To celebrate 40 years of darkness, the galaxy’s favorite villain has taken on a much shinier disposition.
For less than the cost of a trip to Tatooine, one lucky Star Wars fan will soon be able to own a solid gold Darth Vader mask — perfect for bartering, though perhaps not so good for heavy breathing.
On Tuesday, the Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka unveiled the imposing headgear and announced that it would go on sale at the company’s flagship store in Tokyo on May the fourth (do we need to spell this out for you?) to celebrate Star Wars’ 40th Anniversary.
The price? A mere 154 million Japanese yen, or about $1.4 million. Tax included!
Its vendors describe the mask as life-size — 26.5 centimeters by 30 centimeters to be exact. But in an email, a spokesperson for Ginza Tanaka noted, “Unfortunately, you cannot wear this mask because it is too heavy.”
Indeed, the Force will have to be strong with you to lift the mask. It is about 33 pounds of 24-karat gold — enough to easily crush an enemy’s throat.
Ginza Tanaka is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, the spokesperson said, and “created this golden mask both because “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is set to premier in December, and because the company simply wanted to create the saga’s “iconic character, ‘Darth Vader,’ with gold.”
Because, you know, who doesn’t?
If you find yourself trying to justify dropping $1.4 million on a golden helmet, Ginza Tanaka has already crunched the numbers for you. It set the price of one gram of gold at about 4,900 yen, or about $44. That means the mask’s gold alone is valued at about $658,000, roughly half the asking price.
Still, if the mask is a little out of your price range, you might consider a commemorative solid gold coin instead. Sets of three will run about $11,000 — but for that you get about 100 grams of gold and a replica poster. And the competition for these coins may turn out to be as fierce as a podrace; there are only 77 sets, a number chosen because the first Star Wars movie debuted in 1977.
And if you’re surviving on more of a Death Star maintenance worker’s salary, never fear. Single 10-gram gold coins — one featuring Yoda and another depicting a lightsaber battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader — are priced around $1,200.
In a statement written in Japanese, the company called the products exquisite fan items that express the allure of Star Wars through Ginza Tanaka’s craftsmanship. Creating Star Wars products, they said, highlights just how global their brand really is.
Global, and perhaps now, intergalactic.