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Online Collections

The Empire Strikes Back Costume & Mask: Lord Darth Vader

Halloween costume

1980

"It is useless to resist!" At the height of the "Star Wars" movies craze, Darth Vaders wandered the streets en masse on Halloween night. While some Halloween revelers opt for the traditional ghosts and witches, others take their cues from popular culture. The earliest published account of costumed trick-or-treating in America in 1920 described not one but two Charlie Chaplins in a group of just five kids. Ever since, Halloween costumes have kept pace with the latest cultural icons. By 1980, kids no longer simply donned the attributes of popular characters and movie stars, but movie promoters made costumes as part of their marketing. George Lucas, creator of the "Star Wars" movies, was one of the leaders in this new strategy. Released in 1977, "Star Wars" revolutionized the concept of movie marketing, making the term "product tie-in" part of our every-day vocabulary. Supported by a vast array of toys and other paraphernalia, the movie became one of the most profitable in history. The 1980 release of the first sequel, "The Empire Strikes Back," arrived with similar fanfare, and this Darth Vader costume became one of the most popular Halloween items of the year.

ManufacturerBen Cooper Inc.
Materialprinted cardboard | cellophane | plastic | fabric
OriginBrooklyn, NY | Taiwan
LicenserLucasfilm Ltd.
Object ID99.404

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