Star Wars Trading Cards: A Collectors Intro

Star Wars trading cards are an important part of a wider cultural phenomenon. has arguably been the most culturally significant movie franchise globally, as well as amongst collectors. As a result, Star Wars trading cards have been around for several decades. The early releases started as simple cards, stickers, and gum. But as collectors have become more sophisticated, offerings have grown to include inserts, autographs, sketch cards, and costume relic cards.

Topps has tried to keep the Star Wars collection fresh through over three decades of production. So naturally, some are better than others. We will examine some recent releases. But first, let’s look back over the years to the very beginning.

Introduction To Star Wars

Created by George Lucas in 1976, Star Wars started as a hit movie release. Over the years, it has evolved into a multi-genre mythology and multimedia franchise. It comprises movies, novels, comics, video games, toys, and television shows.

Star Wars has become one of the highest-grossing series of all time. It is one of the premier examples of the space opera subgenre of science fiction. As a result, it has taken up a place in mainstream popular culture. Part of the secret of its success lies in incorporating archetypal motifs derived from world religions, classical mythology, and ancient history.

The Walt Disney Company bought rights to the franchise for over 4.05 billion dollars from its creator, George Lucas, in 2012. Disney has since split Star wars into two categories: Star Wars Legends and Star Wars Canon. Canon is the official story of the franchise as Disney has designed it. Meanwhile, legends are the framework of the story as created by George Lucas and predating the acquisition.

Although the main storyline of the franchise, known officially as the Skywalker Saga, ended in 2019, the franchise is still going strong. Its current high profile is at least partially a result of the success of the Disney+ original television series The Mandalorian. Other elements of the franchise’s continued success include the final season of Star Wars: The Clone Wars and publishing projects such as Star Wars: The High Republic.

Since the release of Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977, an entire Star Wars universe has emerged (get Star Wars posters on Amazon).

Overview Of Star Wars Trading Cards Releases

Star Wars trading cards have achieved similar success to the film and television series. Except for one infamous exception, the most recognizable 1977 Topps Star Wars are from the first series.

They are generally divided into three categories:

  • Vintage Sets: 1977-1983.
  • Classic Sets: 1993-1999
  • Prequel Trilogy Sets: 1999-2005
  • Post Prequel Trilogy Sets: 2006-2014
  • Current Canon Sets: 2015-

An Overview of Recent Star Wars Trading Cards Releases

Just like the movie Star Wars, the cards have been a hit since their release. Topps started producing Star Wars trading cards when the first film was released in 1977. There have been dozens of distinct sets released since then. The first films’ cards spanned five different series, each connected numerically yet outstanding on its own.

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy Trading Cards

Below is an overview of recent releases from Topps, the official producer of Star Wars trading cards.

This set takes after the previous Star Wars Galaxy releases in its artwork. Also, Topps enhances the images with chrome technology.

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy comes, for the first time, with a mature chromium stock. As a result, you can expect one autograph per hobby box and two sketch cards per hobby case. Each hobby pack also boasts of one refractor parallel.

Product Configuration is:

  • 8 cards per pack
  • 24 packs per box
  • 12 boxes per case
2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy gives a chrome spin to the familiar universe (get 2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy cards on eBay).

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy Base Refractor Parallels Breakdown

Base Refractors are one per pack. They come in the following variations:

Atomic Refractor – #/150

Wave Refractor- #/99

Prism Refractor- #/75

Mojo Refractor- #/50

Purple Refractor- #/25

x-Fractor- #/10

Red Refractor- #/5

SuperFractor- 1/1

The Mandalorian artwork makes its debut among the inserts of the trading cards with the Mandalorian Visions. The retro options have Global Posters, which highlight the original trilogy, and Vintage Star Wars shows characters and toys from the 70s and 80s.  Meanwhile, all insert sets include five Refractor parallels too.

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy Insert Refractor Parallels Breakdown

Insert Refractors

Green Refractor- #/99

Purple Refractor- #/50

Orange Refractor- #/25

Red Refractor- #/5

SuperFractor- 1/1

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy Autographs/ Sketch

With a guarantee of one signed card per hobby, the 2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy Checklist rounds up with the hits.

The main autograph line contains several Refractor editions. Also, there are limited multi-signed cards to track down.

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Galaxy Autograph Refractor Parallels Breakdown

Blue Refractor – #/150

Green Refractor – #/99

Purple Refractor – #/50

Orange Refractor – #/25

Red Refractor – #/5

SuperFractor – 1/1

Dual Autographs

Red Refractor – #/5

SuperFractor – 1/1

Triple Autographs

The SuperFractor – 1/1

The Sketch cards make a 2-time appearance, which is a rare chase insert.

2021 Topps Star Wars Battle Plans Trading Cards

The 2021 Topps Star Wars Battle Plans takes a themed approach, and the collection highlights significant battles from the history of the galaxy. It showcases ten notable events and has 100-card base sets focusing on battles that changed the tides of galactic conflict.

You can anticipate two hits, including one autograph in the hobby boxes. Each of the packs has one parallel and one insert. Galactic adversaries covering key subjects from the good and bad guys are in the insert selection. There are also tools or warfare displaying vital weapons and ships and the ultimate showdowns for the classic Lightsaber duels.

Product configuration:

  • 8 cards per pack
  • 24 packs per box
  • 12 boxes per case
Star Wars Battle Plans highlights crucial battles in the Star Wars universe (look for Star Wars Battle Plans cards on eBay).

2021 Topps Star Wars Battle Plans Parallels Breakdown

Foilboards

Blue (1:4 packs)

Green – #/99

Orange – #/50

Purple – #/25

Black – #/5

Red – 1/1

Printing Plates – 1/1 (4 per card)

Inserts

Green – #/99

Orange – #/50

Purple – #/25

Black – #/5

Red – 1/1

2021 Topps Star Wars Battle Plans Autographs / Other Hits

As mentioned earlier, you can expect one signed card per 2021 Topps Stars Battle Plans hobby. Likely options are the main autograph cards with limited dual autographs (#/25 or less) and triple autographs (#/10 or less)

2021 Topps Star Wars Battle Plans Autograph Parallels Breakdown

Blue – #/149

Green – #/99

Orange – #/50

Purple – #/25

Black – #/5

Red – 1/1

Printing Plates – 1/1 (4 per card)

The second Hobby box hit has more variety. Look out for Sourced Fabric Relics, Sketch Cards, or Panoramic Sketch Cards. Printing plates also count as a box hit.

2021 Topps Star Wars Battle Plans Relic Parallels Breakdown

Sourced Fabric Relics

Green – #/99

Orange – #/50

Purple – #/25

Black – #/5

Red – 1/1

2021 Topps Star Wars Battle Plans Box Break

1 Autograph and 1 Additional Hit (Auto, Sketch, Relic, Plate)

24 Parallels and 24 Inserts

Details on the set checklist can be found here.

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Legacy Trading Cards

The 2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Legacy highlights recent films and television programs from a fresh chromium perspective. Covered are the following movies: The Rise of Skywalker, Solo, Rogue One. It also covers the following TV shows: The Mandalorian, Star Wars Rebels, The Clone Wars. In addition, the master hobby boxes offer 2 six-pack mini-boxes and 2 hits with at least one autograph or sketch card.

Chrome Star Wars Legacy highlights recent releases (look for Chrome Star Wars Legacy cards on eBay).

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Legacy Base Refractor Parallels Breakdown

Refractor (1:3 packs)

Blue Refractor – #/99

Green Refractor – #/50

Orange Refractor – #/25

Black Refractor – #/10

Red Refractor – #/5

SuperFractor – 1/1

The theme inserts have Mandalorian Concept Art, Visions Concept Art, and Wielders of the Lightsaber. It offers parallels to chase too.

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Legacy Insert Refractor Parallels Breakdown

Green Refractor – #/50

Orange Refractor – #/25

Black Refractor – #/10

Red Refractor – #/5

SuperFractor – 1/1

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Legacy Autographs / Relics / Sketch

Onto the hits, 2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Legacy guarantees one autograph or sketch card in each Master Hobby box.

So, you may want to look out for signed cards in Age of Rebellion Autographs, Age of Republic Autographs, and Age of Resistance Autographs.

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Legacy Autograph Refractor Parallels Breakdown

Age of Republic Autographs

Blue Refractor – #/99

Green Refractor – #/50

Orange Refractor – #/25

Black Refractor – #/10

Red Refractor – #/5

SuperFractor – 1/1

Age of Resistance Autographs

Blue Refractor – #/99

Green Refractor – #/50

Orange Refractor – #/25

Black Refractor – #/10

Red Refractor – #/5

SuperFractor – 1/1

Age of Rebellion Autographs

Blue Refractor – #/99

Green Refractor – #/50

Orange Refractor – #/25

Black Refractor – #/10

Red Refractor – #/5

SuperFractor – 1/1

The multi-signed dual Autograph cards are limited to 25 copies or less.

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Legacy adds manufactured relics to the mix through Commemorative Ship Medallion. These cards highlight outstanding vessels and crew from Star Wars.

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Legacy Relics Refractor Parallels Breakdown

Commemorative Ship Medallion

Green Refractor – #/50

Orange Refractor – #/25

Black Refractor – #/10

Red Refractor – #/5

SuperFractor – 1/1

In the sketch cards, there are standard Sketch editions and Shaped Sketch cards with hand-drawn artwork.

Product Configuration includes 5 cards per pack, 6 packs per mini-box, 2 mini-boxes per master box, 8 master boxes per case

2021 Topps Chrome Star Wars Legacy Master Hobby Box Break

1 Autograph or Sketch and 1 Additional Hit

2021 Topps Star Wars Bounty Hunters Trading Cards

2021 Topps Star Wars Bounty Hunters highlight the roles of Boba Fett, the Mandalorian, and many more. In addition, it places the crosshairs on some of the iconic mercenaries from the Star Wars universe. Look forward to one autograph and one sketch card or manufactured relic.

This set works with a 3-level base format which is similar to Topps Gold Label Baseball. For the 100-card set, each subject has level 1-3 editions marked. Level 3 is quite rare, while level 1 is more common. The card level adds 5 limited parallels too.

Star Wars Bounty Hunters highlights iconic mercenaries in the Star Wars universe (get your Star Wars Bounty Hunters cards on eBay).

2021 Topps Star Wars Bounty Hunters Parallels Breakdown

Bounty Level 1

Blue (1:2 packs)

Green – #/150

Purple – #/99

Red – #/75

Black – 1/1

Bounty Level 2

Blue (1:12 packs)

Green – #/99

Purple – #/75

Red – #/50

Black – 1/1

Bounty Level 3

Blue (1:24 packs)

Green – #/50

Purple – #/35

Red – #/25

Black – 1/1

The 50-card Feared Mercenaries looks into the notable bounty hunters further. The lineup has the Mandalorian with short-printed cards for Jango Fett (1:4 packs), Boba Fett (1:4 packs), Aurra Sing (1:6 packs), and Cad Bane (1:12 packs).

Meanwhile, the Feared Mercenaries Die-Cut (1:12 packs) set has 5 cards. It mainly has to do with the bounty hunters sent to retrieve the Millennium Falcon in The Empire Strikes Back movie.

Inserts are two per pack.

2021 Topps Star Wars Bounty Hunters Autographs / Other Hits

The hobby boxes of 2021 Topps Star Wars Bounty Hunters guarantee two hits.

2021 Topps Star Wars Bounty Hunters Autograph Parallels Breakdown

Autographs

Blue – #/99

Green – #/75

Purple – #/50

Gold – #/25

Red – #/10

Black – 1/1

Printing Plates – 1/1

Dual Autographs

Base – #/25 or less

Red – #/10

Black – 1/1

Triple Autographs

Base – #/5 or less

Black – 1/1

You can see a second hit that is a hand-drawn sketch card or a manufactured relic.

Sketch cards are in a standard version or as Triptych Sketch cards.

The hobby-only Bounty Commemorative Patch cards show significant bounties from television shows and movies of the franchise.

2021 Topps Star Wars Bounty Hunters Manufactured Relic Parallels Breakdown

Bounty Commemorative Patch

Green – #/99

Purple – #/50

Gold – #/25

Red – #/5

Black – 1/1

2021 Topps Star Wars Bounty Hunters – Ultimate Bounty Reward

If you are looking for a challenge, 2021 Topps Star Wars Bounty Hunters have foil-stamped 1977 Topps Star Wars original buybacks.

You surely want to consider this collection if you get 25 stamped buybacks and qualify for an exclusive Star Wars Bounty Hunters Ultimate Bounty Autograph (1/1).

Product Configuration includes 8 cards per pack, 24 packs per box, 12 boxes per case

2021 Topps Star Wars Bounty Hunters Hobby Box 

1 Autograph and 1 Sketch or Manufactured Relic

24 Inserts

Which Star Wars Trading Cards Are The Most Valuable?

There are now cards for every major Star Wars project since 1977. The rarity varies, but fans of the franchise highly desire all of the releases. So here are some of the most valuable cards out there.

Daisy Ridley / Adam Driver Topps Star Wars Signature Series Dual Auto 1/1

Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver do not have the same standing in the Star Wars universe as the prominent cast members of the original series. However, this card has two considerable advantages. First, it is a dual auto, and second, it is a 1/1.

2017 Topps Star Wars Stellar Mark Hamill Auto Luke Skywalker Autograph Card #/40

Luke Skywalker cards fetch a particular premium. Meanwhile, autos have their unique value. Therefore, this signed card is immensely valuable. It has sold on eBay for $2,800. In addition, autos related to the original releases are very likely to hold value, so this card is a good investment.

Mark Hamill autos are highly coveted (look for Luke Skywalker autos on eBay).

2019 Star Wars Stellar Signatures Blue Harrison Ford Autograph Auto 14/25

Han Solo is the second most popular Star Wars character, at least as far as collectors are concerned. Unfortunately, this one sold for $2,350, which is $500 less than Han Solo. This is despite the fact that it is lower-numbered and that Harrison Ford is a far bigger star, at least outside the Star Wars universe.

Star Wars Trading Cards Sealed Wax Value

Singles from the original Topps releases from 1977 and 1978 do not fetch the same prices as the autos available in later releases. However, sealed wax from those releases can be pretty valuable.

Vintage Wax Value

Here is a chart of sealed wax values. The early releases came in boxes of 36 packs, and the prices here refer to a sealed container in that format.

1977 Series One $4,050
1977 Series Two $4,000
1977 Series Three $4,000
1978 Series Four $3,150
1978 Series Five $2,500
The Empire Strikes Back Series 1 $650
1977 Topps Series One wax maintains strong value (look for 1977 Topps Series One on eBay).

Bottomline On Star Wars Trading Cards

Talking about franchises with collectibles, few can match up to Star Wars. While their value is not quite as high as Pokemon, the franchise has a lot of staying power and may hold more value in the long term. As the years go by, the Star Wars trading card sets continue to grow. Autographs and sketch cards seem to get a lot of attention too. However, the stellar signatures are the centerpiece of the sets that feature them.

Different collectors have varying definitions of a good Star Wars base set. It could be the informative ones or a design that is hard to pass. The dominating theme, innovation, and lingering impression are other factors that may come into play. All in all, investing in a Star Wars card set depends on overall intention.

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