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Star Wars: An Unmatched Empire of Memorabilia

I t was the trilogy that changed cinema forever, not only in terms of film-making and storytelling but also in terms of marketing and merchandise. Its characters are instantly recognisable all over the world, and its legacy is undisputed. Sotheby's Star Wars Online, open until 13 December, brings together posters, toys and memorabilia that honour and remember the original films of the epic saga.

Unique Memorabilia

Finding a completely one-off piece which no other collector will ever have is usually a rare prospect. However, this sale includes original artworks, signed posters, memorabilia and the only known promotional C-3PO helmet of this type – all from the original trilogy and in superb condition.

Iconic Illustrations

These posters demonstrate the most famous and recognisable images used to promote the films in the original trilogy. Below are just a number of highlights from the first Star Wars film in 1977, The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and the 1983 release of The Return of the Jedi.

Toy Figures

When George Lucas chose to take the licensing and merchandising rights to the films over an increased director’s fee before the release of the first Star Wars film, many likely thought it an odd choice. But Lucas is the one laughing now: the sale of Star Wars toys like these changed the face of collecting forever, and made him a billionaire along the way.

Let’s all go the Lobby

Providing cinema-goers with a truly immersive experience within the building, being surrounded by images of their heroes on standees, banners and lobby cards, a long time ago and from a galaxy far, far away.

Foreign Posters

Testament to the truly global appeal of the Star Wars franchise, these posters advertised the films from Europe to Japan to Australia and back again. Highlights include the first Polish release posters for Star Wars and Return of the Jedi, as well as a special Japanese release poster of The Empire Strikes Back by Ohrai Noriyoshi.

For the Superfans

You have Star Wars stickers on everything you own, you’ve entered competitions for exclusive merchandise you can’t get anywhere else, the Star Wars soundtrack is the soundtrack to your life, you watch all the films back to back and know the dialogue by heart, you have ridden Star Tours until you were ill, and you queued for hours to see the exhibition. Hard-core fans only past this point.


The Star Wars franchise presents the ideal case study for successful film promotion. Radio, magazines, concerts, brand tie-ins, even going so far as to take over London: Star Wars was unmissable. A very rare chance to own a 1978 concert poster signed by John Williams.

Advance Posters

These posters were the first announcement of the coming of each instalment of the original trilogy, produced far in advance of each film’s release.

Bring me the Head of…

Darth Vader, Imperial Stormtrooper and C-3PO. A prototype helmet, a promotional item and a contemporary take on the Head of Darth Vader by leading British Pop Artist, Clive Barker.

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