Star Wars Costume Sketchbook Expected to Fetch Large Sums at Auction

By Tiffany Meier

A sketchbook with 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.

Oscar-winning costume designer, John Mollo, drew the sketches between 1975 and 1976.

Viewers who see the colored pencil sketches will be shocked to see how much they resemble the final designs used in the original 1977 movie “Star Wars: A New Hope” directed by George Lucas.

“It is very rare to see anything [like this] come up at auction,” Katherine Schofield, Head of Entertainment Memorabilia at Bonhams, London, told Reuters.

“To have something of this magnitude, of this scale, from the estate of somebody who worked on the film and was so important to the film that he won an Academy Award for it, is really exciting,” she said.

The sketchbook is one of four that Mollo’s family are putting up for auction following his death last year.

“We have an amazing collection,” Schofield said. “It is the archive of costume designer John Mollo. He was a double Academy Award winner for his costume designs and his first film that he was credited as costume designer for was also where he won his first Oscar and that was for ‘Star Wars: A New Hope.'”

“We have the original designs that he drew from George Lucas’s instruction of how he wanted his characters, his stormtroopers, Darth Vader, Princess Leia, all the principle characters to look,” Schofield added.

Another sketchbook features Mollo’s own designs for the “Star Wars” sequel “The Empire Strikes Back.”

It also includes sketches for Ridley Scott’s 1979 film “Alien” and Douglas Hickox’s “Zulu Dawn” of the same year.

It’s expected to fetch more than $102,000.

“We also have some individual sketches, pre-production, and post-production, which range from 500-2,000 pounds,” Schofield said.

The two other sketchbooks feature designs for his other works, including the 1982 film “Gandhi” by director Richard Attenborough.

Mollo won his second Academy Award for that film, and these two sketchbooks are expected to fetch around $26,000.

The sketchbooks will be offered at Bonhams in a stand-alone 62-lot sale, “Designing an Empire: The John Mollo Archive” in London, on Tuesday, Dec. 11.