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One anonymous movie lover just paid nearly $1 million for a rare Star Wars artifact.
The helmet that was worn by Darth Vader actor, David Prowse, in Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back was up for auction. According to the Mirror, one determined bidder gave a Los Angeles auction house $898,420 for the fiberglass and foam headgear on Thursday (Sept. 26). That $898,420 along with other fees led the buyer to over $1 million for the helmet. This is more than double the projected price as the piece was estimated to tap out at around $400,000.
Per the auction house's spokesperson, Darth Vader masks are considered "to be the holy grail of science fiction artifacts." Yet, this one is held in higher regard by Star Wars fans due to the plot of Star Wars: Episode V. The Empire Strikes Back contains arguably one of the biggest twists in cinematic history when Darth Vader reveals to Luke Skywalker that he is his father. Fans also get their first glimpse at Darth Vader's distorted appearance when he removes the helmet prior to his death.
The Darth Vader mask was the most expensive piece of movie memorabilia that was sold at the auction. In all, nearly $8 million worth of artifacts were sold—including the motorcycle Sylvester Stallone rode in Rocky III and the moon buggy that was driven by Sean Connery in Diamonds Are Forever.
The shoulder gear that accompanied the Darth Vader helmet was also sold for close to $700,000.