Han Solo’s blaster from A New Hope goes up for auction

Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Photo: StarWars.com.
Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Photo: StarWars.com. /

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid,”  Han Solo told Jedi in training Luke Skywalker in the 1977 film Star Wars Episode IV- A New Hope.

If everyone’s favorite Corellian smuggler was referring to his prized blaster, then he was probably spot on. That is, from a certain financial point-of-view.

According to an article from Newsweek, Rock Island Auction Company, an Illinois-based firm, is hosting a sale of the iconic blaster which is a modified Blastech DL-44 Heavy Blaster. The sidearm was used by Harrison Ford who portrayed Solo in A New Hope and several sequel Star Wars films.

While the DL-44 that shot first is estimated to sell for $300,000 to $500,000, similar to the DL-44 prop from 1983’s The Return of the Jedi, it is expected to break auction records by exceeding those amounts and with good reason.

The original prop of the DL-44 was reported to be lost forever which prompted new blasters to be created for the next two films of the original trilogy: The Empire Strikes Back and The Return of the Jedi.

The Newsweek article mentions that the original blaster “could set the new high-water mark in the increasingly popular field of Star Wars collectibles.” Among those collectibles, “an original R2-D2 sold for $2.75 million” in 2017 and “an original X-Wing miniature prop bought in $2.3 million in June 2022.”

The blaster prop was made out of parts from a Mauser C96 pistol, a German World War I era gun. The blaster also had other modifications including a scope and a muzzle from an air-plane-mounted machine gun.

The set director for A New Hope, Roger Christian spoke to Esquire magazine about being “successful in showing George [Lucas] my idea of adapting real guns so that they’d look used and natural.” He also told the magazine about how he wanted Solo’s DL-44 to look.

“For Han Solo’s blaster gun, I wanted it like a Western gun, so I stuck old sights on it and everything,”Christian told Esquire.

In the same interview, Christian noted that this method of creating props was affordable and one “could fire them and get the recoil, on-set, and not like the actors going, ‘Beep beep.’” The idea won over Lucas to the point where he helped Christian create Princess Leia’s gun in a similar fashion.

The Rock Island Auction Company where the blaster will be sold is scheduled on August 26 to 28. Information about the auction can be found at www.rockislandauction.com.