You've taken your first step into a larger world.
Updated: May 28, 2019
I first fell into prop replicating in 1999. I was a freshman in college, and the high-speed Ethernet available in the dorms transformed my computer (which had previously relied on a dial-up modem) into a gateway to communities that I never knew existed. I was always a Sci-fi fan, but with all the hype surrounding the, as yet to be released, prequels, I found myself searching the web for new and interesting ways to interact with fandom. I vividly remember that I first started learning about all that went into the prop making production of many of my favorite Sci-fi franchises from two sources; John's Spot on the Web/Yodashouse (which as Blast-Tech became a staple to the prop building community for high quality parts for over a decade) and the Parts of Star Wars http://www.partsofsw.com/ an incredibly informative site run by two talented illustrators who have since become friends, Chris Trevas and Chris Reiff. From these two sites, I learned that many of the original props from Star Wars were in fact constructed from off the shelf items, things that I could go out and get, and that it was possible for me to build my own copy of the otherworldly kit that I had dreamed about as a kid. And thus, I fell down the rabbit hole.
"Parts of Star Wars" is still going strong after more than 20 years! It's a great place to start learning about all the different components that went into prop building in the Star Wars films. http://www.partsofsw.com/ Although, the site hasn't been updated in a while, the boys regularly post to their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/PartsofSW/ with up-to-date incredible finds on what bits and bobs get transformed into the best kit from the Star Wars universe.
Although Yodashouse is no more, https://wannawanga.com/ , run by my buddy Roy has filled the void with some incredibly accurate accessories and parts to assist any aspiring prop builders.
As you get into prop building and the history of laser sword, it can be quite daunting to try and understand the history of the props used, how they were constructed, or even what the names of the different object are. So, if you're interested in knowing the history of the laser sword props used in space sagas, I think your best bet is to start out with this amazing guide put together by SethS http://wannawanga.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/SW_Lightsaber_Guide.pdf
And as always, the go to spot on the internet to interact with the most knowledgeable and engaged community of fan prop builders is TheRPF.com I post there regularly, so I'll look forward to seeing you there.