The Notorious $200,000 Toy Heist That Sent Shockwaves Through The Star Wars Universe

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Image: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images
Image: JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images

Zach Tann had spent years collecting Star Wars memorabilia. And in February 2017 the fan received a message that seemingly brought with it the potential to take his hobby to the next level. But the $20,000 figurine on offer apparently had dubious origins. In fact, it seemed that the piece had been stolen as part of a $200,000 heist – one that sent shockwaves through the franchise’s toy-collecting community.

Image: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images
Image: Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Images

Decades before Tann made that fateful connection, however, filmmaker George Lucas put into motion the plans for a movie that would eventually become Star Wars. The director managed to make a foothold in Hollywood, too, after his 1973 film, American Graffiti, earned five Oscar nominations – including one for Best Picture.

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Image: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty images

But when Star Wars hit theaters, no one – Lucas included – had any idea of the phenomenon it would become. The sci-fi movie certainly excelled at the box office, earning a total of $775 million worldwide. After adjustments are made for inflation, then, Star Wars ranks second on the list of highest-earning films in North American history. And as fans know, the original adventure went on to spawn not only two sequels and three prequels, but also another sequel trilogy, an animated flick and a pair of anthology movies.

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