Han Solo's $1.3 Million Empire Strikes Back Jacket Went Ignored on a Rack for Decades

Prop Store
Prop Store

Presumably to help insulate Han Solo from the breezier conditions in Cloud City, Harrison Ford traded in his sleeveless vest from 1978’s Star Wars for a long-sleeved jacket in 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back. Following his Indiana Jones fedora, it might be Ford’s most recognizable wardrobe item. And according to Newsweek, it’s been languishing on a clothing rack for decades.

The jacket, which is expected to fetch as much as $1.3 million in a movie memorabilia auction on September 20, was excavated by Prop Store CEO Stephen Lane, who traced its origins back to original costume makers Caledonian Costumes. Caledonian crafted and rented the jacket to Lucasfilm, which returned it when filming on Empire ended in 1979. From there, it appeared to be all but forgotten.

“We found out that company had gone bust in the late ‘80s,” Lane told Newsweek. “They had sold their assets to two different costume houses.”

Of the two, one was still in business, and Lane began calling to insist he be allowed to examine their inventory for potentially valuable Star Wars-related items. Lane spent hours combing through their stock before brushing up against the jacket he immediately recognized as Ford’s.

Prop Store employees later pored over a Blu-ray of the movie to identify frames that matched up with the jacket found in the storage facility. Despite not being handled with the reverence that might accompany knowledge it was used in a Star Wars film, it’s suffered only minor wear and tear.

A look at Harrison Ford's screen-used jacket from 'The Empire Strikes Back'
Prop Store

According to the auction house, the jacket is blue-grey in color but appears to be a navy blue on film. It also lacks buttons, which was an edict of director George Lucas, since he felt fasteners would make it appear too modern-day.

If the jacket can fetch the pre-auction estimate high of $1.3 million, it would easily break records for the most valuable piece of Force-related memorabilia ever sold. The Panavision camera used by Lucas to film the original sold for $625,000 in 2011; a TIE Fighter model earned $402,000 in 2008.

The Prop Store auction is also set to feature Brad Pitt’s colorful robe from Fight Club and Catwoman’s corset from Batman Returns. The items will be on display to the public through September 20 at the BFI IMAX in London. And if Ford’s jacket is out of your financial reach, you might consider bidding on a cast model of C-3PO’s buttocks from Star Wars. Bidding starts at $870.

[h/t Newsweek]

This Gorgeous Vintage Edition of Clue Sets the Perfect Mood for a Murder Mystery

WS Game Company
WS Game Company

Everyone should have a few good board games lying around the house for official game nights with family and friends and to kill some time on the occasional rainy day. But if your collection leaves a lot to be desired, you can class-up your selection with this great deal on the Vintage Bookshelf Edition of Clue for $40.

A brief history of Clue

'Clue' Vintage Bookshelf Edition.
WS Game Company.

Originally titled Murder!, Clue was created by a musician named Anthony Pratt in Birmingham, England, in 1943, and he filed a patent for it in 1944. He sold the game to Waddington's in the UK a few years later, and they changed the name to Cluedo in 1949 (that name was a mix between the words clue and Ludo, which was a 19th-century game.) That same year, the game was licensed to Parker Brothers in the United States, where it was published as Clue. Since then, there have been numerous special editions and spinoffs of the original game, not to mention books and a television series based on it. Most notably, though, was the cult classic 1985 film Clue, which featured Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, and Lesley Ann Warren.

As you probably know, every game of Clue begins with the revelation of a murder. The object of the game is to be the first person to deduce who did it, with what weapon, and where. To achieve that end, each player assumes the role of one of the suspects and moves strategically around the board collecting clues.

With its emphasis on logic and critical thinking—in addition to some old-fashioned luck—Clue is a masterpiece that has stood the test of time and evolved with each decade, with special versions of the game hitting shelves recently based on The Office, Rick and Morty, and Star Wars.

Clue Vintage Bookshelf Edition

'Clue' Vintage Library Edition.
WS Game Company

The Vintage Bookshelf Edition of Clue is the work of the WS Game Company, a licensee of Hasbro, and all the design elements are inspired by the aesthetic of the 1949 original. The game features a vintage-looking game board, cards, wood movers, die-cast weapons, six pencils, an ivory-colored die, an envelope, and a pad of “detective notes.” And, of course, everything folds up and stores inside a beautiful cloth-bound book box that you can store right on the shelf in your living room.

Clue Vintage Bookshelf Edition is a limited-release item, and right now you can get it for $40.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

16 Priceless Treasures We've Lost Forever

jeanyfan, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain
jeanyfan, Wikimedia Commons // Public Domain

Steven Spielberg is known for crafting such masterpieces as Jaws, E.T., Schindler's List, and Jurassic Park. With such a long and acclaimed film career, it probably wouldn't surprise anyone to learn that Spielberg got his start behind the camera at just 17 years old when (with the help of his friends and his high school marching band) he directed his first feature-length film, Firelight.

What's that? You've never seen Firelight? Well, you're certainly not alone; sadly, just under four minutes of the original footage remains. After screening Firelight for around 500 people, the young director sent a few of the film reels off to a producer for review. When the budding director later went back to retrieve his film, he discovered that the producer had been fired—and his movie had vanished.

Firelight is just one example of the many priceless items that have disappeared from history. On this episode of The List Show, we're rediscovering all sort of treasures—from writing by Ernest Hemingway to natural landmarks—that have been lost to time (or circumstance). You can watch the full episode below.

For more videos like this, be sure to head here and subscribe.