyed all of them. I even loved Rogue One and did not sign an anti The Last Jedi internet petition. Still, I have not purchased or asked for Star Wars merchandise in years. Much of my collection is based on gifts.
Besides, I am in my late thirties. There comes a point in your life when your birthday does not mean the same as it used to. Spending time with friends takes priority while presents are still great to get but nowhere near as important. The usual answer when someone asks what you want for you birthday is, “Oh, you don’t have to get me anything.”
Pablo’s gift was different, however. I have received shot glasses, tiki torches, ugly sweaters and framed comics, but I have never received a homemade Star Wars gift. And this was not just some random item; he actually gave me a replica DL-44 that he had made himself. (He was also moving and giving away stuff he could not take with him, which is quintessentially Han.)
The DL-44 is the perfect blaster for Han. The wooden handle is fitting of a scoundrel and is something straight out of a western epic. The blaster looked like it was made specifically for a scruffing looking nerf herder. The sight is on the right side of the blaster and it actually works!
The best thing about the replica DL-44 I received is how worn it looks. Pablo had pieced together the blaster out of toy guns he had bought a dollar store. The gun has a worn look that looks like it may have been won from Han himself in a card game.
If you are a fan, it is great to receive Star Wars goodies no matter how old you are. If it is homemade, even better. And if it is a replica DL-44 that you always wanted and never really knew, that is best of all.
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