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Let’s bring the Star Wars blasters to the Royal Armouries

19th June 2018

Our client the Royal Armouries has announced plans to launch a £20K+ crowdfunding campaign to bring two iconic Star Wars blasters to their collections.

Used in the making of the original Star Wars movies the aim is to bring these to the National Museum of Arms and Armour. If successful, the pair of Star Wars blasters – an Imperial Stormtrooper ‘E-11’ and Rebel trooper ‘DH-17’– will be displayed as part of the national collection of arms and armour at their Leeds museum.

The pair of ‘blaster’ guns are from the ‘Star Wars’ series of films and have been modified by film armourers Bapty & Co. from 1950s vintage Sterling submachine guns. Royal Armouries experts believe both props were assembled for use in ‘The Empire Strikes Back’ (1980), whilst it is likely that the base guns themselves were also used in ‘A New Hope’ (1977).

Laura Bell, Director of Collections says: “Ancient weapons are a great match for a good blaster, as we seek new ways to tell the story of arms and armour through the ages. We are really excited about this acquisition, and already have a number of pledges of support in place. There are opportunities to get involved and support the campaign at all levels, starting from just £10, with benefits including unique prints and t-shirts, invite-only film evenings here at the Armouries and even opportunities to see and handle the blasters and get behind the scenes with our expert Curators.”

Collecting Cultures

The Star Wars blasters will be acquired as part of the museum’s Collecting Cultures project, which looks at arms and armour through the lens of popular culture. The project is supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Museum visitors can already get up close with the iconic M-41A Pulse Rifle from the ‘Aliens’ film franchise, a collection of swords made by Peter Lyon, swordsmith to ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movies, and even a ‘Vampire killing kit’. The blasters will ultimately join these and other fascinating objects acquired during the project on public display. Until then you can see some of the objects we have already collected as part of this project on our collections online website (opens in a new website).

Jonathan Ferguson, Keeper of Firearms and Artillery, comments: “At the Royal Armouries we are committed to finding new ways of connecting with and exciting our visitors, which means collecting, researching, and displaying arms and armour from film and TV.

“We’ve already acquired several important pieces, but have long hoped to acquire a piece of Star Wars weaponry or armour for the national collection. With the release of Solo: a Star Wars Story, this is a great time to share our plans and ask for public support in making this dream a reality.”

To help fund this amazing venture please visit the Crowdfunder website.