Return of the gavel: Second auction of Darth Vader actor David Prowse’s private Star Wars collection to benefit Alzheimer’s Research UK

18 November 2021

The Empire Strikes Back script among top lots going under the hammer

A second auction of rare and never-before-seen Star Wars memorabilia owned by the late Darth Vader actor David Prowse is up for auction tomorrow, with a percentage of proceeds again benefitting Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Around 700 lots have been catalogued for sale, including David’s rehearsal script from the 1980 blockbuster The Empire Strikes Back. This unique piece of movie history contains the iconic ending scene where Luke Skywalker plummets down the reactor shaft following the famous “No, I am your father” line. The line was kept so secret it was redacted from the script – instead, it’s been replaced with ‘Insert B – Dialogue Added Here’, hiding one of cinema’s greatest ever plot twists. A later script of David’s from the same film, which sold at an earlier auction, went for £21,000.

Also among the lots is a letter and White House invitation to David from former US President Ronald Reagan, and his full script from the classic Hammer Horror film Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell. An original and never-watched Star Wars promo film reel is also generating buzz ahead of the auction.

As well as playing the infamous baddie Darth Vader, the former professional bodybuilder was the face of road safety in Britain, playing the role of the Green Cross Code Man. His robot sidekick Droid will also go to the highest bidder.

The auction, which is being conducted by East Bristol Auctions, is currently open online. People will have a chance to bid until tomorrow (Friday) before it switches to a live auction format from 9.55am.

David died in November last year following a short illness. He had been living with Alzheimer’s disease for around a decade before his death, aged 85.

The auction follows one earlier this year that saw 700 lots go under the hammer in a live auction on May 4 – known around the world as Star Wars Day. Thousands of people placed bids around the world, helping to smash pre-auction estimates and raise vital funds for the UK’s leading dementia research charity in the process.

David’s friend and assistant for more than a decade, Julian Owen, has organised this second auction on behalf of David’s family. He said:

“We were truly blown away by the public’s response to our last action, which saw 700 items go for more than five times pre-auction estimates. Being able to support the vital work of Alzheimer’s Research UK at the same time, in Dave’s memory, means everything to the family.

“Dave’s decline with Alzheimer’s disease was hard to watch, and, piece by piece, I had to watch someone I’d worked so closely with for over a decade disappear in front of my eyes.

“His wife Norma is passionate about supporting the search for breakthrough dementia treatments. While nothing could be done for Dave, we all hope this contribution in his memory will ensure future generations won’t have to go through the same heartbreak we all did.”

He added:

“Dave carried on right until the end – attending conventions, meeting the fans, and he had an incredible life and he always made the best of every opportunity he was presented with. It’s been so nice to see people take such an interest in Dave’s collection and while this second and last auction marks the end of an era, it’s ending in an appropriate way – giving back to the fans and supporting dementia research.”

Tim Parry, Director at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:

“We couldn’t be more grateful to the Prowse family for continuing their support for our work in fond memory of David. He will now not only be remembered as someone who introduced the world to one of the most enduring screen villains, but as someone who helped change lives and give hope to future generations living with dementia.”

To see all the lots and register to bid, visit www.eastbristol.co.uk

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