The Original Death Star Saved from Destruction

A Star Wars enthusiast stumbled upon the original Death Star in an antique shop. The majority of the authentic props from the movie were stored in a California locker in 1977. After the post-production of the film was complete, the production studio chose to throw away everything in the locker as they did not want to continue paying rent. Though some of the props were taken by the crew as souvenirs, most of them were discarded in the trash.

However, a crew member named Doug did not want to throw the original Death Star away and kept it on display at his residence for almost ten years. Later, he stored it in an antique shop owned by his mother in Missouri.

A Discovery in an Antique Shop

Todd Franklin, a Star Wars fan and collector, saw the Death Star while driving past the antique shop and believed it was the real one. He contacted Lucasfilm, but they informed him that the original Death Star was discarded in a dumpster and the one in the antique shop was likely a fan-made replica. Although, Todd compared pictures of the original prop to the one in question and concluded that it was indeed the original.

Todd attempted to purchase the Death Star, but it was already sold to Mark, the owner of a country and western music show called Star World. The DS-1 Battlestation was on display in the lobby of Star World before the shop closed in 1993.

From Trash Can to Treasure

Todd, along with his brother Pat and buddy Tim, purchased the Death Star from the liquidation sale of Star World, but it was in poor condition with the radar dish missing and overflowing with garbage. They restored it and even added a new radar dish made of cardboard by Todd’s grandmother. For years, they took turns displaying the Death Star in their homes.

In 1999, Gus Lopez, another Star Wars collector, contacted Todd and his partners to purchase the original Death Star, and they agreed to sell it after a few months of discussions.

Todd took Gus on a tour of the significant spots in the Death Star’s history. Later, a props-maker created a more exact replica of the radar dish, and Todd kept the one his grandma made. Gus now occasionally sends the Death Star on tours around the galaxy for fans to see in public galleries. It’s crucial that the next owner has good intentions for the Death Star, just like Todd, Pat, Tim, and Gus, or it could end up as a trash can once again, or worse, another Alderaan.


1. What is the original Death Star?

The original Death Star is a fictional space station from the Star Wars franchise. It was the first Death Star built by the Galactic Empire and was capable of destroying entire planets.

2. Why was the original Death Star in danger of being thrown away?

After the original Death Star was destroyed in the first Star Wars movie, it was dismantled and left in pieces. The debris was considered a nuisance and was set to be disposed of as trash.

3. Who saved the original Death Star?

Artist Chris Lee discovered the remains of the original Death Star when he was working on a Star Wars project. He saw the potential in the debris and worked to save it from being thrown away.

4. How did Chris Lee save the original Death Star?

Chris Lee worked with Lucasfilm to secure the rights to the debris and began creating pieces of art from the wreckage. He used the metal and other materials to create sculptures and other pieces of art related to the Star Wars franchise.

5. What happened to the pieces of art created from the original Death Star debris?

The pieces of art were displayed in various galleries and exhibitions around the world, attracting Star Wars fans and art enthusiasts alike.

6. What is the significance of saving the original Death Star?

Saving the original Death Star helps to preserve a piece of popular culture and brings attention to the importance of recycling and repurposing materials. It also highlights the creativity of artists who can transform discarded objects into meaningful works of art.

7. Are there any other examples of repurposing objects from popular culture?

Yes, there are many examples of artists repurposing objects from popular culture. For example, artist Dan Ohlmann creates miniature replicas of famous movie sets and props using discarded materials.

8. What can we learn from the story of the original Death Star?

We can learn that even objects that seem like trash can have value if we look at them from a different perspective. By repurposing and recycling materials, we can reduce waste and create something new and meaningful.

Rate article
Add a comment