By Jim Frye
These are the props you’re looking for.
The Walt Disney Archives recently received multiple large trailers full of significant props—more than 3,000 actually—from the most recent Star Wars films, beginning with 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens and including The Last Jedi, The Rise of Skywalker, Rogue One, and Solo. “The containers are full of costumes, props, and set decorations that were actually used during pre-production and filming, and the vast majority appear on screen,” says Rick Lorentz, acquisitions manager, Walt Disney Archives. “Among the collection are a full-size X-wing starfighter, an A-wing, and the cockpit set of the Millennium Falcon.” Aside from the films, most of these items have rarely—if ever—been seen, aside from the occasional Star Wars Celebration or D23 Expo. The 2019 D23 Expo featured an impressive retrospective called “The Evolution of the Stormtrooper,” which included the wildly popular Sith stormtrooper featured in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the final film in the Skywalker saga.
Keeping track of this otherworldly collection and making sure it safely arrives at its new home at the Walt Disney Archives is not an easy task. And with Dok-Ondar busy tending to his own collectibles and creatures in his Den of Antiquities at Black Spire Outpost (part of the Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resorts), the job of overseeing this collection transition falls on Madlyn Moskowitz, the Lucasfilm collections & exhibitions archivist. As custodian of the stolen plans, er… Star Wars props, artifacts, and costumes, Moskowitz is herself also making the journey from a galaxy far, far away to join the Walt Disney Archives. “I’m very excited to join,” she says. “I’ll be part of the research team, working directly with Kevin Kern. I’ll be a good point of contact for all things Lucasfilm.”
In addition to the thousands of props already sent to the Archives, all future Lucasfilm live-action productions will likely yield additional treasures for collection. But with such a vast (and expanding!) galaxy to explore, how does the Archives team determine what to keep? “In deciding what items we collect and preserve, we want to represent the creative process and the story itself,” says Moskowitz. She says archivists look at the costumes that represent the main characters or any number of creatures who have been prominently featured in the films or, more recently, on the Disney+ live actions series The Mandalorian. “I definitely have an unusual job!” she says.
It might seem a gargantuan task to adequately preserve the touchpoints and important props of one of the most significant film franchises in motion picture history, but for now, Moskowitz and the rest of the team are excited to finally bring these items to the Walt Disney Archives. Luke’s X-wing. The Falcon’s seating area. And all those droids! Suddenly, they’re not so “far, far away” anymore. And we can’t wait to see them!
Here’s a gallery of some of these unique items that have dropped out of hyperspace into the Burbank area: