I n the early 2000s, Star Wars creator George Lucas granted photographer Annie Leibovitz a special honor: with a top security clearance, she was permitted to visit the set of Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and capture exclusive portraits of the cast. The resulting photographs were featured in Vanity Fair's March 2002 issue under the title Love In a Distant Galaxy. Leibovitz's portrait of R2-D2, the Star Wars series' iconic astromech droid, took center stage.
Leibovitz photographed R2-D2 within its shipping crate, poised to roll onto set. The crate's door features a diary of the droid's biggest moments, scrawled in permanent marker: the date of its creation in 8/97; various filming locations and television appearances; and even an open house in California on 8/6/99.
R2-D2's significance to the greater Star Wars media franchise can't be overstated. The character appears in 9 of the 10 feature films. In Lucas's inaugural chapter, Episode IV: A New Hope, R2-D2 plays the critical role of transporting plans for the Death Star, as well as a message from Princess Leia to Luke Skywalker. With this, R2-D2 became a driving force to a plot line that continues to captivate the world.
Printed in 2010, this mural-sized (37 by 45.5 inches) archival pigment print is numbered '5/10' in pencil on the reverse. The photograph is accompanied by Leibovitz's 'The Master Set' label, and signed in ink.
Bid on this and other works on 27 September, 10:00 AM EDT, at Sotheby's New York.