A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, a Finnish jewelry brand was featured prominently in Hollywood’s best-known space opera.
A striking silver necklace and bracelet from Lapponia were worn by Carrie Fisher‘s Princess Leia character in the very first Star Wars movie in 1977 – but now Lapponia’s parent company is calling time on the brand.
Kalevala Jewelry, which bought Lapponia Jewelry back in 2005, tells News Now Finland that Lapponia will cease to exist as a separate brand identity.
“From May 2020, we will operate under a single brand, Kalevala” says Maria Uunila, the company’s Brand and Design Director.
“Lapponia’s iconic products will be available under the Kalevala brand from that stage on. This includes Planetoid Valleys” she confirms.
How Finnish jewelry joined the rebel alliance
So how did a classic Finnish jewelry brand, with international appeal already in the 1970s, end up in Star Wars: A New Hope?
In spring 1976 Finnish designer Björn Weckström got a call from the Star Wars production office commissioning him to design some jewelry, although he was never told the name of the movie, only that it was a sci-fi adventure.
According to Lapponia, Weckström had a six week deadline to design and manufacture something for Princess Leia but when the filming date was moved up, Weckström was unable to meet the new two week deadline.
Luckily, Lapponia jewelry was available to buy at a store in London’s Bond Street, not too many parsecs away from where George Lucas was filming Star Wars at Elstree Studios.
Faster than you can say “may the force be with you”, the production team bought up the Planetoid Valleys necklace and Darina’s Bracelet, and Lucas sent a message to Weckström saying how much he liked the silver pieces.
In the Star Wars film, which premiered in Finnish cinemas on 16th December 1977, Princess Leia wears the Lapponia jewelry at the end of the film as she’s giving medals to Harrison Ford‘s character Han Solo, Mark Hammill‘s character Luke Skywalker, and the other rebel alliance crew members of the Millennium Falcon.
If you want to buy the necklace and ring from Lapponia today, they will set you back €2255 and €625 respectively.
[14:20 – Story updated to include comments from Kalevala]
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