Is your guest room looking a little stale? Maybe it's time to punch up the ambiance with a new rug, some snazzy throw pillows or perhaps a life-sized sculpture of a winged child slave owner and junk dealer from the Star Wars universe. A nearly 7-foot-tall sculpture of Watto, a character from Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, is currently on sale for $2,200 in Sarasota via Facebook Marketplace.
Owner Chris Harlow won Watto in a drawing hosted by a local Publix roughly 23 years ago, when The Phantom Menace premiered. It's one of about three that are available for purchase online, and certainly the only one that’s available locally.
“The only way to get one was from the drawing,” says Harlow. Harlow, now 39, has been a Star Wars fan since he was 12, when his mother introduced him to the films.
Harlow doesn't know the sculpture's exact measurements, but, on the stand, Watto is taller than Harlow is, and Harlow is 6 feet 7 inches tall. Stored in Harlow's guest room, the sculpture remains in tip-top shape, since Harlow rarely moved it into the main area of the home. That's possibly because "some people were freaked out by it," says Harlow. "My wife thinks it's creepy."
Perhaps that's because Watto is an all-around terrible guy—a winged creature from Toydaria who enslaves human children to work for him, turning them into egomaniacal, psychopathic killers.
Watto owned Darth Vader, a.k.a. Anakin Skywalker, as a child, and also owned Vader’s mother, Shmi Skywalker. He won both in a bet against Gardulla the Hutt. After Anakin went away to become a Jedi, Watto sold Shmi to a moisture farm, from which she was kidnapped and then tortured before dying in Vader’s arms. If you’re wondering if Vader ever took revenge on Watto for enslaving him, that's up for discussion among hardcore fans online.
Character flaws aside, for Force Freaks, Watto is a rare find. Harlow has been lowballed plenty since posting the sculpture for sale on Facebook Marketplace, but he won’t take less than $2,000 for it, which appears to be the going rate for such a piece of memorabilia in perfect condition.
Will Harlow feel a void once it’s sold?
“Not really," he says, "I have all kinds of Star Wars stuff."
Don’t know who Watto is? Consider streaming Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace on Youtube or Disney + this weekend.