Darth Vader's helmet becomes one of the most expensive Star Wars collectibles ever at $1million
Do not underestimate the strength of the Star Wars fandom, they may not have a catchy moniker like ‘Trekkies’ or ‘Whovians’, but they certainly have deep pockets.
An original Darth Vader mask and helmet, said to appear in The Empire Strikes Back, the second film in the original trio, has just fetched more than US $900,000, adding fees, the buyer would’ve coughed up around US $1.1 million, making it one of the most expensive Star Wars item ever bought at auction.
Worn by David Prowse, the man who played Vader, the helmet and mask were expected to ‘only’ go for around US $250,000 to US $450,000. Made of fibreglass, the description of the item outright says it has some blemishes and missing pieces, however, since this is the very mask worn as Vader reveals he is Luke’s father, a bidding war ensued.
Vintage Star Wars items are always astronomically expensive, back in June of this year, a Han Solo firearm went for more than US $550,000.
Similarly, George Lucas’ Panavision camera used to shoot much of the first Star Wars film, has gone at auction for over US $600,000.
iCollector, the website that hosted the September 26 auction, described the item as the following:
“Both the mask and helmet are constructed of fiberglass. The Mask is painted in dark metallic gray with black accents; its interior is marked with a "1" in white paint with worn foam rubber padding and tinted plastic lenses. Two of the original three elastic straps are present to secure the mask to David Prowse's head. The top of the mask originally secured to the jet-black helmet with a circular PVC connection (now missing; the three screw holes used to attached the PVC fitting are present). For added security, the mask's forehead attached to the inner portion of the helmet with Velcro (still present on the helmet's interior, but only the adhesive remnants remain on the mask, and remain hidden behind the helmet). The helmet's interior is marked with a "3" in brown paint. Interior metal mesh behind the triangular respiratory vent and "chin grille" are missing, as are the turned aluminium "atmospheric sensors" at either side of the vent. Exhibiting some chipping on lower edges and right "cheek" from production use. Remnants of adhesive used to attach mask to the helmet are still present on the interior.”
The gear made up part of a larger Hollywood memorabilia auction with almost US $10 million being spent during the event. More than 1,000 items were sold, including Dorothy’s dress from the original The Wizard of Oz going for around US $800,000 and Sean Connery’s moon buggy from Diamonds are Forever going for around US $600,000.