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Media Contact: Marc Kruskol

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The Gary Kurtz Collection—30 lots of posters from Mr. Kurtz’s personal collection, including the rarest versions in existence from the “Star Wars” film franchise—in virtually every language; The Mitchell VistaVision High Speed #1 (VVHS1) camera used by ILM for miniature effects shots, including the explosion of the Death Star; “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” production made prototype “Darth Vader” helmet; A section of the ‘Death Star’ under construction from “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi”; ‘C-3PO’ Oscar presented to Brian Johnson by ILM for his work on “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”; ‘Jabba the Hutt’ maquette for “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” and “Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace” ‘Naboo blaster’ among the other extraordinary “Star Wars” items to be included in the sale


Calabasas, CA—The original screen-used Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope ‘Blockade Runner’ filming miniature—the ship that set the tone for the entire Star Wars franchise; A “Rebel Fleet Trooper” helmet from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope; Carrie Fisher “Slave Leia’ costume from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi among the 55+ Star Wars items to be offered by Profiles in History as part of their highly anticipated multimillion dollar auction, September 29-October 1, 2015.

The Gary Kurtz Collection—30 lots of posters including the rarest versions in existence from the Star Wars film franchise—in virtually every language; The Mitchell VistaVision High Speed #1 (VVHS1) camera used by ILM for miniature effects shots, including the explosion of the “Death Star”; Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back production made prototype “Darth Vader” helmet; A section of the “Death Star” under construction from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi; “C-3PO” Oscar presented to Brian Johnson by ILM for his work on Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”; “Jabba the Hutt” maquette for Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi and Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace “Naboo blaster” among the other extraordinary Star Wars items to be included in the sale.

“The sale of such iconic ‘Star Wars’ pieces used in the making of the original trilogy, like the Blockade Runner miniature, Rebel Fleet helmet and Princess Leia “slave costume,” is unheard of. Each is instantly recognizable and played a significant role in the creation of perhaps the greatest science fiction saga in motion picture history.”

“The Gary Kurtz ‘Star Wars’ poster collection is not only significant for the rare variety of posters, but also for the fact that they were collected and preserved by the man whose collaboration with George Lucas created cinema magic, impacting films and fans to this day.”

Joe Maddalena, President/CEO, Profiles in History


Qualified bidders can participate in person, by telephone, fax, submit absentee bids or participate online in real time from anywhere with Internet access across the globe. For more information, please visit


Full Descriptions:

Lot 1543: Original screen used Rebel “Blockade Runner” filming miniature from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope. (TCF, 1977) In the opening sequence of the first Star Wars, the Rebel Blockade Runner, the ship carrying Princess Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2, enters into frame and is pursued by the massive Imperial Star Destroyer. This one-of-a-kind 16-inch miniature was built to provide the illusion of the spacecraft receding into the distance due to the limited length of the Dykstraflex track (the first digital motion control camera system ever put into use). The prominent feature of the ship is the series of eleven engine nacelles mounted at the rear, each fitted with an aviation incandescent lamp to provide the desired “ignition” effect. Built to withstand the resulting heat generated from the lamps, the Blockade Runner is crafted of aluminum and painted gray with red accents. This miniature comes directly from the collection of Grant McCune, Chief Model Maker on the Miniature and Optical Effects Unit on Star Wars, who won an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects on the film. The miniature is professionally mounted on a powered custom display case which, when activated, illuminates the engine lights (all but one of the original bulbs from the production still work). One minor detail is missing from the end of a single engine; otherwise, in very fine production used condition. Comes with a letter of authenticity from McCune’s wife, Katherine McCune. Unlike other Star Wars models of which many examples were created, this is the only Blockade Runner of this scale that was made. An extremely rare opportunity to own a milestone piece that set the tone for the entire Star Wars franchise. Indeed, First Cameraman for the Miniature and Optical Effects Unit and fellow Academy Award winner, Richard Edlund, has stated that the opening shot in the film was the most important shot because it had to grab the audience’s attention.
$200,000 – $300,000

Lot 1544: Original screen used “Rebel Fleet Trooper” helmet from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope(TCF, 1977) One of the iconic, signature helmets worn by the Rebel Fleet Troopers in the first Star Wars film. Designed by John Mollo, who won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design for the film, the vacuum-formed plastic helmet has a long plastic plate attached to the back and an opaque gray visor plate attached to the front. A simulated receiver with steel aerial antenna is attached to the wearer’s left side; a vacuum-formed plastic chin cup fits on a black canvas chinstrap and the interior features petal-shaped foam padding. Its simple yet elegant design is synonymous with the look of the film. Indeed, variations of this design are worn by the Rebel Ground Crew in the hangar sequences and by other members of the Rebel Forces in the closing ceremony sequence. Exceedingly rare, this is the first Rebel Fleet Trooper helmet we have ever encountered and the first of its kind to appear at public auction.
$150,000 – $250,000

Lot 1558: Carrie Fisher “Slave Leia” costume collection and display from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi(TCF, 1983) Without question, Carrie Fisher’s “Slave Leia” costume is among the most memorable in the Star Wars franchise. This ensemble represents the most important and complete compilation of original Star Wars pieces to have survived production in private hands. The mannequin is dressed in production made elements distinguishable by their flexible, gold-painted red dense-urethane rubber (all fabric parts, as well as the chain, were re-created to match existing photographs). These original flexible pieces were used on set before being returned to the ILM model shop and replaced by altered versions, since several elements had to be resized due to Carrie Fisher’s weight loss during shooting.  In addition to this collection are all of the one-of-a-kind original wax Masters sculpted by artist Richard Miller. They can be differentiated by their extremely delicate wax fabrication common with jewelry making. Also among them are all of the alternate Slave Leia masters first deemed too complex by George Lucas. They can be seen worn by a model in the included series of (6) rare slides still bearing the original name for the film “Revenge of the Jedi.” Also included are several design and paint studies representing the evolution of these costume elements, for instance the front and back bikini plates, as well as the hair piece on the mannequin. Completing the ensemble are a collection of original documents, photos, notes and pencil drawings as well as Carrie Fisher’s measurements used to create the masters. The collection comes with a letter of authenticity by Richard Miller the original designer, sculptor, mold maker and painter for the costume and a 30-year veteran of Industrial Light and Magic. $80,000 – $120,000

Lot 1542: Mitchell VistaVision High Speed #1 (VVHS1) used on Star WarsQuite possibly the most influential and important motion picture camera in history, VistaVision High Speed #1’s first project started with one of Hollywood’s grandest illusions: the parting of the Red Sea in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments (1956) (only two Mitchell VistaVision High Speed cameras were ever made). When 20th Century Fox was faced with the visual effects challenges of Star Wars, the experts concurred that the VistaVision process was the best system available. Having not been properly maintained for over ten years, Paramount sent a large shipment of cameras for the visual effects team to sort through, of which VVHS1 played a very important part. George Lucas tasked Richard Edlund and his future-ILM effects wizards to use VVHS1 to photograph a great number of high-speed miniature effects shots, including the explosion of the Death Star, according to their own camera reports. Measures 31 in. long x 17 in. tall x 18 in. wide. Accompanied with original Mitchell geared head, original case (and spare VVHS2 case), lens shade kit with case, (2) 2,000-ft. magazines sets, external viewfinder with case, high speed motor in original case, backup high speed motor with original case, VistaVision studio power unit with original case and an additional original case with accessories. This camera started the VistaVision renaissance for using its unique capabilities for special effects that continued for two decades. It is difficult to argue that the real magic behind Star Wars is the ground-breaking visual effects which revolutionized the filmmaking process ever since. Comes with a letter of provenance from Roy H. Wagner, ASC.
$60,000 – $80,000

Lot 1550: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back production made prototype “Darth Vader” helmet. (TCF, 1980) A production made Darth Vader helmet made between the production of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) and The Empire Strikes Back. The Helmet is believed to be a transitional test production piece, with production tells of both the A New Hope and Empire screen used helmets. Constructed of fiberglass, the chin on the faceplate still features the small triangular cut out, unique to the A New Hope helmet yet the dome to face plate male/female attachment ring is of Empire style. The inside is unfinished, with no padding apart from a loose section of foam, although the inner cross grills and eye lenses are correct to the screen used versions. The outer dome’s edge is thinner in width to the final screen used versions. These cosmetic differences compound that it was not intended for screen use by the production but nonetheless it would have played a significant and important role in the developmental progression of Darth Vader’s helmet.
$30,000 – $50,000

Lot 1561. Section of the “Death Star” under construction from Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi(TCF, 1983) Vintage original 12.25 x 6 x 6 in. portion of the iconic “Death Star” miniature surface. Built in the ILM model shop and constructed of gray-painted cast resin components and chemically etched delicate brass pieces painted in gray and rust colors. Other areas of the model are made of etched brass and piping glued to the surface to give an “under construction” look. Two instantly recognizable 4.5 in. Turbolaser towers are strategically placed on the set piece. Model sections like these were affixed to the perimeter of the Death Star miniature model surfaces to give forced perspective illusion of mass. This is the first example of its kind that we have encountered. Obtained from a former ILM employee. In vintage very fine condition.
$25,000 – $35,000

Lot 1553: C-3PO” Oscar presented to Brian Johnson by ILM for his work on “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”. (TCF, 1980) Vintage approx. 13 in. tall Industrial Light and Magic in-house created C3PO “Oscar-style” statuette presented by chief model maker Lorne Peterson to departing special visual effects wizard Brian Johnson. The hollow-cast resin, gold-painted figure stands on a 6 in. round silver painted base that has been signed by (30+) ILM crewmembers including Joe Johnston, Richard Edlund, Ken Ralston, Dennis Muren, Selwyn Eddy III, Michael McAlister, Warren Franklin, Laurie Vermont, Lorne Peterson, Steve Gawley, Tom St. Armand, Samuel Comstock, Conrad Buff, Howard Stein, Mike Mackenzie, Ed Jones, Duncan Meyers, Ed Breed, Ed Hirsh,. Patrick Fitzsimmons, Robert Finley, Jr., Patricia Blau, Laura Kaysen, and Chrissie England. On the top of the base, around the robot’s feet is handwritten, “In appreciation Brian Johnson ‘Empire Strikes Back’ ILM 1981”. Comes with a signed LOA by Brian Johnson. Slight cracking in the plastic where the feet mount to the base; overall, in vintage very good condition. $15,000 – $20,000

Lot 1559: “Jabba the Hutt” maquette for Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi. (TCF, 1983) Designed and sculpted by Phil Tippett, this 10 in. x 5 in. x 6 in. maquette is made of resin and hand-painted to detail. It was originally sculpted out of sculpey and then molded to create this painted master to present to George Lucas for design approval. This is the only example of its kind in existence. The original sculpture was destroyed in the molding process and the mold, itself, has long since deteriorated. This piece is featured in the coffee table book Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Special Effects and is shown in front of George Lucas among other Star Wars creatures, ships and other pieces (see attached image).  It comes from the collection of Academy Award-winning visual effects artist Phil Tippett. $12,000 – $15,000

Lot 1562: Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace “Naboo blaster”. (TCF, 1999) Solid cast resin and resin component prop “Naboo CR-2 Blaster”. Measuring 17 x 9 in. the futuristic weapon is modeled on an existing Calico M950/950A pistol with additional space aged knobs, grooves and ridges added. The heavy blaster features a solid 1-piece body with added scopes, metal strap hoops and webbing straps. Studio painted to appear as gunmetal gray and flat black steel with silver metal elements. Exhibiting some scratching to edges and minor paint chipping. The impressive prop remains in production used vintage fine condition.
$4,000 – $6,000


The Gary Kurtz Collection. Filmmaker Gary Kurtz was the producer of Star Wars, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, as well as American Graffiti and The Dark Crystal, receiving two Academy Award nominations for Best Picture (American Graffiti and Star Wars). Kurtz served as vice president of Lucasfilm from its creation in 1973 through 1981. Working very closely with George Lucas, he was instrumental in developing the original Star Wars trilogy and bringing the first two blockbuster films to the silver screen. These 30 lots of Star Wars posters come directly from Mr. Kurtz’s collection.


Auction Details:

Day 1: Tuesday, September 29, 2015 11:00am Pacific Time—Lots 1-631:

Day 2: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 11:00am Pacific Time—Lots 632-1264

Day 3: Thursday, October 1, 2015 11:00am Pacific Time—Lots 1265-1905


Location: Profiles in History Offices

26662 Agoura Road, Calabasas, CA 91302; Phone: 310-859-7701

For updates and details on the auction:


About Profiles in History

Founded in 1985 by Joseph Maddalena, Profiles in History is the world’s largest auctioneer & dealer of original Hollywood Memorabilia, historical autographs, letters, documents, vintage signed photographs and manuscripts.