1977 Topps Star Wars Trading Cards Checklist, Breakdown and History

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1977 Topps Star Wars trading cards are the ones that started it all. It’s not an understatement to say the releases, which spans five separate series, is one of the most popular in the history of the hobby. Not only that, but it helped launch a franchise that has continues to be a juggernaut more than 40 years later. In that same span this particular set has gone from a phenomenon to a trading card icon.

Series 1 Pack

A Brief History of 1977 Topps Star Wars Trading Cards

As hard as it is to believe now, Topps and Star Wars almost never got together.

First off, Donruss actually had the first shot at the license. Gary Gerani, part of Topps’ creative staff at the time, noted in the introduction to Star Wars: The Original Topps Trading Card Series from Abrams Books that Donruss was part of the Kenner family. When they landed the toy license, it also meant they could produce trading cards for the film if they wanted to.

They passed.

Gerani also wrote that there was opposition within Topps to land the license. The ’70s had resulted in several non-sport sets that hadn’t been hits. Among them was the 1976 Topps Star Trek release, which is extremely popular today. Science fiction licenses struggled when it came to trading cards at the time. Movies were also a risk as films could be box office failures and bring down anything connected to it.

“Nevertheless, armed with pure geek passion and a sliver of practical hope, Len [Brown] and I strongly advised Topps president Arthur Shorin to take a chance and tie into this unusual, flamboyantly fantastic extravaganza,” Gerani wrote.

Shorin originally said no but later changed his mind and Topps went after the license.

With Donruss passing, they got it and the rest is history.

1977 Topps Star Wars Sell Sheet

1977 Topps Star Wars Overview

Like the film, Topps’ initial bow with Star Wars trading cards was a hit. So much so that the first film’s cards would end up spanning five separate series. Each is connected numerically but each stands out on its own.

Save for one infamous exception, the most recognizable 1977 Topps Star Wars come from the first series. Surrounded by the classic blue starfield border, it’s a design that’s instantly recognizable, even to those who don’t normally collect entertainment trading cards — or even cards of any type.

Series 1’s 66 cards also showcased the debuts of Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Darth Vader and the rest of the ensemble cast of intergalactic heroes, villains, droids and riff raff.

And while the main characters and some key moments make their way on to the 1977 Topps Star Wars Series 1 checklist, there are still plenty of gaps including many of the supporting aliens and spaceships that gave the film a lot of its flavor.

As the excitement and popularity of Star Wars continued to grow and expand throughout the second half of 1977 and into 1978, the cards continued to come. Series 2 through 5 all worked to expand with more creatures, more major moments and even some casual looks behind the scenes.

Series are easy to differentiate as each adopted a different colored border:

  • 1 – Blue
  • 2 – Red
  • 3 – Yellow
  • 4 – Green
  • 5 – Orange

Card Backs

Card backs come in a variety of forms. Puzzle pieces are the most common in every series, covering 44 of the 66 cards. Usually it’s split between two blown up images but in Series 4 and 5, each has one massive one.

One of the Series 1 puzzles is an illustrated spin that’s also found on the box art. It uses a total of 28 cards. The imagery evokes some of the same poses as the classic Hilldebrandt poster with Luke reaching for the stars with a glowing lightsaber. However, the art is different. It’s an interpretation done by Topps illustrator Augie Napoli.

A second puzzle has a familiar shot of Han Solo, Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi in the Millennium Falcon cockpit.

Here’s a full list of puzzles found throughout the full set:

  • Augie Napoli Illustration – Series 1 (28 cards)
  • Chewbacca, Han, Luke and Obi-Wan in Millennium Falcon – Series 1 (16 cards)
  • Chewbacca – Series 2 (24 cards)
  • Tusken Raider – Series 2 (20 cards)
  • Luke, Leia and Han – Series 3 (20 cards)
  • R2-D2, C-3PO and Mechanic – Series 3 (24 cards)
  • Chewbacca and Han Solo – Series 4 (44 cards)
  • Cantina Patrons – Series 5 (44 cards)

Not all 1977 Topps Star Wars card backs are visual. Themes like Movie Facts, Story Summary (Series 1), Actor’s Profile (Series 2) and Official Description (Series 3) flesh things out with production info and trivia.

1977 Topps Star Wars Stickers

No matter the series, each pack of 1977 Topps Star Wars trading cards comes with a sticker. The first two series are primarily character-based. Portraits are cast against a celestial backdrop. They have thick borders outlining the image, typical for a lot of the company’s sticker inserts at the time. Series 2 kept the same general design but moved more to scenes and ships.

While the look is striking, the dark edges and corners conspire against condition. Stickers aren’t tough to find today. Ones in top condition are, though.

1977 Topps Star Wars Stickers Han Solo

The stickers change dramatically for the final three installments. However, they don’t haveGone is the space background, replaced instead by a filmstrip motif. Similar to the cards in the later series, images sometimes shifted to strange behind-the-scenes looks.

Stickers are blank on the back.

The 55-card checklist breaks evenly with 11 in each series.

Top 1977 Topps Star Wars Trading Cards

Today, some of the most popular 1977 Topps Star Wars trading cards come from early in the Series 1 checklist. Numbers 1 through 8 introduce the core characters of the franchise. Today these cards are treated somewhat similarly to Rookie Cards on the sports card side and can command significant premiums on the secondary market.

1977 Topps Star Wars 1 Luke Skywalker

Top cards graded Mint or Gem Mint can potentially sell for hundreds if not thousands simply because they are so tough to come by combined with the lasting popularity of both the franchise and the cards.

This is especially true for professionally graded cards in top condition. The colorful borders are prone to wear. Cards with good centering are tough to find. The quality of the card stock wasn’t the greatest, especially when you consider that, at the time, trading cards were handled more like toys than the collectibles they are today.

And then there’s that card — the one with C-3PO and an inappropriate addition at his waist. Basically, the card is the Star Wars equivalent of the 1989 Fleer Billy Ripken. It’s totally juvenile. While some adults successfully complained and campaigned to have C-3PO fixed, #207 is the most valuable and talked about card on the 1977 Topps Star Wars checklist. And even though the “obscene” version is the more common of the two, it’s the one that more people covet.

1977 Topps Star Wars Trading Card Breakdown

Shop for 1977 Topps Star Wars boxes and packs on eBay.

Complete Set: 330 cards, 55 stickers

Series 1

  • Border Color: Blue
  • Card Numbers: 1-66
  • Sticker Numbers: 1-11

Series 2

  • Border Color: Red
  • Card Numbers: 67-132
  • Sticker Numbers: 12-22

Series 3

  • Border Color: Yellow
  • Card Numbers: 133-198
  • Sticker Numbers: 23-33

Series 4

  • Border Color: Green
  • Card Numbers: 199-264
  • Sticker Numbers: 34-44

Series 5

  • Border Color: Orange
  • Card Numbers: 265-330
  • Sticker Numbers: 45-55

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1977 Topps Star Wars Series 1 Case

1977 Topps Star Wars Series 1 Case

1977 Topps Star Wars Trading Cards Checklist

Cards

Set Size: 330 cards

Check 1977 Topps Star Wars trading card values in the Beckett price guide.

Series 1 – Blue Border

Set Size: 66 cards (#1-66)

1 Luke Skywalker
2 C-3PO and R2-D2
3 The Little Droid R2-D2
4 Space pirate Han Solo
5 Princess Leia Organa
6 Ben Kenobi
7 The villainous Darth Vader
8 Grand Moff Tarkin
9 Rebels defend their ship
10 Princess Leia captured!
11 Artoo is imprisoned by the Jawas
12 The droids are reunited!
13 A sale on droids!
14 Luke checks out his new droid
15 R2-D2 is left behind
16 Jawas of Tatooine
17 Lord Vader threatens Princess Leia
18 R2-D2 is missing!
19 Searching for the little droid
20 Hunted by the Sandpeople!
21 The Tusken Raiders
22 Rescued by Ben Kenobi

23 C-3PO is injured
24 Stormtroopers seek the droids
25 Luke rushed to save his loved ones
26 A horrified Luke sees family killed
27 Some repairs for C-3PO
28 Luke agrees to join Ben Kenobi
29 Stopped by Stormtroopers
30 Han in the Millennium falcom
31 Sighting the Death Star
32 Lord Vader’s Guards
33 The droids in the control room
34 C-3PO diverts the guards
35 Luke and Han as stormtroopers
36 Blast of the laser rifle!
37 Cornered in the labyrinth
38 Luke and Han in the refuse room
39 Steel walls close in on out heroes!
40 Droids rescue their masters!
41 Facing the deadly chasm
42 Stromtroopers attack
43 Luke prepares to swing across the chasm
44 Han and Chewie shoot it out

45 The light sabre
46 A desperate moment for Ben
47 Luke prepares for the battle
48 R2-D2 is loaded aboard
49 The rebels monitor the raid
50 Rebel leaders wonder about their fate!
51 C-3PO and Princess Leia
52 Who will win the final Star War
53 Battle in outer space
54 The victors receive their reward
55 Han, Chewie, and Luke
56 A day of rejoicing
57 Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker
58 Harrison Ford as Han Solo
59 Alec Guinness as Ben Kenobi
60 Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin
61 Mark Hamill in control room
62 Lord Vader’s stormtroopers
63 May the Force be with you
64 Governor of Imperial Outlands
65 Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill
66 Amazing Robot C-3PO

Series 2 – Red Border

Set Size: 66 cards (#67-132)

1977 Topps Star Wars Series 2 106

67 C-3PO and Luke
68 The Millennium Falcon
69 Threepio’s desert Trek
70 Special mission for R2-D2
71 The incredible C-3PO
72 Ben Kenobi rescues Luke
73 The droids wait for Luke
74 Luke Skywalker on Tatooine
75 Darth Vader strangles a rebel
76 R2-D2 on the rebel starship
77 Waiting in the control room
78 Droids to the rescue
79 Preparing to board Solo’s spaceship
80 Where has R2-D2 gone?
81 Weapons of the Death Star
82 A daring rescue
83 Aboard the Millennium Falcon
84 Rebel pilot prepares for the raid
85 Luke on the sand planet
86 A mighty explosion
87 The droids try to rescue Luke
88 Stromtroopers guard Solo’s ship

89 The imprisoned Princess Leia
90 Honoring the Victors
91 Solo and Chewie prepare to leave Luke
92 Advance of the Tusken Raider
93 Stormtroopers blast the rebels
94 Interrogated by Stormtroopers
95 Sighting R2-D2
96 The droids on Tatooine
97 Meeting at the cantina
98 C-3PO
99 Ben with the light sabre
100 Our heroes at the spaceport
101 The Wookies Chewbacca
102 Rebels prepare for the big fight
103 Stormtroopers attack our heroes
104 Luke’s uncle and aunt
105 Imperial soldiers burn through the starship
106 A message from Princess Leia
107 The Tusken Raider
108 Princess Leia observes the battle
109 Ben turns off the tractor beam
110 Threepio fools the guards

111 Chewie and Han Solo
112 Threatened by Sandpeople
113 Ben hides from Imperial stormtroopers
114 Planning to escape
115 Hiding in the Millennium Falcon
116 Honored for their heroism
117 Chewbacca posed as a prisoner
118 R2-D2 and C-3PO
119 Threepio, Ben and Luke
120 Luke destroys an Imperial ship
121 Han Solo and Chewbacca
122 The Millenium Falcon
123 Solo blasts a stormtrooper
124 Threepio searches for R2-D2
125 Luke in disguise
126 A quizzical Threepio
127 The Rebel fleet
128 Roar of the Wookie
129 May the Force be with you
130 Pursued by the Jawas
131 Spectacular battle
132 Lord Vader and a soldier

Series 3 – Yellow Border

Set Size: 66 cards (#133-198)

1977 Topps Star Wars Series 3 142

133 Ben and Luke with C-3PO
134 Luke dreams of being a star pilot
135 Cantina troubles
136 Danger from all sides
137 Luke attacked by a strange creature
138 On the track of the droids
139 Han Solo
140 R2-D2-where are you?
141 Some quick thinking by Luke
142 Darth Vader inspects the throttled ship
143 Droids on the sand planet
144 Harrison Ford as Han Solo
145 Escape from the Death Star
146 Luke Skywalkers aunt preparing dinner
147 Bargaining with the Jawas
148 The fearsome stormtroopers
149 The evil Grand Moff Tarkin
150 Shootout at the Chasm
151 Planning an escape
152 Spirited Princess Leia
153 The fantastic droid Threepio
154 Princess Leia comforts Luke

155 The Escape Pod is jettisoned
156 R2-D2 is lifted aboard
157 Learn about the Force, Luke
158 Rebel victory
159 Luke Skywalker’s home
160 Destroying a world
161 Preparing for the raid
162 Han Solo cornered by Greedo
163 Caught in the tractor beam
164 Tusken Raiders capture Luke
165 Escaping from stormtroopers
166 A close call for Luke and Leia
167 Surrounded by Lord Vader’s soldiers
168 Hunting the fugitives
169 Meeting at the Death Star
170 Luke and the Princess trapped
171 The walls are moving
172 Droids in the escape pod
173 The stormtroopers
174 Solo aims for trouble
175 A closer look at a Jawa

176 Luke Skywalkers dream
177 Solo swings into action
178 The Star Warriors
179 Stormtroopers search the spaceport
180 Princess Leia honors the victors
181 Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin
182 Deadly blasters
183 Dave Prowse as Darth Vader
184 Luke and his uncle
185 Luke on Tatooine
186 The Jawas
187 Threepio and friend
188 Starship under fire
189 Mark Hamill as Luke
190 Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia
191 Life on the desert world
192 Liberated Princess
193 Like’s uncle buys Threepio
194 Stormtroopers attack
195 Alec Guinness as Ben Kenobi
196 Lord Darth Vader
197 Leia blasts a stormtrooper
198 Luke decides to leave Tatooine

Series 4 – Green Border

Set Size: 66 cards (#199-264)

199 The star warriors aim for action
200 C-3PO searches for his counterpart
201 Raid at Mos Eisley
202 Inquiring about Obi-Wan Kenobi
203 A band of Jawas
204 Stalking the corridors of the Death Star
205 Desperate moments for out heroes
206 Searching for the missing droid
207 C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) – Obscene
207 C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) – Airbrushed
208 Luke Skywalker on the desert planet
209 The Rebel Troops
210 Princess Leia blasts the enemy
211 A proud moment for Han and Luke
212 A stormtrooper is blasted
213 Monitoring the battle
214 Luke and Leia
215 Han bows out of the battle
216 Han and Leia quarrel
217 The Dark Lord of Sith
218 Luke Skywalker’s home destroyed
219 The swing to freedom
220 Im going to regret this

221 Princess Leia
222 Evacuate? In our moment of triumph
223 Han Solo covers his friends
224 Luke’s secret yen for action
225 Aunt Beru Lars
226 Portrait of a Princess
227 Instructing the Rebel pilots
228 R2-D2 is inspected by the Jawas
229 Grand Moff Tarkin
230 Guarding the Millennium Falcon
231 Discussing the Death Star’s future
232 The Empire strikes back
233 Raiding the Rebel starship
234 Envisioning the Rebel’s destruction
235 Luke Skywalker
236 Readying the Rebel Fleet
237 The deadly grip of Darth Vader
238 Uncle Owen Lars
239 The young star warrior
240 Artoo’s desperate mission
241 The rebel fighter ships
242 Death Star shootout

243 Rebels in the trench
244 Waiting at Mos Eisley
245 Member of the evil Empire
246 Stormtrooper
247 Soldier of evil
248 Luke suspects the worst about his family
249 Ben Kenobi
250 Luke and Ben on Tatooine
251 An overjoyed Han Solo
252 The honored heroes
253 R2-D2
254 Darth Vader
255 Luke poses with his weapon
256 The marvelous droid-C3PO
257 A pair of Jawas
258 Fighting impossible odds
259 Challenging the evil Empire
260 Han Solo
261 Fury of the Tusken Raider
262 Creature of Tatooine
263 The courage of Luke Skywalker
264 Star pilot Luke Skywalker

Series 5 – Orange Border

Set Size: 66 cards (#265-330)

265 Anxious moments for the Rebels
266 Threepio and Leia monitor the battle
267 Non-nonsense privateer Han Solo
268 Ben prepares to turn off the tractor beam
269 Droids on the run
270 Luke Skywalker
271 Do you think they’ll melt us down, Artoo?
272 Corridors of the Death Star
273 This is all your fault, Artoo!
274 Droids trick the Stormtrooper!
275 Guarding the Millenium Falcon
276 It’s not wise to upset a Wookiee!
277 Bizarre inhabitants of the cantina!
278 A narrow escape!
279 Awaiting the Imperial attack
280 Remb. Luke, The Force will be w#{you
281 A monstrous thirst!
282 Hurry up, we’re gonna have company
283 The Cantina musicians
284 Distracted by Solo’s assault
285 Spiffed up for the Awards Ceremony
286 Cantina denizens!

287 Han and Chewie ready for action!
288 Blasting the enemy!
289 The Rebel fighters take off!
290 Chewie aims for danger!
291 Lord Vader senses The Force
292 The Stormtroopers assemble
293 A friendly chat among alien friends!
294 Droids make their way to the Escape Pod
295 Han and the Rebel Pilots
296 Artoo-Detoo is abducted by Jawas!
297 Inside the Sandcrawler
298 Chewie gets riled!
299 Leia wishes Luke good luck!
300 A crucial moment for Luke Skywalker
301 Luke, the Star Warrior!
302 Threepio and Artoo
303 Various droids collected by the Jawas
304 The Jawas ready their new merchandise
305 Director George Lucas and Greedo
306 Technicians ready C-3PO for the cameras
307 A touch-up for Chewbacca
308 Directing the Cantina creatures

309 The birthday celebration for Sir Alec Guinness
310 Filming the Awards Ceremony
311 Model builders proudly display their work
312 Using the blue screen process for X-wings
313 The birth of a Droid
314 Shooting in Tunisia
315 Inside the Millenium Falcon
316 Photographing the miniature explosions
317 Filming explosions on the Death Star
318 Make-up for the Bantha
319 Dave Prowse and Alec Guinness rehearse
320 Flight of the Falcon
321 George Lucas directs counterpart Luke
322 Constructing the Star Destroyer
323 Aboard the Millenium Falcon
324 Chewbacca takes a breather
325 The princess
326 Animating the chessboard
327 Filming the sandcrawler
328 X-wings positioned for the cameras
329 Sir Alec Guinness#{George Lucas
330 Filming Luke and Threepio

Stickers

1977 Topps Star Wars Stickers Checklist

Check 1977 Topps Star Wars Stickers values in the Beckett price guide.

Set Size: 55 cards
Inserted: 1 per pack

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Series 1 – #1-11

1977 Topps Star Wars Stickers 1 Luke Skywalker

1 Luke Skywalker
2 Princess Leia Organa
3 Han Solo
4 Chewbacca the Wookiee
5 See-Threepio
6 Artoo-Detoo
7 Lord Darth Vader
8 Grand Moff Tarkin
9 Ben (Obi-Wan) Kenobi
10 Tusken Raider
11 Battle in Outer Space

Series 2 – #12-22

12 Han and Chewbacca
13 Alec Guinness as Ben
14 The Tusken Raider
15 See-Threepio
16 Chewbacca
17 Threatened by Sandpeople!
18 The Rebel Fleet
19 The Wookiee Chewbacca
20 R2-D2 and C-3PO
21 The Millennium Falcon Speeds
22 Spectacular Battle

Series 3 – #23-33

23 Dave Prowse as Darth Vader
24 Droids on the Sand Planet
25 Escape Pod is Jettisoned
26 The Fantastic Droid See-Threepio
27 A Closer Look at a Jawa
28 Peter Cushing as Grand Moff Tarkin
29 Han Solo Hero Or Mercenary?
30 Stormtroopers
31 Princess Leia Comforts Luke
32 Preparing for the Raid
33 Solo Aims for Trouble

Series 4 – #34-44

34 The Star Warriors Aim for Action!
35 Han Solo (Harrison Ford)
36 Star Pilot Luke Skywalker
37 The Marvelous Droid See-Threepio!
38 R2-D2 (Kenny Baker)
39 Creature of Tatooine
40 Darth Vader (David Prowse)
41 A Pair of Jawas
42 Luke Poses with His Weapon
43 Stormtrooper Tool of the Empire
44 Monitoring the Battle

Series 5 – #45-55

45 A Cruicial Moment for Luke Skywalker
46 Chewie Aims for Danger!
47 Droids on the Run
48 Inside the Sandcrawler
49 Luke, the Star Warrior!
50 George Lucas and Greedo
51 Technicians Ready C-3PO for the Cameras
52 The Jawas Ready their New Merchandise
53 Directing the Cantina Creatures
54 Leia Wishes Luke Good Luck!
55 A Touch-Up for Chewbacca

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Ryan Cracknell

A collector for much of his life, Ryan focuses primarily on building sets, Montreal Expos and interesting cards. He's also got one of the most comprehensive collections of John Jaha cards in existence (not that there are a lot of them). Got a question, story idea or want to get in touch? You can reach him by email and through Twitter @tradercracks.

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