While the glowing, whooshing, limb-severing lightsaber is probably science fiction’s most famous weapon, Luke Skywalker’s original lightsaber – the first one we ever saw – is undoubtedly its most famous example. Thus, the piece of Star Wars movie memorabilia, is expected to bring big bucks when it goes up for auction this month. However, according to star Mark Hamill, the item – touted as the one Luke held as Obi-Wan Kenobi dropped major mythos exposition – might not be what the auction house claims.
Profiles in History, which is set to hold auctions for “Blockbuster Hollywood Treasures” this month, is dangling what it refers to as “The original Mark Hamill ‘Luke Skywalker’ lightsaber from Star Wars: A New Hope,” along with the estimated closing price of $150,000 – $200,000. However, when said auction caught Hamill’s attention on Twitter, the actor chimed in with a healthy bit of caveat emptor-imbued advice before someone drops that kind of dough.
Indeed, Hamill is reminding the public that several lightsaber props – famously constructed from Graflex cell flash units designed to attach to the sides of old cameras – were used while filming with that particular “original” lightsaber, including ones that sported foam handle ridges after he’d cut himself on the older versions.
The lightsaber made cinematic canonical appearances in 1977’s original Star Wars (a.k.a. “A New Hope”), 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back, 2005’s Revenge of the Sith (the item’s earliest chronological appearance, wielded by Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker,) before finding its way into the ownership of Daisy Ridley’s Rey in 2015’s The Force Awakens and (its likely final appearance,) in 2017’s The Last Jedi, all of which necessitated several prop versions that could conceivably pass as “the original Mark Hamill Luke Skywalker lightsaber.”
Of course, Hamill isn’t exactly assailing the provenance of the auctioning prop, only using his firsthand knowledge to look out for people – well, people who can afford to spend $200,000 on movie fandom, anyway. Other Star Wars items up for auction alongside the lightsaber include an Imperial TIE Fighter helmet from A New Hope ($200k-300k), C-3PO’s hands from A New Hope ($40k-60k), an Imperial Scout Trooper helmet from Return of the Jedi ($100k-$150k) and a First Order Stormtrooper helmet signed by Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley and other lead cast members of the film ($80k-$120k).
The auction, titled “Blockbuster Hollywood Treasures,” also features an impressive array of genre movie items from Star Trek, Back to the Future and the X-Men movies. The gavel-smashing will take place at The Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills from December 11-13.