An original “Star Wars” R2-D2 movie prop was sold at a Hollywood memorabilia auction, held on Tuesday and Wednesday in Calabasas, California, for an astounding $2.76 million, making it one of the most expensive movie-prop purchases in history.
ScreenRant.com reports the R2-D2 prop, which is about 3.5 feet tall, was built using parts from the original “Star Wars” trilogy and used in two of the three “Star Wars” movie prequels: “Episode I: The Phantom Menace” and “Episode II: Attack of the Clones.”
According to Stephanie Connell, a movie memorabilia consultant, the R2-D2 prop had never been sold at auction before and is worthy of being featured alongside works by Picasso.
“This is instantly recognizable, the creme de la creme of movie props,” Connell said, according to the Daily Mail (United Kingdom).
“This is something you could put right next to a Picasso,” Connell added.
The prop is made of aluminum, fiberglass and steel, reported the Daily Mail, but has no “internal mechanics or workings,” according to Profiles in History, the auction house that sold the R2-D2.
The prop, which was purchased by an unidentified collector, sold for substantially more than the pre-auction estimate of between $1 million and $2 million. It is believed to be the only one of its kind available to the public.
The R2-D2 prop wasn’t the only big-ticket “Star Wars” item sold during the Profiles in History auction. Luke Skywalker’s lightsaber from the first two “Star Wars” films, “A New Hope” and “The Empire Strikes Back,” was sold for $450,000. Darth Vader’s helmet from “A New Hope” was purchased for $96,000, reported ScreenRant.com.
High-priced movie items unrelated to “Star Wars” were also sold at the auction, including a helmet worn by actor Bill Paxton in “Aliens,” which was purchased for $51,000.
Although the R2-D2 prop’s final sale figure is impressive, it fell far short of perhaps the most expensive Hollywood props ever sold: Marilyn Monroe’s dress from “The Seven Year Itch,” which sold for $4.6 million, and Audrey Hepburn’s dress from “My Fair Lady,” which sold for $4.5 million. The third-highest-priced movie prop of all time is believed to be James Bond’s Aston Martin car from “Goldfinger,” which sold in 2010 for $4.4 million, according to ScreenRant.com.