Tuesday 16 January 2018

R2-D2 character built from Star Wars film parts sells for more than £2 million

A British collector spent seven years salvaging parts from various films to re-create the character.

The character built of parts from multiple films sold for nearly £1.8 million (Profiles In History/PA)
The character built of parts from multiple films sold for nearly £1.8 million (Profiles In History/PA)

By Sam Blewett, Press Association Los Angeles Correspondent

A complete R2-D2 made from pieces salvaged from the Star Wars films by a British enthusiast has been sold for 2.76 million dollars (£2.13 million).

Wednesday’s sale of the seven-year labour of love was the first time the character made entirely of parts from the movies went under the hammer, the auctioneer says.

George Michael’s Los Angeles Police Department outfit from the video for Outside will also be auctioned at Profiles In History in Los Angeles and is estimated to go for up to 15,000 dollars (£11,600).

George Michael’s LAPD outfit will also be auctioned (Profiles In History/PA)

The sale of the R2-D2 figure surpassed even the highest estimate of two million dollars.

Brian Chanes, the auction house’s head of acquisitions, said the anonymous British collector made the character from retired parts from at least four films.

“We’re very excited to have it because really this is the only one to reach the auction block in the world,” he said ahead of the sale.

“It’s a high price but at the same time you couldn’t expect to find a better piece, an artefact from the Star Wars trilogy.

“Someone actually assembled it over a period of seven years.

“It was a lot of work, it was definitely a act of passion on his part.”

The British enthusiast built the character over a period of seven years (Profiles In History/PA)

Mr Chanes also said there are rumours that a collector in France has also crafted a similar R2-D2 but these are as yet unproven.

The dome was debuted by actor Kenny Baker in the first film, A New Hope, as were the metal details from the body, according to the auctioneer.

The legs were from The Empire Strikes Back while the body is from The Phantom Menace and its opening hatch is from Attack Of The Clones, he added.

The LAPD costume, complete with sunglasses, black leather gloves and a badge with initials GM, was worn by Michael in the 1998 music video.

The pop legend, who died in December last year at the age of 53, was poking fun at his earlier arrest, which led to him publicly revealing his homosexuality.

One of Luke Skywalker’s lightsabers was also sold for 450,000 dollars (£348,000) and Charlie’s golden ticket from the 1971 Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory film is also up for grabs.

Press Association

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