Working on OT Multi-Signed Projects as a New Collector
As all new collectors of Star Wars autographs realize very quickly, one thing that we all missed out on greatly was time. Whether we were engrossed in other hobbies, spent our time doing other activities, or were growing up during the age of the prequels without income of our own, we all missed out on the time where Star Wars autographing was growing and hitting its stride.
Unfortunately, we can’t get that time back.
Gone are the days of the $10-20 autograph, the reliable responses through the mail from some of the biggest names in the films, and the (generally) successful in-person attempts at some of the more elusive signers.
However, one aspect that we missed out on dearly was the time afforded to collectors to complete multi-signed projects from Original Trilogy (OT).
In SWAU, we’re privileged to see some incredible multis from inception through their completion, whether it’s a single shot of a stormtrooper with over twenty names of actors who donned the iconic armor; a shot of the cantina with signatures of cantina patrons and bystanders; or the Battle of Hoth complete with Imperial and Rebel Alliance forces. As time has marches on, many of these signers have passed, leaving a permanent imprint on the projects of the past but also a permanent hole of the projects of the future.
So what are new collectors who want to have multi-signed pieces of these scenes and parts of the original trilogy to do?
From my point of view, there are three options that we can choose from, each with positive aspects and some significant drawbacks.
Option A: Work With What We Got- Many collectors only want to own and collect autographs they got themselves, whether at conventions or on the street. For the folks who abide by this mentality and want to add an OT multi-signed piece, they have the option of starting them in the modern day and collecting the signers who are still with us and still signing. There certainly are plenty of Cantina patrons, Stormtroopers, and Jawas, among others, that frequent the convention scene and still sign, particularly in the United Kingdom at the various Showmasters events.
However, this option has perhaps the least appealing negative side: you may never get to complete your “ideal” project due to names no longer signing for one reason or another. Personally, I want an 8x10 cantina patrons project badly, but in starting one, I need to accept that names like Peter Mayhew, Alfie Curtis, and Doug Beswick will never be on that project.
Option B: Purchase One Already Completed- Where we as new collectors may not have had the time afforded to us to complete these desired multis, the good news is that plenty of collectors have! And as people move in different directions, change focuses, or narrow collections, plenty of projects go up for sale over the course of the year, giving newer collectors a chance to add them to their own collections. The downside would be that these purchases will likely cost a nice chunk of change, as each signature carries its own value plus the additional value of having the names all together on a desired image. But for collectors who *must* add a scene no matter the cost, this is the option most likely to fill an OT multi void in their collection in 2020.
Option C: Acceptance- Sometimes we won’t all be able to have every scene we love in Star Wars autographed and in our collections, and that is ok! It’s a reality of loving a saga that has spanned 11 movies, three cartoons, and now one live-action television show; even the most die-hard of completionists will never have everything Star Wars autographed. When it comes to the OT, we have three movies, over seven hours of film, and sometimes for one reason or another (price, timing, availability of actors to sign, among others), which make it tough to have every scene we love signed. Accepting this is absolutely a viable strategy, and gives collectors a chance to focus on collecting what they can, rather than chasing the impossible.
In the end, we all choose our own ways to enjoy Star Wars and collecting Star Wars autographs. For some of the projects that younger collectors may see posted on the internet and in our groups, many of us have lost out on the time to create and finish those ourselves. However, with resources like the SWAU Sales Group, Beckett Authentication Services Signature Review, and the Autograph Universe Convention Help group at our disposal, there are still ways for young collectors to add the projects they want from the Original Trilogy. The choice of which path is taken to go after them is entirely up to the individual.