Star Wars Fans Can Soon Bid on C-3PO’s Head

Actor Anthony Daniels wore the golden helmet while playing the iconic droid in ‘Return of the Jedi’

C-3PO Helmet and Anthony Daniels
Actor Anthony Daniels holds up the helmet he wore on the set of 1983's Return of the Jedi. Propstore

Star Wars fans wishing they could have a bumbling droid companion of their own can now purchase the next best thing: an original prop helmet worn by C-3PO.

Anthony Daniels, the British actor who played the robot in the Star Wars franchise, is selling the costume helmet he wore during Return of the Jedi (1983) at a Propstore auction in March. It’s expected to fetch between $500,000 and $1 million.

“This is an original trilogy head,” Brandon Alinger, chief operating officer at Propstore, tells Adam Savage in a YouTube video. “Not only is the plated finish original but all the weathering on top … whatever it is they painted on top of this to knock the shine down, that is all original, untouched from [the] 1982 shooting.”

The droid’s eyes still light up, and the original wiring is intact—though a new battery pack and switch have been added, according to the auction booklet. The helmet is constructed from thin, lightweight fiberglass and consists of a backplate, a faceplate and a neck ring.

The robot is a highlight of Daniels’ larger collection, which he is offering up through Propstore. During the first part of the sale, which took place in November, a second C-3PO costume head from A New Hope (1977) sold for more than $800,000.

“I realized I had these items, and they’re not unloved, but they are unlooked at—we don’t have them crowding the sitting room,” Daniels told BBC News’ Danny Fullbrook ahead of last year’s auction.

Throughout the Star Wars films, a number of C-3PO costumes were used (one of which is held by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History). Daniels played the robot in all nine episodes, breathing life into one of the franchise’s most iconic and beloved characters. 

C-3PO Helmet
The C-3PO helmet could sell for up to $1 million in March. Propstore

“The poor creature was always out of his depth,” wrote Daniels in his 2019 autobiography, I Am C-3PO. “Always in the wrong place and battered by events beyond his control. Programmed for abilities that would rarely be required in such a violent world.”

From the moment he read the script, “I was hooked,” he continued. “Forget it was sci-fi. Forget Luke and Han and Vader. Threepio was the one for me.”

For those who can’t afford the estimated $1 million price tag, many other pieces of Star Wars memorabilia from Daniels’ collection will be available. In addition to the helmet, Propstore is selling a pair of C-3PO’s hands, Daniels’ printed C-3PO bodysuit, an original annotated script and more.

Daniels’ collection is part of a larger multi-day entertainment memorabilia auction, which will feature over 1,700 items from film and TV. Other notable props include Marty McFly’s Erlewine Hondo Chiquita guitar from Back to the Future (1985) and Harry’s wand from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004).

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