“A Long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away” ... with those words started a forty year journey that is still ongoing to this day. Today Star Wars has delivered eight feature films, with at least four planned through to the year 2020. TV shows, books and video games all feeding one of the most loyal fan bases in all of fiction.
Star Wars was at first considered to be a bit of a risky proposition by Hollywood. Universal Pictures, United Artists and Disney all declined to produce the original movie when George Lucas, then coming off of the success of American Graffiti, was able to convince 20th Century Fox's Alan Ladd Jr to finance the film for $8 250 000.
The script went through many revisions to reach the story that we know and love today. Some of the more notable changes include the fact that Luke Skywalker was first named Luke Starkiller. In fact by the time the script was in it's fourth draft the movie was actually called “The Adventures of Luke Starkiller as taken from the Journal of the Whills, Saga I: The Star Wars”. Fortunately this was later shortened to just Star Wars. The movie finally began filming on March 22, 1976 in the Tunisian desert which became Luke Skywalker's home planet of Tatooine in the Star Wars movies. By the time that Star Wars was released in 1977 it became immediately apparent that they had a hit. It went on to break virtually every box-office record at one time or another, and spawned a franchise that has lasted four decades and is showing no sign of slowing down any time soon.
So to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the release of the first Star Wars movie the New Zealand Mint is releasing a special Star Wars 40th Anniversary 1oz silver coin.
The reverse of this unique coin accurately recreates the original 1977 release poster, by Tom Jung, by flawlessly combining both colourized and engraved elements to the design. With the Death Star looming ominously in the background, the words “STAR WARS”, “© & ™ Lucasfilm Ltd.” and “1 oz 999 Fine Silver” appear to the bottom of this rectangular silver coin. Just above the Star Wars logo at the bottom right is a stylised 40th anniversary logo that uses details from the poster.
The obverse is fairly muted in turn, depicting the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II at it's centre. The legend is divided by the Queen's portrait and reads “ELIZABETH II” and “NIUE” to the top, with “2017” and “2 DOLLARS” to the bottom.
The proof coin is struck from 1oz of pure .999 Fineness silver and measures 53mm by 36mm(2.086 x 1.417 inches). The coin is struck by the New Zealand Mint under the authority of the island nation of Niue with a legal tender denomination of $2.
The coin is released in a protective Perspex display box, enclosed in a black, Star Wars branded vanity cover that includes the certificate of authenticity. With a limited mintage of 10 000 coins the New Zealand Mint is selling the coin at $80.00 each.