The Blasters used in the Star Wars movie franchise are amongst the most iconic weapons in popular culture. We have a unique opportunity to acquire two screen-used original movie prop weapons as part of the UK’s national collection of arms and armour.
With your vital support, Royal Armouries will be able to purchase these amazing objects for the national collection, to be enjoyed by the public at our museum in Leeds. They will help us to continue to tell the story of the development and impact of arms and armour on the history, people and cultures of Britain, the world and beyond!
Help us bring the Blasters to Royal Armouries.
If our campaign is successful, the pair of Blasters - an Imperial Stormtrooper `E-11` and Rebel trooper `DH-17`- will go on permanent display in autumn 2019 at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, as part of our 'Collecting Cultures' feature on the role of arms and armour in popular culture.
The pair of ‘Blaster’ guns are from the original Star Wars film franchise, and have been modified by film armourers Bapty & Co. from 1950s vintage Sterling submachine guns. 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).
Why are they important?
As we encounter arms and armour on a regular basis in films, television, literature and art, our perceptions regarding these pieces are often coloured by what we read, see or hear. These elaborate props and costumes can inspire and intrigue us.
Funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund through their ‘Collecting Cultures’ stream, our project seeks to explore, extend and maximise the impact of the national collection by using fantastic items of arms and armour made famous by popular culture. Visitors can already get up close with the iconic M-41A Pulse Rifle from the Aliens film franchise, a collection of remarkable swords made by Peter Lyon, swordsmith to the Lord of the Rings motion picture trilogy, and even a ‘Vampire killing kit’ at our Leeds museum!
So you see, ancient weapons really are a great match for a good blaster, and we are committed to finding new ways of connecting with and exciting our visitors. Now we need your help to continue the story.
As a supporter of this project, you can access a range of amazing benefits, including;
- A personalised thank you on our website
- A exclusive, supporters only set of A4 prints with images and information on some of the amazing objects within our Collecting Cultures project
- Light or Dark? Choose your side with specially commissioned exclusive supporters only t-shirts for the Rebels and the Empire
- Unique opportunities to get behind the scenes at the museum and ‘hands-on’ with some of the most iconic items from film history
- The chance to join us for a supporters only evening event at the museum to see Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back on our big screen, and see and handle items from our Collecting Cultures project, including both of the Blasters
- Get together with your friends for a private event at our museum in Leeds, encompassing a behind the scenes tour of Royal Armouries object stores, the chance to see and handle objects from our Collecting Cultures project, and a private screening of Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
How can you get involved?
As a charity, we rely on the help of our supporters to ensure that our collection remains relevant for current and future audiences.
Pledge your support here today to help us raise the vital funds we need to ensure we can take these items into the national collection.
Who are Royal Armouries?
Royal Armouries is the National Museum of Arms and Armour and one of the most important collections of its type in the world. Today, our collection is displayed and housed in our historical home at the White Tower in the Tower of London, at the purpose-built Museum in Leeds, and at Fort Nelson near Fareham, Hampshire.
We have a long history, dating back to the Middle Ages. Our celebrated core collection originated in the nation’s working arsenal, which was assembled over many centuries at the Tower of London.