April 22, 2015 / 2:25 PM / 5 years ago

Darth Vader gets golden makeover in Japan

TOKYO (Reuters) - Darth Vader, the masked villain in the “Star Wars” sci-fi universe, has had a makeover.

Japanese jeweler Ginza Tanaka unveiled a gold Darth Vader mask on Wednesday, months before the latest film in one of the most popular movie franchises of all time, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, hits cinema screens in December.

While the gold-plated mask is not for sale, commemorative gold coins engraved with Darth Vader or his Stormtroopers will be from May 4.

“In the last six films even though Darth Vader has been a villain, he’s been an extremely popular character,” Tanaka Holding’s public relations manager, Ayako Inoue, said.

The coins weigh between five and 30 grams, with the smallest Darth Vader coin priced at 65,000 yen ($543). A set of 11 coins of assorted designs and sizes costs about one million yen ($8,354).

The mask will be displayed until May 6. It will then be handed over to The Walt Disney Company, which purchased the “Star Wars” franchise from George Lucas in 2012.

Reporting By Reuters Television; Editing by Susan Fenton

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