"Move Along" Original ANH Sandtrooper Helmet


Remember this guy?
He's the squad Sergeant who stops and questions Luke, Obi Wan and the Droids as they enter Mos Eisley. Of all the Stormtroopers in ANH, he's the one who got the most lines.

Well I'm pleased to say that he's still safe and well (or at least nearly well!)

A couple of days ago I had the opportunity of getting my hands on this and a number of other helmets which will I am sure be the centrepiece of Christies Film and Memorabilia auction on 14th December 2005, in South Kensington, London. It really is an exciting time for helmet-fans as FOUR original screen-used helmets will go under the hammer, two Sandtroopers and two X/Y-Wings. All these helmets have been put up for auction by a single owner, a Gentleman who's father worked on Star Wars at Elstree back in 1976. All were rescued out of a waste skip during filming!

Of the 60 or so Stormtrooper helmets made by Shepperton Design Studios for Star Wars in 1976, just SIX were Sandtroopers. Therefore to have two show up really is quite a find. Both of them are missing the ears, but it does not look like they fell off and more likely were removed by the prop guys before ditching (spares for the other helmets)/ The fact was that these helmets had already been through an entire shoot in Tunisia lot by the time filming at Elstree started so it was easier to get SDS to make some more than to clean up/repaint and paint these ones.

In the photo below we've raised the brow to simulate the on-screen shot. I'm not entirely sure as to why the brow has dropped (its not due to the missing ears btw) but may be that for some reason it was stuck in that position while shooting that scene (maybe on purpose to make it look different so it appeared there were more troopers?). The same trooper is seen on location with his brow in a lowered position so we do know that it wasn't always raised that way.

Below, an initial side by side comparison of the new found helmet and the original, with arrows indicating the areas of similarity. Working with Braks Buddy and Brandon Alinger we've researched and located the original helmets and produced the following great comparisons.

There are a number of tell-tale signs that prove its the original "Move Along" helmet. But if you look at specific areas such as the shape of the frown, and the second tooth on the right it matches exactly the line of the original top and bottom. Similarly the "gap" where the fourth and fifth tooth on the same side (the fifth tooth is actually just a dent). Also the painting of the chin and the steps is precisely the same, including where the line waves on the right hand side

NEW- For the Rotating 3D Photo of this helmet please click here

Above,  A comparison with the Christies shot showing the helmet with a lowered brow. Among other things the crack near the base of the jaw is a giveaway.

We know the two Sandtrooper helmets were used its on location in Tunisia for the Tatooine shooting, and then brought back to Elstree for the Studio shots as the troopers are seen in a number of scenes including Cantina internal, the conversation with informant Garinden and the fire-fight with Han Solo as the Millennium Falcon escapes from Mos Eisley.

Apart from the missing ears (where you can see the unpainted and oily khaki HDPE "fishpond" material showing through), the helmet is in good condition. It has not been restored in any way so (the affects of age aside) will look the same as it did when it left the set. Again the lack of damage around the ear areas inside and out suggests ears were removed before the helmet was ditched so they could be used for another helmet.

When you see original helmet like this up front what surprises you is how rough some of the detailing is. The trapezoids are all hand painted i grey with black detailing. The Sandtrooper helmets are detailed slightly different from the Stormtroopers as they do not have the have the black vertical lines in the rear and cheek trapezoids.

Above, a nice side on shot with that give-away crack in the side tube which matches the "Move Along" trooper seen questioning Luke and Obi-Wan as they enter Mos Eisley.

Below some comparison shots. This time showing the "Move Along" trooper on the left and the "Stop That Ship /Garinden/Lewis Gun" trooper on the right.

Side by side it just goes to show how different the helmets can look and its all down to assembly. The right helmet (Stop that Ship) looks slightly taller in this shot.

Stop That Ship (right) has lost more paint on the cap. Could this possibly be due to some of the final stunt work at Elstree as the Stormtroopers try to srop Han and the Falcon leaving Mos Eisley? The troopers in that scene  did take a hell of a beating.

From side on, the right helmet no longer looks the taller of the two which shows how deceptive 2D photos of 3d objects can be

Above, lifting the frown on "Move Along" to match the look of the helmet as its seen on-screen.

And from behind showing the wonderful warped asymmetry of these helmets. Below three more shots provided by Jeremy/Gonk from this last weekends viewing day

Cant get enough of these pics - thanks Jeremy! Below a couple more detail shots showing the khaki HDPE under where the ear would have been

...and the sharpness of the mouth area.


Click Here for more shots of Stop that Ship Sandtrooper


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