268 photo credit Photofest 932 RETURN OF THE JEDI HAN SOLO MOVIE PROP DL-44 BLASTER AND DVD An original production used “BlasTech DL-44” blaster prop used by Harrison Ford as Han Solo in Return of the Jedi (Lucasfilm, 1983). The prop is custom made, built on a metal working non-firing model version of the German Mauser C96 (“Broomhandle Mauser”) from MGC (Model Gun Corporation) of Japan with additional found parts, greblies and cast resin pieces added on, creating one of the most iconic sci-fi weapons in the history of film. This is believed to be one of four hero Han Solo blasters made for and used in Return of the Jedi . The production had one hero “practical” (blank fire) version rented from Stembridge Gun Rentals (which sold for $201,600 at auction in 2007) and three hero “non-firing” versions (two of which we believe were photographed at the Lucasfilm Archives in the mid-90s). Per production records included with this prop, this appears to be one of two “non-firing” versions made for and used in Return of the Jedi by the US production (records indicate two “non-firing” versions were shipped from the UK prop department to the US). Harrison Ford is seen using his blaster in many scenes on Endor throughout the second half of the film. Per James Schoppe, a weapons handler (he recalls Syd Stembridge specifically) had to be on set when the hero “practical” (blank fire) version was used (for safety reasons), so the hero “non-firing” versions like this one would have been used in all other scenes. This prop was damaged at some point during filming (Schoppe believes it may have occurred in pulling the prop out of the holster or holstering the piece); part of the scope was damaged. Once production was completed after the end of second unit shooting on Return of the Jedi , Property Master Peter Hancock came by Schoppe’s office to thank him and say goodbye, and at the end of the conversation, he presented Schoppe with the Han Solo blaster and a few other props, saying he wanted him to have them. As filming wrapped, it was believed that Star Wars was “done,” as it was considered the final film. And this held true until 1999 (some 16 years later), when George Lucas revisited the film franchise with the first “Prequel” film. Schoppe has kept the blaster and his memorabilia archive boxed up for the last 35 years. Probably the most recognizable and coveted props from the original Star Wars trilogy are the lightsabers used by Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Obi-Wan Kenobi, along with the blaster used by Han Solo. The original DL-44 blaster used in Star Wars: A New Hope had long been lost, making the examples that survived filming from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi even more rare. Given the provenance of this piece – coming directly from the art director of Return of the Jedi – along with the accompanying documentation, it should prove to be one of the most historic offerings of genuine Star Wars movie prop memorabilia to ever come to public auction.