LONDON - A sketchbook revealing early costume designs for Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker and other Star Wars characters is expected to sell for more than $130,000 at auction in London next week.
The colored pencil sketches, drawn by Oscar-winning costume designer John Mollo between 1975 and 1976, closely resemble the final designs used in the original 1977 sci-fi film, "Star Wars: A New Hope" by director George Lucas that kicked off the lucrative movie and television franchise.
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The sketchbook is one of four that Mollo's family is putting up for auction on Tuesday, following his death last year.
Another featuring his designs for the sequel, "The Empire Strikes Back," and also including drawings for "Alien" and "Zulu Dawn," is expected to fetch more than $102,000.
The two other books featuring designs for his other works, including "Gandhi," for which he won a second Academy Award, are expected to fetch around $25,000 each.
"We have an amazing collection. It is the archive of costume designer John Mollo. He was a double academy award winner for his costume designs ... We have the original designs that he drew from George Lucas' instruction of how he wanted his characters, his stormtroopers, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, all the principal characters to look," said Katherine Schofield, head of entertainment memorabilia for Bonhams. "It is very rare to see anything (like this) come up at auction. A lot of items were lost, the first film they didn't keep any items. Lucasfilm let them go, so we have seen things over the years, but much of it is squirreled away within private collections."
Props and costumes from the Star Wars movie franchise are frequently popular at auction. A complete R2-D2 droid used in the first movie sold for almost $3 million last year.