In the world of movie memorabilia, few items spark the imagination like those from the Star Wars universe. Among the most intriguing of these are the personal effects of the actors who brought these iconic stories to life. This February, fans have a rare opportunity to own a piece of that history: Harrison Ford’s original, albeit incomplete, script for the first Star Wars movie, discovered in a London flat where he once stayed.
The Discovery of a Cinematic Treasure
Back in 1976, Harrison Ford, then a rising star, was filming the now legendary “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope” at Elstree Studios in Hertfordshire. Needing a place to stay, he came across an advertisement in the Sunday Times for a “Flat to Let” in Notting Hill, West London. Little did the owners of the Elgin Crescent property, who lived on the bottom floors, know that their new tenant would become one of Hollywood’s most iconic figures.
The script, found years later by the property owners, is a fascinating artifact. It’s incomplete and unbound, with pages of varying colors indicating revisions. This draft includes scenes and characters that never made it to the final cut of the movie, offering a unique glimpse into the early development of a film that would revolutionize cinema.
A Script with a Backstory
This isn’t just any script. On page 56, Ford is introduced as the cynical hero Han Solo, marking the beginning of a role that would define his career. Accompanying the script are other items that paint a picture of Ford’s life at the time, including a letter asking why he hadn’t called his wife, Mary Marquardt, before their divorce in 1979.
The script’s backstory adds to its allure. Ford was remembered by the property owners as an “excellent tenant, very tidy,” who even attended their son’s first birthday party. The family’s cleaner, recognizing Ford from his role as a drag racer in Francis Ford Coppola’s “American Graffiti,” famously fainted upon meeting him.
The Auction: A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity
Set to be auctioned by Excalibur Auctions in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, this script is expected to fetch between £8,000 and £12,000. The auction, taking place on February 17, also includes a call sheet, filming schedules, and a handwritten note from Ford. Jonathan Torode, the auctioneer, describes the sale as a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” for Star Wars enthusiasts and collectors alike.
A Legacy Beyond the Script
Harrison Ford’s legacy extends far beyond this script. He went on to star in other seminal films like the Indiana Jones series and “Blade Runner.” The script’s journey from a rented flat in Notting Hill to the auction block is a testament to the enduring fascination with the Star Wars saga and its stars.
The sale of this script is more than just an auction; it’s a celebration of a film that has captivated audiences for nearly half a century. It offers a rare chance to own a piece of cinematic history, a tangible connection to the magic of Star Wars and the early career of one of its most beloved actors.