AN ORIGINAL Stormtrooper helmet worn in the first Star Wars film could fetch £180,000 for the nephew of a country squire who was given it for hosting a peculiar charity fundraiser.
Carrie Fisher, David Prowse (aka Darth Vader), Peter Mayhew (Chewbacca) and football pundit Jimmy Hill were among the famous faces who attended the Star Wars Cross-Country Team Event in 1978.
Hosts Cpt Robert Hawkins and his wife Anne were handed the piece of movie memorabilia by actor Syd Wragg, who played one of the Galactic Empire foot soldiers in Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope, for holding the equestrian competition at Everdon Hall in Northamptonshire.
The couple kept it in their drawing room for more than 30 years before they handed it to their nephew John Holt, who (look away, Star Wars devotees) isn’t even a fan of the films.
‘I have no idea how my aunt and uncle became involved with Star Wars,’ he said.
‘I know (director) George Lucas was looking for funding for the second film — perhaps they thought the Everdon participants could help?’
He added: ‘It was only when Carrie Fisher died that I realised how much of a big deal it was.
‘Since then, it’s opened my eyes to a world I never knew existed.’
The unrestored helmet, one of only 56 made for the film, will be auctioned on the Prop Store website today. A spokesman described the helmet as ‘exceedingly rare’.