It’s an age old question, of the same gravity as those perennial koans: Which came first, the chicken or the egg? What is the sound of one hand clapping? Who shot first, Han Solo, or Greedo? The controversy in the cantina has divided Star Wars fans for decades. Now, you can own the blaster that ignited the debate over the space-pilot’s scruples – Han Solo’s hero blaster from Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
Known as the DL-44 in the Star Wars universe, this particular blaster was actually wielded on set by Harrison Ford, and in scenes that are cemented in film history (like Han Solo in carbonite). A “hero” prop doesn’t just describe an item used by a heroic character. The term designates a prop endowed with intricate and essential details, so that it can be shown up close on camera without exposing the illusion. Almost as iconic as the lightsabers brandished by the Jedi, Han’s blaster is omnipresent throughout the films, taking down stormtroopers like bowling pins, and even being momentarily threatening the asthmatic Sith Lord himself. The hero blaster will be auctioned off in Las Vegas on June 23 and has a pre-sale estimate of $300,000 to $500,000. Happy bidding – may the force be with you.