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Meet the 'Star Wars'-Inspired "Han Solo in Carbonite" Guitar

When friends of Evanescence guitarist Ben Moody were looking for a special present for him, they didn’t want to get him an ordinary guitar.

Instead, they commissioned Travis Stevens to build a one-of-a-kind Han Solo in Carbonite guitar for Moody, who is also a Star Wars fanatic.

“Ben’s friends heard about my Millennium Falcon guitar and searched the internet to find me,” Stevens says. “They wanted something Star Wars–related, and I came up with the Han Solo idea shortly after finishing the Falcon guitar.

"The rectangular shape worked well as it’s similar to the Bo Diddley signature Gretsch ‘Twang Machine,’ and Han in Carbonite is one of the most iconic images from the Star Wars movies.”

Stevens downloaded all the images of that scene he could find (including a photo of Moody at the Skywalker Ranch posing with the original prop) and collected reproduction toys for reference to help him as he carved the likeness of Han entirely by hand.

The semihollow body consists of a maple top and back, mahogany sides, and a mahogany center block attached to a bolt-on maple neck. Bare Knuckle custom-configured the Aftermath humbucking pickup covers and pole pieces to match the Carbonite colors. Controls are side mounted to preserve visual aesthetics, and a multicolor LED illuminates Han’s color-changing “life-support system,” also located on the side.

Although Stevens makes his living as a music teacher in Pennsylvania, he offers his guitar customization services to anyone with an unusual idea. “Prices are dependent on parts,” he explains. “A guitar like the Han Solo would sell for $2,000 to $3,000, but I just renovated a Pearl Harbor–motif guitar and a Boba Fett–themed Strat that each sold for $1,200.”

Photos: Angela Boatwright

Chris Gill

Chris is the co-author of Eruption - Conversations with Eddie Van Halen. He is a 40-year music industry veteran who started at Boardwalk Entertainment (Joan Jett, Night Ranger) and Roland US before becoming a guitar journalist in 1991. He has interviewed more than 600 artists, written more than 1,400 product reviews and contributed to Jeff Beck’s Beck 01: Hot Rods and Rock & Roll and Eric Clapton’s Six String Stories.