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 multi-billionaire'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 play sets. 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."
As the "Star Wars"-obsessed universe gears up for the openings of new saga-inspired attractions at Disney theme parks, plus "The Rise of Skywalker" premiere in late 2019, right on cue there's a resurgent spike in the desire and prices for "Star Wars" collectibles.
In terms of intrigue and value, 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.