There may never be a franchise with such an incredible range of iconography that is so deeply ingrained in the pop culture zeitgeist in the same way as Star Wars. The movies changed the way films got made and ushered in a new era of blockbuster cinema with revolutionary technology and special effects by way of George Lucas.
However, the original trilogy of the franchise relied on practical sets and props with excellent results, with some of the most instantly recognizable parts of the franchise being single practical objects seen within the movies.
10 Boba Fett’s Helmet
Despite his role in the original trilogy being the source of so much criticism due to his limited screen time (and at this point inspiring laughter from the Star Wars fandom), Boba Fett has remained one of the franchise’s most popular characters.
A lot of that is to do with how incredibly cool he is, with his Mandalorian-style helmet being one of the coolest pieces in history. It is a prop with immense amounts of replicas that just about every collector has at least one of those in their set. So popular was this look that it returned in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones and the hit show The Mandalorian through new characters who donned armor similar to that of Boba Fett’s.
9 The Tantive IV
Excluding words, space, and planets, the very first thing fans ever see in the original Star Wars is the blockade runner Tantive IV as it gets chased by the Devastator. It reappears in the final minutes of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which links up directly with the opening minutes of Star Wars.
The practical effects of the original trilogy are incredible, and this shot is no different, with the Tantive IV immediately becoming iconic. It’s a prop that is out there somewhere in the world and a ship that will forever be in the minds of fans.
8 Rey’s Quarterstaff
The sequel trilogy has not yet had the time to truly breathe for it to have its own catalog of iconography. However, there are still some pieces in there that are instantly recognizable — despite the trilogy’s many controversies.
Most of these iconic props are used by Kylo Ren, whether it be his helmet or lightsaber. But apart from that, Rey’s quarterstaff is a practical piece seen in all three movies. It’s something that means a lot to Rey, and it’s later used as a part of her gorgeous new lightsaber.
7 Chewbacca’s Bowcaster
Despite undoubtedly being one of the most well known and instantly recognizable characters in Star Wars, Chewbacca often gets underappreciated. Nonetheless, his bowcaster is fantastic.
It’s seen in all three trilogies, and is one of the most iconic weapons that sticks with a singular owner – as well as one of the most powerful blaster-type weapons in the franchise. In reality, it was created beautifully by the production team but handcrafted by Chewbacca in-universe.
6 The X-Wing & TIE Fighters
While computer-generated technology and effects have become more prominent and are used for things like ships so often in the prequel and sequel trilogies, the original Star Wars trilogy relied on models and miniatures.
Two of these famous ship miniatures — the TIE Fighter and X-Wing — are equally iconic, as they’re basically two sides of the same coin and are the most commonly seen ships for the Empire and rebellion, respectively. The way they were maneuvered and filmed is fascinating and genius. Once again, props to the production team for their work!
5 Han’s DL-44 Blaster
There are so many brilliant blasters in the franchise, like Chewbacca’s previously mentioned Bowcaster and Boba Fett’s EE-3 Carbine Rifle, but none are as iconic as Han Solo’s DL-44.
It is so distinctive looking and fits so well with Han’s cool demeanor. Alongside Han’s jacket and certain ship that Luke thought was a piece of junk (more on that in a bit), this blaster is a phenomenal piece of the iconic puzzle that is the historic Han Solo look.
4 The Millennium Falcon
The previously mentioned prop that also goes along with Han is, of course, the Millennium Falcon. The prop was created for the original trilogy, and it’s a fantastic creation.
The ship has an extremely rich history in the Star Wars canon, changing owners so many times and becoming significantly uglier, in an admittedly charming way. Still, the actual production team’s creation is jaw-dropping.
Droids in Star Wars are often underappreciated, and if there is one person who does not get anywhere near the credit they deserve for their continuous heroics, it is R2-D2.
The suit was home to Kenny Baker in the original trilogy, and from there, the astromech has become so adored and loved to insane levels. This is highlighted in the fact that one of the original Artoo props sold for a ridiculous $2.75 million a couple of years back.
2 Darth Vader’s Helmet & Suit
Boba Fett’s helmet may be cool but no matter how beautiful that helmet is or how prominent the various Stormtrooper and Clone Trooper helmets are, none of those looks beat Darth Vader, who is perhaps the greatest villain in cinematic history.
Vader’s suit and helmet, used by David Ward Prowse in the original trilogy, changed ever so slightly across each movie, making it the pinnacle of iconography. The helmet, chest, shoulder piece, belt, and honestly the entire look inspires fear and induces goosebumps in fans.
1 The Skywalker Saber
The lightsaber is known by just about everybody on the planet, and there are a variety of iconic hilts/props out there like Maul’s, Vader’s, Kylo’s, Obi-Wan’s, Yoda’s, etc. However, none reach the level of meaning as the Skywalker lightsaber.
First created by Anakin Skywalker, the blade is then given to Luke by Obi-Wan years later before getting lost and coming under the ownership of Maz Kanata, who gives it to Rey, who buries it in the sand on Tatooine underneath the twin suns, where the Skywalker journey began. It is a beautiful weapon and a piece of memorabilia that will live on forever.