As arguably the biggest film franchise of all-time, Star Wars is one of pop culture's largest merchandising giants. Dating back to Kenner's infamous "Empty Box" campaign in 1977, people have always been interesting in acquiring Star Wars products so they can bring a part of the galaxy far, far away home. With the property's multi-generational appeal, Lucasfilm always makes sure there's something for consumers of all ages. The Sideshow Collectibles line is a prime example of this, giving adult collectors top of the line figures to display in their homes.
The holy grail for many moviegoers would be to own a prop from one of the films. Now, they can, from a certain point of view. While the actual materials used during production haven't been made available for purchase, Lucasfilm has just opened their own premium prop replica shop, giving fans a chance to buy various items that are virtually identical to the props seen in last year's Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
In a press release, the studio announced the unveiling of starwarsultimatestudioedition.com, which combined "cutting edge 3D printing technology" with craftsmanship from the same people who made the Episode VII props. The first wave of products includes eight items, such as Darth Vader's melted helmet, FN-2187's (Finn) blood-stained helmet, Rey's staff, and Kylo Ren's lightsaber hilt. Each one comes with a display pedestal and is shipped in a box specifically designed for the prop. It should be noted that they are currently only available in the United States.
To promote the new store, Lucasfilm shared a video (watch it above) detailing the behind-the-scenes process at PropShop, a company that has been involved with Hollywood for 20 years. The prop makers interviewed discuss the passion they have for their work, as well as the uniqueness of this particular offer. It marks the first time those who took part in the production of the movie are also designing merchandise people can buy. There's also a photo gallery of the props available. Check out some of the pictures below:
There's no denying the authenticity of these prop replicas, making them an ideal addition to any Star Wars fan's collection. That said, the purchase of just one will set somebody back quite a bit (as expected). Rey's lightsaber, Rey's staff, and Kylo Ren's lightsaber are all the "cheapest" at $1,250. The most expensive is the melted Vader helmet, which goes for a cool $3,500. These may not be in everyone's budget, but it's still a neat initiative on Lucasfilm's part and it's sure to be successful as it moves along. For some people, the opportunity to own a Force Awakens prop might be too good to pass up.
From the sound of it, there will be items added to the collection periodically. Viewers can go to Disney's YouTube channel, where each month will see a new reveal of another product for the Star Wars Ultimate Studio Edition line. There's no telling what else will be produced (Han Solo's blaster?), so collectors will be watching with eager anticipation.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16, 2016, followed by Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15, 2017, the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25, 2018, Star Wars: Episode IX in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.