Vancouver based Star Wars fans are in for a treat over the next few days as Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber from The Empire Strikes Back is in town.
The lightsaber comes to Science World as part of the The Science of Ripley’s Believe It or Not! exhibition. For years, it was part of a collection owned by Gary Kurtz, the producer of Episodes IV and V. But in the summer of 2017, Edward Meyer, the VP of Exhibits & Archives for Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, purchased the iconic weapon at auction for a whopping $450,000.
Impressively, it wasn’t the priciest Star Wars item sold at the Hollywood Auction that week. At the same event, the original R2-D2 unit used for the original trilogy sold for $2.76 million, setting a new benchmark for movie memorabilia sold at auction.
While the lightsaber is nearly 40 years old, its pieces are even older. It was constructed from a vintage 1930s Graflex camera flash gun — the kind used by newspaper reporters in old Hollywood movies. The handle still has the original Graflex logo etched into the side.
That said, the piece is missing a circuit board, “so it is not actually working,” Meyer told the Orlando Sentinel last year.
Luke’s lightsaber made its debut at Science World Friday evening at a special launch event, featuring costume contests, as well as appearances by Vancouver’s 501st Legion. It will be on display until Mar. 19.