Most Valuable 'Star Wars' Collectibles in the Galaxy
When George Lucas made an $11 million gamble on his sci-fi Western set in "a galaxy, far, far away," he never fathomed the payoff would land him in the multibillionaire's club, let alone spawn this planet's ultimate movie-merchandising juggernaut.
Also caught off guard by the "Star Wars" phenomenon was Ohio-based Kenner toys. Contracted in the spring of 1977 to produce a line of movie-related toys, the company figured on plenty of time to manufacture plastic action figures, spaceships and playsets. Wrong. Following the movie's release, demand was instantaneous and rabid. And from 1978 to 1985, Kenner wound up selling more than 300 million "Star Wars" toys. As Lord Vader would say, "Impressive, most impressive."
This latest generation of "Star Wars"-obsessed fans continues the tradition with a recent resurgent spike in the desire and prices for "Star Wars" collectibles. In terms of intrigue and value, however, all memorabilia is not created equal. So, we've corralled an eclectic list of treasures and added a dash of Kessel spice by not only featuring commercially available merch but also one-of-a-kind items directly tied to the saga's production. May the eBay force be with you.
30. C-3PO ‘X-Rated Error’ Trading Card No. 207
Valued at: $80–$100
In "Star Wars," an X-Wing Fighter pilot first lays eyes on the Death Star and marvels, "Look at the size of that thing!" The same could be said of C-3PO's impressive, ahem, "droidhood" on this notorious "Star Wars" trading card.
According to urban legend, a disgruntled Topps employee airbrushed a pornographic appendage on Threepio as a prank. However, the official "Star Wars" website maintains it's the original photo taken for the card and attributes the droid's enhanced nether regions to a wardrobe malfunction.
Whatever the case, the offending image went unnoticed by Topps and soon kids across America were giggling over Threepio's "goldenrod." Parents were not amused and complained to Topps, which issued a cleaned-up "corrected card." Naturally, collectors covet the infamous "X-rated" version.
29. LEGO Ultimate Collector's Millennium Falcon
Valued at: About $3,000
Han Solo's pride and joy got the royal LEGO treatment with this 5,197-piece bad boy, later surpassed in size by the toy maker's 2017 "UCS Millennium Falcon" set. Yet the '07 version is more valuable, thanks in large part to its original retail price of $499.99. And you thought that $30 "Star Wars" LEGO kit on your kid's Christmas list was outrageous?
28. Promotional Stormtrooper Blaster
Price sold at auction: $3,399
Even the later-era "Star Wars" memorabilia props are in high demand. This stormtrooper blaster was part of the promotion for "Star Wars: A New Hope" Special Edition. In it, Lucas updated the first film's visual effects, added shots and altered some scenes.
This resin-made blaster shows some wear and tear from age and handling, and a few of its pieces are either broken or missing. But these don't come along that often (if ever!) and one lucky bidder ended up with this rare item in November 2021.
27. ‘Star Wars’ Happy Birthday-Style One Sheet Poster
Company: 20th Century Fox
Valued at: $3,000-$5,000
To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Episode IV's release, the studio shipped this poster to theaters still showing the blockbuster 12 months later. By then, "Star Wars" action figures were a toy store phenomenon, so they were assembled around a candle-topped birthday cake for a poster that will put a serious dent in your wallet in today's market.
26. ‘Star Wars’ Early Bird Certificate Package
Valued at: Up to $9,000 (with figures)
Although the Kenner toy company had signed on to produce "Star Wars" toys before the movie's May 1977 release, it was blindsided by the film's surprise success and couldn't meet the immediate, insatiable demand for merch. So, come Christmas 1977, kids anticipating a bounty of "Star Wars" action figures under the tree were instead presented with what was essentially an empty box.
The "Early Bird" package was an envelope containing a cardboard display stand, sans action figures, plus a paper snail-mail certificate that promised to ship you four figures (Luke, Leia, Chewie and R2-D2) once they were ready in the spring of '78. Naturally, most kids had trashed the useless display stand and accompanying ephemera long before the actual toys arrived.
25. C-3PO Action Figure
Price sold at auction: $11,566
This C-3PO action figure in its packaging is touted as the "5,000,000th" toy sold in the UK as part of "The Empire Strikes Back" promotion. In 1982, an actor dressed as Darth Vader received a shipment of toys at Heathrow Airport and this was believed to be among them.
This rare Palitoy figure has remained virtually untouched for 40 years and includes the promotional sticker and a black backpack. You can also remove the droid's arms and legs.
24. Princess Leia Organa Action Figure
Price sold at auction: $12,000
While this wasn't Leia in one of her more iconic or sexier costumes, this action figure is indeed a rarity, and it's more due to the packaging than anything else.
The transition card (i.e., the photo on the package itself) initially had a picture of Leia from the waist up. That was later replaced with a full image. According to Nick Dykes of Vectis Auctions, there is only a handful of these in existence.
23. David Prowse's 'Empire Strikes Back' Script
Company: 20th Century Fox
Sold at auction: $17,621
Actor David Prowse's script for "Empire" went up for auction in 2021 with hundreds of other pieces of memorabilia from his collection. Some proceeds from the auction went to Alzheimer's research — Prowse died in 2020 and had been living with the disease for about a decade.
The script is notable because it omits the revelation that Vader is Luke's father. As the words were voiced by James Earl Jones, not even Prowse knew how the scene would play out.
22. ‘Star Wars’ Comic Book Issue No. 1
Valued at: $25,000–$40,800
Is that Luke Skywalker on the cover of Marvel's premiere "Star Wars" comic? Or did Gary Busey swipe a lightsaber?
In the late '70s, Marvel began testing the market waters with a five-cent increase (from 30 cents to 35 cents) on its single-issue comics. The debut issue of "Star Wars," tagged with the inflated price, was distributed to only four U.S. cities: Memphis, Toledo, Tuscaloosa and Wilmington. If you nabbed a copy and kept it minty mint all these years, expect to pocket upwards a nice five figure sum...and laugh about Luke Busey all the way to the bank.
21. Concept Poster for 'The Empire Strikes Back'
Company: 20th Century Fox
Price sold at auction: $26,400
This original Roger Kastel concept poster was modeled after the poster for "Gone With the Wind" and is one of just a few believed to have survived.
This version includes Boba Fett and Lando Calrissian, among others, but 20th Century Fox felt it was too busy. They removed some of the characters and went with a darker color scheme.
20. Jawa Action Figure With Vinyl Cape
Valued at: Up to $28,000
Forget Luke and daddy Darth. Surely topping every kid's wish list of original "Star Wars" action figures was the Jawa. Okay, not exactly, but eventually everyone bit the bullet and got a Jawa to complete their collection.
Were you among the few to grab a first edition of Tatooine's pint-sized desert scavenger, the Jawa's signature brown cloak was made of vinyl. After the initial production run, Kenner switched to a cloth cape.
Extremely scarce, a vinyl-cape Jawa packaged on its original unopened card can net between $10,000—$18,000 depending on condition; however, according to the BBC, one sold for significantly more in 2017.
Loose un-carded specimens in cherry condition sell on eBay for about $1,200. The Jawa has achieved mythic status among collectors, so beware the many fakes out there.
19. Carrie Fisher's Personal Copy of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ Shooting Script
Price sold at auction: $51,000
Frustrated by George Lucas' often clunky, hokey dialogue in the "Star Wars" screenplay, both Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford recall telling Lucas, "George, you can type this sh*t, but you can't say it!"
Though "The Empire Strikes Back" script was penned by Lawrence Kasdan and Leigh Brackett, by the time filming was underway in '79, Fisher and Ford had taken to doctoring and punching up their own lines. That is, when they weren't partying all night with the Rolling Stones and showing up drunk to work the next morning.
In 2017, Fisher's estate auctioned her personal, hand-annotated shooting script for Episode VI. Sale proceeds were donated to The Jed Foundation, which works to prevent teen suicide.
18. Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi Action Figure with Double-Telescoping Lightsaber
Valued at: Up to $76,000
Though Sir Alec Guinness enjoyed the financial windfall from his Ben Kenobi role in "Star Wars," he once famously called the saga "fairy tale rubbish." Later, recalling an encounter with a young, autograph-seeking fan, Guinness said, "I just hope the lad, now in his thirties, is not living in a fantasy world of second hand, childish banalities."
One can only imagine Guinness rolling his eyes had he lived to see the 2017 auction of a 3.75-inch-tall, plastic Kenobi action figure that fetched an astronomical five figure sum.
Why the high price? The original Kenobi figure came with a two-piece, telescoping lightsaber that slid out of the Jedi master's arm. Kenner, citing high production costs, quickly switched to a cheaper single-piece saber. At a 2017 Hake's Americana auction, a near-mint example of the rare, original version set the world-record price for a toy action figure.
17. Boba Fett Rocket-Firing Action Figure (Prototype)
Valued at: Up to $86,000
Though it never caused a child fatality, arguably the most infamous, potential "choking hazard" toy of all time was the original Boba Fett action figure developed by Kenner. Nicknamed "Rocket Fett," the figure wore a backpack with a mechanism that fired a small plastic missile — the perfect size for getting lodged in junior's larynx.
As any old-school collector worth their bounty-hunter cred knows, "Rocket Fett" was never released to the public. So what you'll find on today's market are strictly prototype figures, which reportedly number less than 30 and appear in various stages of product development.
At the 2019 Star Wars Celebration convention in Chicago, a high-end dealer stunned nerds by offering a mega-rare "Rocket Fett" prototype with a price tag of $365,000, plus tax. So far, no takers.
16. Princess Leia's Slave Costume
Price sold at auction: $96,000
Princess Leia is mostly seen in regal or subdued robes in "Return of the Jedi," but after being captured by Jabba the Hutt — an alien slug, gangster and nemesis of Han Solo — he forces her to wear a skimpy space bikini and holds her captive with a chain.
When it went up for auction, the costume included several of the chain links as well as a collar, but they're hardly restrictive — all the metal parts were made of rubber.
15. Obi-Wan Kenobi’s Cloak
Price sold at auction: $104,000
Worn by none other than Sir Alec Guinness, the iconic cloak made from brown wool went up for auction in 2007 and fetched a pretty hefty sum.
Lucas felt that Jedis should be cloaked like monks. John Mollo, the first film's costume designer, ran with this idea and created this understated costume for a nomadic, peaceful figure. Guinness' cloak was used in the 1977 film and in "The Empire Strikes Back."
14. 'Return of the Jedi' Stormtrooper Helmet
Price sold at auction: $142,914
"Star Wars" Imperial Stormtroopers are among the most well-known film characters of all time. While serving the Galactic Empire, they wear standard-issue helmets.
For "Return of the Jedi," only about 50 were made, making them all the rarer among collectors. They are slightly modified and flatter than in the previous movies.
13. X-Wing Fighter Production Miniature
Price sold at auction: $160,000
How amazing is the X-Wing Fighter from the first film? It was used in the climactic rebel assault on the Death Star. Most of the models were unpainted because filmmakers did not have the budget to paint them all. This piece is a rare exception, and it is believed to be one of the earliest miniatures used in the movie.
The X-Wing Fighter came from the collection of an award-winning visual effects supervisor who acquired it from a crew member on the first film.
12. ‘Star Wars’ Costume Design Sketchbook
Price sold at auction: $162,000
For "Star Wars" archaeologists digging deep into the saga's origins, artifacts rarely get better than this original production sketchbook by the first film's Oscar-winning costume designer, John Mollo. While legendary conceptual artist Ralph McQuarrie chiefly designed the look of the "Star Wars" universe and its characters, it was Mollo tasked with actually creating the costumes.
During production of "A New Hope," Mollo kept a personal sketchbook with hand-drawn designs for Vader, Chewbacca, the "Creature Cantina" aliens and much more. The book also served as a production diary, containing notes from his meetings with George Lucas. .
11. Chewbacca’s Original Costume Headpiece
Price sold at auction: $172,200
Poor Chewbacca. In the original trilogy, he weathered insults like "furry oaf," "big walking carpet" and the cruelest dig of all, "flea-bitten furball." But in a 2012 auction, Chewie got the last laugh when the screen-used headpiece/mask worn in the original films by actor Peter Mayhew (RIP) realized six figures, placing it among the most expensive "Star Wars" costume pieces ever sold.
10. Han Solo's Leather Jacket
Price sold at auction: $191,000
The vast majority of expensive "Star Wars" memorabilia is vintage. So if an item associated with the current sequel trilogy is going to command big bucks, it better be something special (sadly, Kylo Ren's emo tears are not for sale). Fitting that bill, the leather jacket worn by Harrison Ford in "The Force Awakens" sold at a 2016 auction for big bucks.
While cynics might assume everyone's favorite hyperspace pirate was simply "in it for the money," Ford in fact autographed and donated the jacket for a charity auction benefiting epilepsy research. The cause is personal to the actor, whose daughter suffers from seizures.
9. Obi-Wan's Hero Lightsaber from 'Revenge of the Sith'
Price sold at auction: $215,000
Obi-Wan used this lightsaber during a duel on Mustafar with Anakin Skywalker, who had already transformed into Darth Vader. It is made from machined aluminum with cast resin detailing and has a metal core.
The film's producers gifted this prop to Nick Gillard, a celebrated stunt coordinator and sword master, when the prequel was completed.
8. Anakin Skywalker's Hero Lightweight Belt Lightsaber
Price sold at auction: $244,980
Worn by Hayden Christensen, this lightsaber was Anakin's weapon before his turn to the dark side. After the Jedi Temple purging, Anakin — who had already made his transformation to Darth Vader — lost the lightsaber while dueling with Obi-Wan Kenobi on Mustafar.
This is the same weapon that the elderly Obi-Wan gave to Luke Skywalker. It, and Luke's hand, were lost in "The Empire Strikes Back," but it made a reappearance in "The Force Awakens" when it was passed onto Rey. Kylo Ren battled Rey for it in "The Last Jedi," and it was destroyed.
7. Snowtrooper Helmet
Price sold at auction: $276,750
This Imperial Snowtrooper's helmet was used for the battle scenes on the frozen planet of Hoth in "The Empire Strikes Back."
A Snowtrooper's helmet is far rarer than a Stormtrooper's helmet —this is a "holy grail" item among collectors, and it's alleged to be one of the only ones to ever come to auction.
6. T.I.E. Fighter Model
Price sold at auction: $350,000
In 2008, a lucky collector bought a rare T.I.E. Fighter Model used in the first "Star Wars" film. The 18-inch model was featured in the movie's climactic battle.
The original T.I.E. Fighters were gray for filming against a blue screen, while the fighters in "Empire" and "Return of the Jedi" were a muted blue.
5. Rebel Blockade Runner Spacecraft
Price sold at auction: $450,000
This model was at the same auction as Princess Leia's slave costume and outsold it four times over, such is its rarity.
The ship carrying Leia, R2-D2 and C-3PO is seen in the opening sequence of "A New Hope" and is a 16-inch miniature, built small to give the illusion of it receding into the distance. Eleven aviation lamps give the desired "ignition" effect in the ship's engines.
XX. 4. Han Solo’s Blaster
Price sold at auction: $550,000
As Han Solo was modeled after a Wild West gunslinger, he should, of course, have a weapon to match. This non-firing blaster was used in "Empire" and "Return of the Jedi" for medium and long shots. It's a little less than a foot long and based on the German issue Mauser C96 pistol.
It was also probably used by Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), as he and Solo had similarly-styled weapons.
3. George Lucas' ‘Star Wars’ Panavision PSR 35mm Movie Camera
Price sold at auction: $625,000
As Luke and the gang fought their way out of the Death Star, George Lucas shot some of the action with this camera used for principal photography of Episode IV. The Panavision company famously refuses to sell its functioning movie cameras to anyone (including Lucas), but let go of this particular rig due to its trashed condition.
Acquired by historic film camera collector Martin Hill, it was fully restored and sold at auction in 2011 to an anonymous buyer. Let's hope Lucas himself didn't get his hands on the camera with plans to come out of retirement. "Return of the Jar Jar," anyone?
2. Darth Vader Helmet
Price sold at auction: $1.15 million
In 2019, a collector paid over a million dollars for the Darth Vader helmet worn by actor David Prowse in "Empire."
When it hit the auction block, it was estimated to bring in up to half a million dollars, but the fiberglass and foam head sold for twice that. Congrats to the anonymous buyer on this rare piece from the ultimate movie villain!
1. R2-D2 Prop
Price sold at auction: $2.76 million
If you're a collector with pockets deeper than a sarlacc's pit, this is the droid you're looking for. Purportedly the only screen-featured Artoo unit in the public realm, the prop was assembled from original parts used to build and upgrade several Artoos employed throughout filming of the original trilogy, plus prequel Episodes I and II. For instance, Artoo's domed top is from "Star Wars," while its legs were fashioned for "The Empire Strikes Back."
Though non-functional, the 3.5-foot-high, aluminum and fiberglass Artoo still managed to command almost $3 million at auction in 2017 — making it the priciest collectible in the "Star Wars" galaxy. The buyer wished to remain anonymous, no doubt worried his droid will be kidnapped by Jawas.