Darth Vader

Darth Vader

The global appeal of the Star Wars films, and the interest that the series has attracted from a number of generations, is perhaps unprecedented in the world of cinema

A rare Darth Vader costume from Star Wars Episode V - the Empire Strikes Back is expected to raise $340,000 at auction next month (Nov10).

The full outfit, comprising a helmet, mask, shoulder armour and shin guards, will go under the hammer at London auction house Christie's on 25 November.

The costume, which is thought to be the first complete one to be sold at auction, was used in the hit 1980 movie and was bought by a private U.S. collector in 2003.

Christie's spokesperson Neil Roberts has dubbed the sale "a rare opportunity to Star Wars fans around the world", adding "Darth Vader is defined by his costume which has made him one of the most recognized charactersfrom the history of film. The global appeal of the Star Wars films, and the interest that the series has attracted from a number of generations, is perhaps unprecedented in the world of cinema".

A percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Cancer Research U.K. charity.