Few would dispute that there’s something irresistible about Harrison Ford’s Han Solo — and never more so than in The Empire Strikes Back in 1980. Throughout, Han Solo and Princess Leia spar like an intergalactic Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn, with Carrie Fisher insisting, “I’d just as soon kiss a Wookie.”
But later, as the captured Han is about to be frozen for transport, it all comes out.
“I love you,” Leia declares in front of everyone, including Darth Vader.
“I know,” Han answers.
It’s not many men who could carry off that line. However, doing so could become a little easier for the person who dons the jacket worn by Harrison Ford in the film.
It just so happen that jacket s going up for auction in September 2018. You’ll need deep pockets to wear this particular jacket. It’s expected to fetch up to $1.3 million.
The blue-gray garment “is one of 600 lots going under the hammer at the movie memorabilia event in London,” according to the BBC.
Other Star Wars goodies: A Stormtrooper helmet from A New Hope is expected to fetch up to $75,000. (Well, what did you expect? They were the interchangeable bad guys.) And here’s something interesting for those who winced at Hayden Christensen’s Anakin Skywalker in Revenge Of The Sith. His lightsaber from the film is likely to draw bids of more than $100,000.
It’s indisputably Harrison Ford who turns film artifacts into gold, though. In June, a blaster used by Ford in Return of the Jedi sold at an auction in New York for $550,000, reports the BBC.
From other corners of pop culture, Marty McFly’s Back to the Future Part II hoverboard and Johnny Depp’s Edward Scissorhands costume will be on sale. Also going up for bids is the robe worn by Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden in Fight Club, as well as Forrest Gump‘s Bubba Gump Shrimp hat, worn by Tom Hanks.
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Auction house Prop Store said the sale would include “some of the most iconic cinematic artifacts of our time.”
According to The Telegraph, Stephen Lane, chief executive of Prop Store said: “Our auction on September 20, 2018, will once again raise the bar, presenting some of the most iconic cinematic artifacts of our time.
“We look forward to bringing together a global audience of film fans and collectors to London’s Odeon BFI Imax for the two-week preview exhibition.”
What is it about Han Solo that makes him such a fan favorite? It can’t be just the fact that he made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
There’s a rumor that in writing the character, George Lucas based Han Solo on his friend, director Francis Ford Coppola, after he witnessed him commandeering the set of Apocalypse Now. But there is another rumor that originally Lucas wrote Han as an alien with green skin and no nose. Fortunately, he changed his mind.
Since Lucas had already used Harrison Ford, then a little-known actor, in a small role in American Graffiti, he initially didn’t want to cast Ford as Solo. He didn’t want to use any of the Graffiti cast. Others considered for Solo ranged from Al Pacino to Bill Murray to Burt Reynolds to Jack Nicholson.
Ford was hired to rehearse lines with other actors, nothing more, but reportedly Lucas was won over by his performance, and decided to cast him in the pivotal role. Another story has it that Ford, a trained carpenter, was able to get a job installing a door at American Zoetrope, where Star Wars auditions were being held, and won Lucas’s attention.
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According to Huffington Post, Ford had an edge that Lucas liked. “Harrison was the funnier, goofier one – but he could also play mean,” the director reportedly said.
Once he was cast, however, Ford struggled with some of the dialogue. He famously said to Lucas in frustration, “George, you can type this s—t, but you sure can’t say it.”
Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.com.