Peter Hillblom from Hofors, near Gävle, recently bought a batch of figurines and games at an auction in Sweden. Inside the box was a 1979 Millennium Falcon toy, but inside that was something even more special.
After hearing a rattling sound coming from within the miniature version of Han Solo's fabled ship in the sci-fi blockbusters, the Swede decided to open it up and give it a clean, leading to an unexpected finding.
“I was looking for the lightsaber for a Luke Skywalker figure the seller said could have fallen into the Falcon,” Hillblom told The Local.
“I was surprised to discover a piece of paper which came loose from a dry piece of tape.”
The note inside the Millennium Falcon. Photo: Peter Hillblom
On the paper was a note reading "I have now made over 4,000 of these things. When do I qualify for a free Falcon? Luv, Derek". Attached to the paper was a receipt with “Aldridge Plastics Limited, Injection Moulders” printed on it.
Could the note have been written by someone who worked in the British factory that produced the toy in the 1970s?
In an effort to discover the answer, Hillblom reached out to fellow Star Wars collectors for their help.
“I put out a couple of photos of the find on some forums and there was almost a circus of comments. My mobile was going off constantly throughout the night with messages from people who wanted to know more,” he explained.
On one Facebook group for Star Wars collectors the pictures received 134 comments. Several people are now trying to track down the mysterious Derek in question.
“It would be really great to reconnect with him in some way,” Hillblom noted.
The collector won't be able to hand the note over to Derek if he ever finds him however. In his blog entry where he first revealed the strange find, Hillblom promised he would sell it along with the Millennium Falcon and its box. True to his word, it has since been passed on to another Star Wars fan in Sweden for a total of 8850 kronor ($1045).
So far the amateur investigators have been unable to track Derek down meanwhile, and with Aldridge Plastics no longer operating in the UK, the mystery may be destined to remain unsolved.
Do you know who wrote the mysterious note? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org