Ripley’s Believe It or Not! has purchased the original lightsaber used by Luke Skywalker in the first two Star Wars movies for $450,000, among other memorabilia at a recent auction.
Actor Mark Hamill, who played Skywalker, wielded the weapon in 1977 during “Star Wars: A New Hope” and 1980 in “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.”
The lightsaber was built by modifying a Graflex flash battery pack used on 1930s-era press cameras. The relic came from the archives of Gary Kurtz, a producer on “Star Wars: A New Hope” and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” the first and third movies in the Star Wars series.
Edward Meyer, vice president of archives and exhibits for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! acquired the lightsaber June 28 at the Profiles in History Hollywood Auction.
It will be added to Ripley’s Star Wars collection, which includes hair from a Chewbacca suit, Michelangelo’s “Pieta” reinterpreted with Chewbacca cradling Han Solo made from duct tape, and portraits of Star Wars characters made from staples.
The lightsaber will be featured in one of Ripley’s 33 “odditoriums” around the world, though officials have not yet decided where.
Meyer also purchased the original Superman costume, worn by actor George Reeves, who played Clark Kent in the 1950s-television series “Adventures of Superman.” The red fabric cape, belt buckle, and muscled under suit, will join Ripley’s Superman collection, which includes a Superman cape worn by Christopher Reeve during filming of “Superman: The Movie” and “Superman II” and a costume Dean Cain wore on “Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman.”
Other items purchased at the three-day auction include the bridge engineering console used in three Star Trek movies, an invitation to Donald Trump’s 50th birthday sent to actress Loni Anderson, a jacket and zombie facial appliance from “The Walking Dead”, a set of Bob Hope’s novelty golf clubs and a 1987-88 Daytime Emmy Award for “All My Children” writer Mary K. Wells.