1977 Topps Star Wars Villains

Top 5 Empire Cards to Collect

Date: Apr 19, 2024
Author: Rick Stevenson
Topics: 1977 Topps Star Wars, Darth Vader, Rick Stevenson, Star Wars, The Empire
Length: 365 Words
Reading Time: ~2 Minutes

Heroes are only as good as the villains they stand up against. That’s especially true in Star Wars, where the dark and the light are palpable forces in constant conflict. It was even true back in 1977 when Topps Star Wars Series 1 cards were released. While fan favorites like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo were instantly popular, plenty of great villains were on the roster. These are the top five Empire cards to collect from the original 1977 Topps Star Wars set.

1977 Topps Star Wars #17 Lord Vader Threatens Princess Leia!

Darth Vader’s most intimidating scene in Star Wars: A New Hope might be this: he tries to get Princess Leia to give up the Rebels’ location by using an Imperial interrogator droid. The later revelation that Leia is actually Vader’s daughter only makes this moment on the Death Star more brutal. 

1977 Topps Star Wars #10 Princess Leia – Captured!

Princess Leia appears again on this second card on our Empire list, this time being confronted by Darth Vader aboard her own ship, the Tantive IV. Gem Mint 10 versions of this card remain collector favorites.

1977 Topps Star Wars #62 Lord Vader’s Stormtroopers

It wouldn’t be a proper list of Empire cards without some stormtroopers, shown here in a large group on the Death Star. Interestingly, this original 1977 card refers to them as “Lord Vader’s Stormtroopers” rather than something more generic like “Imperial Stormtroopers.” At the time, Vader’s exact role in the Empire wasn’t as clear as it is today.

1977 Topps Star Wars #8 Grand Moff Tarkin

Peter Cushing brought a brilliant villainous flair to his performance as Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: A New Hope. His likeness is preserved here on his rookie card in the original Topps set, just one spot behind Darth Vader himself. 

1977 Topps Star Wars #7 The Villainous Darth Vader

“The Villainous Darth Vader” is Darth Vader’s rookie card from 1977 Topps Star Wars Series 1, showing the Sith Lord in conversation with an Imperial officer. Gem Mint 10 cards are scarce, but even PSA 9 Vader cards from the 1977 set are a must-have for Star Wars collectors.


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