An original R2-D2 prop used in several Star Wars films has sold for a staggering $2.76 million at auction. R2-D2, along with his droid counterpart C-3PO, is without question one of the most iconic characters in the Star Wars universe. Along with C-3PO, R2-D2, the droid duo have the distinction of the only characters to appear in all eight of the Star Wars films released so far, including a notable cameo last year in Rogue One.
Since Star Wars debuted more than 40 years ago in theaters, replicas of R2-D2, naturally, have found their way to collectors in the form of action figures and remote control toys, and rare is the opportunity that anybody comes close to owning the real thing. But according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail, one collector with very deep pockets can now lay claim to owning one of the original droids, and they've shelled out an extraordinary amount of money for it.
The report says the R2-D2 unit was sold Wednesday in an auction by Calabasas, California-based auction house Profiles in History for $2.76 million to an unidentified collector. The R2-D2 prop was reportedly assembled from components in the classic Star Wars trilogy, and used in the prequel trilogy films Episode I - The Phantom Menace and Episode II - Attack of the Clones. In six of the Star Wars films, R2-D2 was operated by actor Kenny Baker, who died in August of 2016 at age 81.
The R2-D2 prop, which is currently stored in the U.K., is measured at 43 inches tall. Made of aluminum, steel and fiberglass, the prop, according to the Profiles in History auction catalog, is believed to be the only complete R2-D2 unit in the public domain. Additionally, Profiles in History noted the prop has "No internal mechanics or workings are present." The prop -- which was the most expensive item sold at the auction, was estimated before the event to go for anywhere between $1 million and $2 million.
Also among the big-ticket Star Wars props sold at the auction Wednesday included Luke Skywalker's lightsaber from Episode IV - A New Hope and Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, which sold for $450,000. Darth Vader's helmet from A New Hope also sold for $96,000.
While $2.76 million seems like a steep price for a piece of Star Wars history, the item will likely go up in value as the Star Wars saga continues to unfold on the big screen, especially given the rarity of the piece. In an interview with the Daily Mail before the auction, London-based movie memorabilia consultant Stephanie Connell likened the piece of Star Wars history to a valued work of art, saying, 'This is instantly recognizable, the creme de la creme of movie props. This is something you could put right next to a Picasso."
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Source: Daily Mail