Bootleg - Church Promo Cards (1999)


This unique promotional card set was created by a publisher of religious promotional materials at around the time of the release of Episode One. Given out by some churches, and by church groups, the cards are 16 cm by 10 cm in size, and similar to a postcard.

The front of each card features a character or scene from The Phantom Menace film. The back of each card uses the terms The Force and The Dark Side to retell the christian story.

The status of this card as a 'bootleg' set has been a bit of an interesting story. Originally I believed the cards to be a bootleg product, but then publisher stated that they had obtained copyright permission to use the Star Wars images, and a Lucasfilm copyright does appear on the back of each card. Sounds like a legitimate set, right? Well, after purchasing cards, I sent some along to the good people at Non-Sport Update magazine, and they were able to ask Lucasfilm directly if the cards were a licensed product. The Lucasfilm answer was a resounding "No!" so it appears the cards are bootleg after all.

It can be difficult for the average collector to know if cards or other items are legitimate or not, but one hint that failed to catch my eye was the incomplete copyright notice. The cards have a copyright that reads:


A real product always has the same copyright information, and should read:


I realize not all fans care if products are properly licensed, but supporting licensed products supports Star Wars, while unlicensed products only support the company that made them.

Despite it's bootleg status, like many other unlicensed items, this card set is unique and interesting.

Cards were unnumbered, and generally were distributed one card at a time, but the complete set does contain four different images.

I have a limited number of sets of these cards available to trade or sell.

Card Values
·  set value: $10-15
·  single: $2

Find them on eBay, or trade for them in the Marketplace
Card NumberDescription
no numberDarth Maul
no numberObi-Wan Stands Guard
no numberQueen Amidala
no numberJedi vs. Sith