We all dream of owning a piece of Star Wars memorabilia, right? A cool prop, maybe an original toy still in the box, or even just an autographed photo of Harrison Ford in the Han costume. But how much are you willing to pay for such a thing? Would you pay more than half a million dollars for it?
Some Star Wars superfan just did, and they did it for something that was never even on screen.
Well, it wasn't on screen because it was part of what made the on-screen parts happen. At an auction over the weekend a Panavision PSR 35mm camera used in principal photography on the first Star Wars film sold for a whopping $625,000, a record price for a movie camera. We don't know who the buyer was, but the bid came during an auction of actress Debbie Reynolds' various Hollywood memorabilia hosted by Profiles in History.
But whoever the lucky (and apparently quite wealthy) buyer is, they didn't just get the camera. They got the whole package: film magazines, camera motor, camera dolly, follow focus, matte box and a Moy geared head. This bad boy is completely restored, and it really works, so if the guy or gal who bought it is really a Star Wars fan, they'll also pick up some film and use it to re-enact the cantina scene in their mansion (assuming they didn't sell their mansion to pay for this thing).
It's quite a price tag for something that never actually appeared on screen, but if you think about all the times George Lucas must have stood behind this thing—a young filmmaker who was finally getting to make his beloved space opera—and looked through it at Mark Hamill or Harrison Ford or Carrie Fisher, it makes sense.
This camera isn't just history. This camera helped make history. How cool is that?