This is an ultra rare poster, that has quite a story behind it! In 2009, a Japanese collector discovered two examples of this poster. He sent one to to auction, where it sold for $1,827, and the other was sold privately to Kevin Doyle, one of the world's foremost Star Wars collectors at that time. At the time we auctioned the first example, we said that it could be a "bootleg" poster, or possibly a "test" poster, and since it was discovered in Japan, it seemed quite possible it was an "international" style. The poster features Roger Kastel's original art for this poster, but after he drew it, the studio decided it was "too busy", and they removed several of the elements from the poster (Lando, Boba Fett, Cloud City, and the ion cannon). So this poster was clearly produced BEFORE that decision was made, so how then could it be explained? The poster that auctioned was purchased by legendary Star Wars collector Steve Sansweet, and he believes that it is absolutely an advance test poster made prior to the decision to alter the image (he knows that it is of such high quality that it surely was made from the original, and since the artwork no longer exists, it could not have been made at a later time). This would make this the most important, most rare, and most valuable Empire Strikes Back poster there is. It predates the regular one-sheet, and only two examples have surfaced, and since it has been six years since that happened, there is no reason to think any others will surface. But since the other example of this poster is surely in Steve Sansweet's collection to stay, this only other known example, is surely going to be centerpiece of its new owner's collection, and unless that person chooses to sell it at a later time, it is likely that there will not be another chance to acquire this poster in our lifetimes! This poster comes to us as one of the final three posters from the Kevin Doyle Collection (we previously auctioned most of his incredible Star Wars posters in a special "Star Wars only" auction).

UPDATED 12/08/2015: Note that a very long time collector/dealer of Star Wars posters tells us that years ago he knew of six different examples of this test poster, and that three of them originated in Japan. We were able to verify that a leading collector has one of these posters, but otherwise we don't know where the other three (if they still exist) are now. But we wanted to share this information with bidders, to let them know that there are surely three surviving examples of this poster, and that there may well be three other examples of this poster that survive (but we have no further details). But this points out the great difficulty with saying "one of two known", because you never know if other people will turn up with additional examples (the sole exception to this is with the Canadian Star Wars Trilogy poster we are currently auctioning, because in that case, there WERE only two posters created in the first place)!