May 9, 2017
Tokyo-based luxury jeweler Ginza Tanaka just unveiled a 33-pound, solid gold Darth Vader mask to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of the original Star Wars movie.
Carrying a retail price of $1.4 million, the 24-karat gold mask has so many components that it took a crew of 10 goldsmiths three months to perfect the prototype. That piece is now on display at the jeweler's flagship store in the heart of Tokyo's upscale Ginza shopping district.
"The most difficult aspect was that each section of the mask was created by a different gold craftsman and then assembled to make one Darth Vader mask," Hirotsugu Tsuchiyaa, Marketing Manager for Ginza Tanaka, told the Associated Press.
The dazzling life-size replica was offered for sale on Star Wars Day, traditionally the 4th of May. Star Wars fans mark that day because "May the fourth" is a clever pun of the film's iconic line, "May the force be with you."
The original Star Wars hit theaters on May 25, 1977. That movie spawned a franchise of seven subsequent films, including Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which will be released later this year.
Interestingly, the Darth Vader "mask" created by Ginza Tanaka is not a mask at all because it can't be worn. At 33 pounds, it's too heavy to be a mask and, secondly, there's no place to put one's face. The golden replica of the original black Darth Vader helmet measures 11.8 inches tall and 10.4 inches wide. The precious metal alone is worth $650,000.
Ginza Tanaka noted that the gilded Darth Vader helmets have a three-month delivery time.
Credit: Screen capture via YouTube.com/NipponNewsNet.