A Singaporean became the envy of many Star Wars fans after he miraculously found an original Graflex flash gun in a thrift store at Chinatown.
The Skywalker lightsaber
The flash gun is a component of a vintage camera by Graflex, a 19th century American manufacturer.
Basically it used to be this old-timey camera.
Specifically, this part:
However, it is now most famous for its role in the original Star Wars trilogy.
Found in Chinatown, Singapore
In a Facebook post on March 21, Aaron Wong, a Singaporean commercial photographer and self-proclaimed "hardcore Star Wars geek", shared how he lucked out with his unexpected find in Singapore.
Wong found the "mother of all lightsabers" in Chinatown, on a "hot march afternoon".
He said in his Facebook post:
"For some reason unbeknownst to me, I decided to park in an old, god forsaken building call 'Fook Hai'. It’s not the place I’d usually park and no, I’m not making this sh*t up, that’s the name of the building, so you can imagine what a run down sad excuse of a building we are talking about."
There, he decided to explore the basement where there was a "little thrift store".
Wong felt compelled to take a look around.
And that was when he saw it.
No longer far, far away
At the far end of the store, on a random shelf of photography items, the unmistakable outline of a flash gun caught his eye.
"I picked it up, dusted it off a little and when the original engraving of 'Graflex. Made in Rochester.NY' stared back at me, I swear to God my heart skipped a beat.
At that moment I heard the lines from 'The Force Awakens' saying: 'the force... it calls to you, let... let it in'."
Paid only S$30
Wong wrote that he was fully prepared to pay around S$250 for the flash gun.
As he explained in his post, a patented original of the Graflex costs at least USD$412 (~S$552) on eBay.
However, the Force was strong with Wong because the store owner only requested S$30 for the flash gun.
A massive Star Wars fan
Speaking to Mothership, Wong said that he has been a Star Wars fan for as long as he can remember.
His favourite movie is Return Of The Jedi (great film btw).
While not a serious collector, he owns some vintage figurines from the 1970s to 1980s, one of which is a 1977 Stormtrooper that was handed down to him when he was a boy.
With precious few of the original Graflex "left in the wild", Wong explained that he has no plans to convert the original flash gun into a working lightsaber.
He told Mothership:
"I have a full on movie-accurate replica Graflex that I was planning to make into a saber. So I will most probably keep this rare piece in its original state and maybe display it with a print out of the story how I found it."
You can find his full Facebook post here:
Top images via Aaron Wong's Facebook.