One of the all-time movie series greats in terms of both box-office and cultural importance, Star Wars is a phenomenon. Probably the movies that have done more to expand the concept of merchandising than any other, it’s no surprise that they’ve had a fair-sized presence in the numismatic world. The Auckland-based New Zealand Mint picked up the license for Star Wars, no doubt the link with their Disney coins helping, something they’ve done a good job with.
The Star Wars coins are divided into two main ranges. Without doubt the highlight series is called Classic Star Wars. This is is clean-struck in gold and silver, has different sizes, and depicts characters from the original trilogy. The other range is looking at the new movies and is seemingly designed to appeal more to the modern collector, and to the memorabilia market, than to the classic numismatic fan. These two coins are very much in the latter category.
Star Wars: Rogue One is the backstory to the first scenes in the 1977 original. The story of how the Rebellion stole the plans to the Death Star from the Empire, it was the action that set the whole original trilogy in motion. Since Disney acquired the rights to Star Wars from Lucasfilm, the number of movies being released has ramped up considerably. The plan is to have a new main story movie come out every two years, inbetween which will be what they’re calling a Star Wars Story, a standalone movie looking at some of the rich background to the incredibly deep universe created around the whole canon.
The coins are straight to the point. One depicts the main Empire characters, the other the Rebellion characters. It’s a safe choice, but a sensible one considering it’s a standalone movie, as the coins will need to evoke the movie years down the line without the benefit of having elements of it appear again. Each is fine silver, an ounce in weight and with selective colouring on the reverse face. The obverse carries the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II as is typical for a Niue Island issue. Packaging is understated but bang on theme. Each will sell for $80.00 and should be up for pre-order later today, with shipping starting next week. There’s more Star Wars to come later this year.