On July 29, you will have the chance to own the light sabers wielded by Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker in the original STAR WARS trilogy. That’s the day that the Los Angeles-based Profiles in History will put them on the auction block, along with a ton of other STAR WARS memorabilia amassed by producer Gary Kurtz and historian Jason Joiner. Also up for grabs will be 75 other items, including Luke’s X-Wing pilot jumpsuit, Yoda’s mask, and a Stormtrooper’s blaster.
Warning: Don’t get your hopes up unless you really have money to burn. Darth’s light saber is expected to fetch $60,000; Luke’s, $80,000.
A report on the auction from IMDB also cautions prospective biddgers not to expect the sabers to light up as they did in the film, claiming that their “glowing appearance was all down to special effects.” This is either inaccurate or an indication that something is wrong with the sabers. The originals were coated with “Scotchlight” (a highly reflective material used for back projection screens in Hollywood) so that they would reflect back the studio lights on set and appear to glow; the effective was then enhanced with rotoscope animation in post-production, but even without the optical effect, the sabers should visible shine (if not actually glow) in bright light.
One wonders what George Lucas thinks of all this. Gary Kurtz apparently had a falling out with Lucas after producing the first two STAR WARS films (in an almost Orwellian manner, he was virtually erased from the official history in the Lucas biography SKYWALKING). Presumably, he collected these props while working on A NEW HOPE and EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, so don’t expect much from the subsequent films.