Star Wars: Movie Poster Collecting Strikes Back

Star Wars: Movie Poster Collecting Strikes Back

Comic Character Collectibles
by J.C. Vaughn
With Star Wars: Episode IX –The Rise of Skywalker due in theaters December 20, 2019, it seems like as good a time as any to take a look at the market for movie posters from the cinema empire created by George Lucas back in 1977 with the release of his original film.
According to Amanda Sheriff, author of The Overstreet Guide To Collecting Movie Posters and co-author of The Overstreet Price Guide To Star Wars Collectibles, the most valuable Star Wars posters are all marked by rarity and/or size.
“While there are some intriguing posters from the prequels (Episodes I, II, and III) the post-George Lucas sequels (Episodes VII, VIII and the upcoming IX), and the two stand-alone films (Rogue One and Solo), the bread and butter of this area of Star Wars collecting remains the original three films – A New Hope (originally known simply as Star Wars), The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi,” she said.
“Our message is always ‘collect what you love and you can’t go wrong,’” Sheriff said, “But the top Star Wars posters can command serious money. The really great thing, though, is that there are posters for every film in the series that remain readily accessible at entry-level prices for new collectors.”

OVERSTREET’S TOP 10 STAR WARS POSTERS
The prices listed below represent a range from poor condition to near mint.
A NEW HOPE

  • Style B advance seven-sheet – $3,000 to $13,000 (A size that is rarely seen and predates most of the artwork that depicted the characters)
  • Style A seven-sheet – $3,500 to $12,000 (Features Tom Jung’s sci-fi/fantasy artwork, first depiction of Vader, and rare size)
  • Style A 24-sheet – $3,900 to $15,500 (Jung’s art, the only 24-sheet issued for the first movie, third most valuable Star Wars poster, if you count the test poster mentioned below)
  • Happy Birthday/Style E one-sheet – $625 to $4,750 (Standard size, but very rare, issued to commemorate the movie’s first birthday, depicts Kenner action figures)
  • ’78 concert poster (24” x 37”) – $2,000 to $7,800 (Not technically a movie poster, but always considered within the category, limited print run, outsells the original one-sheets)

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

  • Advance teaser 24-sheet – $1,000 to $10,000 (Designed by popular poster artist Bob Peak, bold focus on Darth Vader, only 24-sheet for the movie)
  • Style A/Gone with the Wind one-sheet test poster – $1,800 to $26,400 (Most valuable Star Wars poster, Roger Kastel art, different from final version because it has warmer colors and includes Lando and Boba Fett)
  • Style B six-sheet – $2,175 to $9,450 (Great collage art by Kazuhiko Sano and larger format size)

RETURN OF THE JEDI

  • Style B 24-sheet – $1,000 to $8,320 (Same factors, but even larger, though it does not outsell the six-sheet, only 24-sheet for the movie)

TRILOGY

  • ’85 Triple Bill one-sheet – $8,000 to $20,500 (Only shows the titles of the movies, but was made for a one time showing of all three movies, it is extremely rare and is the second most valuable Star Wars poster)

In addition to the top sellers mentioned above, Sheriff said there are a handful of other Star Wars posters that deserve honorable mentions for their compelling artwork, eye appeal, and scarcity.
A NEW HOPE

  • 1976 World Science Fiction Convention poster (20” x 29”) – $1,000 to $2,800 (features Howard Chaykin’s comic book art, was given out at a sci-fi convention as grassroots campaigning for the movie)
  • Advance teaser style A (variant “W”) foil one-sheet – $275 to $2,000 (Simple “Coming to Your Galaxy This Summer” text, but the important part is the “W” in “Wars” is different than the official logo)
  • Style A one-sheet first printing – $100 to $3,000 (Tom Jung art, there are multiple printings, one of the most valuable one-sheets)

THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK

  • Advance teaser white logo one-sheet – $425 to $2,770 (Bob Peak art, rarer than the other advance because of the white logo instead of gray)
  • Style A/Gone with the Wind one-sheet – $100 to $1,550 (Roger Kastel art, one of the most popular designs that promotes drama and romance)

RETURN OF THE JEDI

  • Revenge of the Jedi advance dated one-sheet – $275 to $2,500
  • Revenge of the Jedi advance undated one-sheet – $650 to $3,500 (Drew Struzan art, famous for having the “Revenge” title before George Lucas changed it to “Return” because the Jedi wouldn’t seek revenge, sold to Lucas’ fan club)

Given that many modern posters employ artists using photo-manipulation rather than painting or other forms of illustration, it seems unlikely that the market for the Star Wars prequel and sequel posters will heat up dramatically, but that is not to say that one or more of them won’t become sought after. Only the market can tell us that over time.

Star Wars: Movie Poster Collecting Strikes Back