George Lucas Star Wars camera is saga's 'most expensive memorabilia piece'

It's now the most expensive piece of 'Star Wars' memorabilia. The original movie camera used by director George Lucas to film 1977's sci-fi classic Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope brought $625,000 at Profiles in History's Beverly Hills sale, over the weekend.

Lucas's Panavision PSR 35mm Star Wars camera is fully-restored and working, and had originally appeared for sale with a $100,000-200,000 estimate.

It sold in Profiles In History's much-anticipated 'Part Two' sale of the Debbie Reynolds collection - you can find out more about her collection here. Reynolds' daughter, Carrie Fisher, played Princess Leia in the original Star Wars trilogy.

In the end, George Lucas's Panavision camera brought nearly three times its presale estimate - shattering the existing World Record prices for a piece of Star Wars memorabilia, and also for a Hollywood vintage camera.


Lucas art: George Lucas's Panavision camera brought $650,000,
from the collection of Hollywood legend Debbie Reynolds

The previous World Record price for a piece of Star Wars memorabilia was set by a model TIE Fighter. The TIE Fighter appears in Episode IV when it accidentally bumps into Darth Vader's ship during the film's final battle. The model sold for $350,000 in a 2008 Hollywood auction.

Of course, unlike the $350,000 TIE Fighter, Lucas's Panavision camera is a memorabilia piece from 'behind the scenes'. Prior to the sale, we speculated on how this would affect collectors' interest in the piece. It turns out we needn't have...

As with other big-money sales - like, for instance, John Lennon's original handwritten lyrics to The Beatles' song "A Day in The Life" which sold for $1.2m at Sotheby's in 2010 - collectors remain as fascinated with the processes behind the art as with the final product.

And this Star Wars camera is certainly a wise investment.

Star Wars: Episode IV routinely tops the 'most influential' film lists. Ronald Reagan's White House administration even named its missile defence system "Star Wars", with Reagan at one point describing the Soviet Union as an "evil empire" after the film's antagonists.

You don't need to spend $650,000 to acquire a genuine memorabilia piece from the first Star Wars film - these fragments of Krayt Dragon bone are for sale at Paul Fraser Collectibles priced at $1,500


Because of the saga's immense cultural impact, Star Wars memorabilia pieces from the original Episode IV film are important pieces of Hollywood history in their own right. Examples we've handled at Paul Fraser Collectibles include these three pieces of Krayt Dragon bone.

The mysterious Krayt Dragon appears only as a decaying skeleton when android C-3PO (pictured top right) journeys across the Dune Sea in Episode IV.

We're offering these three pieces of Krayt Dragon bone for just $1,500 - a tiny fraction of the $625,000 paid for Lucas's historically important movie camera in Profiles in History's weekend sale.


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