When crafting Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams clearly understood the value of the past. In the film, up-and-comers like Rey and Finn join forces with established Star Wars icons like Han and Leia both in the search for Luke Skywalker and to defeat the fanatical First Order. The Original Trilogy still lives deep within the hearts of fans both casual and diehard.
Luke Skywalker’s DL-44 blaster, first seen in the beloved sequel, will be posted to auction according to Express. But owning the 12 inch piece of black and silver fiberglass won’t come cheap. Auctioneers at Nate D. Sanders of Los Angeles expect the iconic weapon to sell for roughly $300,000. America’s love of Star Wars has already brought huge payouts for other articles of memorabilia. Han Solo’s blaster from Empire and Return of the Jedi fetched nearly $200,000 in 2013, and Luke’s lightsaber cashed in at a whopping $240,000 in 2008. If it sells for the estimated price, Luke’s blaster would become the most expensive piece of movie and Star Wars weaponry ever sold. Sam Heller, a rep from the auction house, described the cultural cachet of Luke’s blaster:
"Luke Skywalker is one of the most beloved cinematic characters of all-time. Collectors will cherish Skywalker's Blaster Gun, which was used in the Rebel Alliance's battle against the evil Galatic Empire."
Before trading it in for his trademark lightsaber, this molded duplicate of Han Solo’s A New Hope blaster – itself modeled after a German Mauser C96 pistol – was Luke’s trusty sidekick during his journey from Hoth to Bespin. After filming, Hamill, known for his good nature, gave the prop blaster to an eight-year-old fan on the set of the BBC show Jim’ll Fix It. Since then, it’s resided within a private collection until it's auctioned off to the biggest, wealthiest Star Wars fan. And even though the film-used prop weapon has a glued component, the laser pistol was reportedly damaged on-set by Hamill or the prop masters during the filming, giving it an extra flavor of historical cachet.
Admittedly, the six-figure price tag sounds like a massive feat for those of us with modest incomes. But the Star Wars franchise has forged several generations’ worth of fervent fans – any number of whom would love to own the very weapon that Luke pointed at Yoda in the swamps of Dagobah. But with a price tag like $300,000, only the wealthiest collectors can viably bid on the blaster or most of the iconic items from the original Star Wars films.
However, if I did have a spare 300 grand lying around, owning a piece of Star Wars history would be hard to pass up. The hardest part for me, though: resisting the urge to run around the house, pretending to follow Han Solo’s carbonite-frozen form with a more-than quarter-million dollar prop.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is now playing in theaters, and will be followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.