The Original Art Behind Some of the Craziest Star Wars Posters

Thanks to Budapest Poster Gallery I had the opportunity to take a very close look at the original oil paintings for the world famous Hungarian Star Wars movie posters. The three original artworks are going to be auctioned off this Sunday, May 31, and now you too can examine them closer than ever.

UPDATE: The online auction is over. The three Star Wars paintings were sold for a total of $32,100. You can check the winning bids below.

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Tibor Helényi, the Hungarian painter who sadly passed away last year, created these very controversial and extremely rare posters for the original trilogy in 1979, 1981 and 1984.

UPDATE 2: The online auction is over. Three of these legendary Star Wars posters were sold for a total of $5,995. (From left to right: $670, $4,000, $1,325)

Before you feast your eyes on the details I would like to clarify one thing. When Helényi’s artwork is discussed it is often assumed that he probably hadn’t even watched the movies before he painted these poster artworks. In an interview he refuted these accusations, saying that he did see–and enjoyed–all of the movies, but he did not want to paint posters similar to the Western European and US posters, so he let his imagination and his own artistic vision work. He even added extraneous elements to the posters, just for his own amusement (look for the two tusked monsters below!).


Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope – Sold for 12,750 USD

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Luke in his X-Wing starfighter attacks the weak point of Death Star:

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The hand of Darth Vader, holding his lightsaber:

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A confusing easter egg. This scimitar holding tusked monster was created by Helényi, basically just for fun:

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The head of Darth Vader:

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A major spoiler, the destruction of the Death Star:

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Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back – Sold for 14,250 USD

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Imperial Star Destroyer:

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Two AT-AT Imperial Walkers:

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Tie fighters shooting lasers:

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Imperial troopers led by Darth Vader:

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Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi – Sold for 5,100 USD

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Imperial trooper on a speeder bike:

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Star Destroyer:

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Another tusked creature added by Helényi:

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Shuttlecraft:

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The second Death Star under construction, depicted as Darth Vader’s eye:

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Bonus: the Hungarian movie poster for Ridley Scott’s Alien – Sold for 2,200 USD

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A spaceship, not seen in the movie:

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Face of an alien creature, straight from Helényi’s mind:

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Live Auctioneers Sci-Fi Posters – Tibor Helenyi Estate Auction, 11:00 AM PT – May 31.

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