Stars Wars #1 prices are at a four-year low despite Episode IX being on the horizon.
Usually the excitement for a new movie sends first appearances soaring, but many collectors have been shying away from Star Wars after the poor fan reception of the franchise’s last two films, The Last Jedi and Solo.
Things haven’t been the same for Star Wars since the Force Awakens. In 2015, fans were eager for a rebound after the prequels left a bad taste in many mouths. With J.J. Abrams at the helm, the Force Awakens was the first Star Wars film under the Disney banner. It was touted as a return to form, bringing back characters from the original trilogy and introducing a new generation of space heroes.
Not that it ever truly left, but the Force Awakens returned the series to the forefront of pop culture, and Star Wars #1 prices went through the roof as a direct result. Most grades saw record highs, such as the 9.8, which sold for as much as $3,165 after never having cracked $830 prior. Out of the 80 CGC-graded 9.8s sold on eBay that year, the cheapest was for $900. Those days seem like a distant memory. Last year, it averaged under $1,000, and its fair market value has dropped to $871 in the past 90 days. Although one copy did sell for over $1,300, the other five sales in 2019 have all been for less than $1k.
This is the case with most grades of SW #1. The once-mighty 1977 comic debut of the franchise’s titular characters, it remains among the best-selling bronze age comics, so the popularity is still there. However, the data indicates that prices will continue to drop well into 2019 even though there is an impending new movie.
The 9.6 has even more startling numbers than its big brother. In 2015, it set a new record with a $1,000 sale, though it generally sold for $400-$600. So far this year, it hasn’t sold for more than $433, and it’s only sold for above $300 once since January 11. At the moment, its 90-day average stands at $299.
The mid and lower grades are not safe from this plague of falling values, either. The 5.0 – the lowest grade that has traded hands thus far in 2019 – last sold for $46 when it averaged $77 in 2018. Four years ago, it routinely brought in the $100 range, selling for $85 and higher four out of seven sales that year.
With a scheduled release date of December 20, will we see a SW #1 resurgence? Odds are the anticipation for Episode 9 will help curb the downward spiral, but the Last Jedi and Solo were so bad that FMVs will still lose value compared to the 2018 averages. If fans laud the new movie, then 2020 could be a much better year. With Abrams back in the director’s chair, there is hope. For now, it’s a buyer’s market.