Next month, mere mortals will have a chance to acquire an object flown in from a galaxy far, far away, when the so-called “Han Solo Blaster” from Star Wars: A New Hope, hits the auction block at Illinois-based Rock Island Auction Company.

The object, technically named the BlasTech DL-44 Heavy Blaster, was itself a star of George Lucas’s science fiction trilogy, prominently strapped to actor Harrison Ford’s thigh and brandished in promotional images for the 1977 film. The original was thought lost for decades, and replacements were built for both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. One of those replacements, which was made from metal and resin, sold for $550,000 in 2018.

A quick Amazon search turns up results for toy blasters in Lego form, Nerf blasters, and official Disney licensed plastic versions of the “hero” gun.

The original DL-44 Heavy Blaster Pistol. Courtesy of Rock Island Auction Company.

When the beloved space opera debuted in the late ’70s, it was remarkable for its gritty set dressing and well-worn props. “All science fiction before was very plastic and stupid uniforms and Flash Gordon stuff…,” set designer Roger Christian said in a 2014 interview with Esquire. “George was going right against that.” The designers on Star Wars opted for airplane scrap metal and junkyard finds to bring the world to life, giving it a lived-in feeling.

When it came time to design the weapons, Christian wanted Hans Solo’s blaster gun to look “like a Western gun” with “old sights and everything.” The result was a Mauser C96 broom handle pistol—a Texas Ranger-esque firearm that was first used by Frank Sinatra in 1967’s Naked Runner—that was modified with a World War II-era scope, the muzzle of an airplane-mounted machine gun, and additional surplus parts.

Although the presale estimate is $300,000 to $500,000, this seems modest. An original R2D2 droid sold for $2.75 million in 2017, and an original X-wing miniature prop from A New Hope fetched $2.3 million just last month—so it’s a fair bet that the Han Solo blaster may be set to kill.

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