It was a reproduction of a pre-production sketch; in the high-priced world of Hollywood talent, it was the equivalent of a doodle on a legal pad. Studios have trashed thousands, millions, of such sketches in the past.
"And look! It has (artist Ralph) McQuarrie's number and signature!" said Ponce. "It's really his signature!"
"Whoa - that's what makes it real," breathed Lipman. "How much is it?"
Both Ponce and Lipman were born after the initial release of "Star Wars" during the summer of 1977, and they have no recollection of the long lines around the block at the Cinerama Theater, or of the way the film swept out of nowhere to capture the world's imagination. Nope. They grew up in a world where "Star Wars" existed.
"The only toys I had as a kid were 'Star Wars' toys," said Ponce. "We even had the green milk."
"Me too," said Lipman. "Tasted terrible, but it said 'Star Wars' on the box. And the first movie I ever remember seeing was 'Return of the Jedi.'"
But the recent revamping, fine-tuning and re-release of the middle trilogy of George Lucas' grand space opera has struck a national nerve, and ticket sales have pushed the films into the top position of most popular films of all time. Release of the third installment has been pushed back by a week so as not to compete with "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back."
Jean Burrell, administrative assistant at Consolidated, and Brett Havlik, general manager at Wallace Theatres, confirmed that Hawaii attendance records echo those of the mainland.
"When you devote three screens to product by a single distributor (Fox distributes the trilogy), the other distributors get annoyed," said Havlik.
While most of Hollywood thought "Star Wars" would do OK, this unprecedented success has Hollywood scrambling to do what it does best - copy the concept without understanding the core. Other old films will reappear soon at your local multiplex.
"2001: A Space Odyssey" was re-released last year, and did minor business, even though the audience that showed up for that was in many ways the same as for "Star Wars" - boomers bringing their kids. But "2001" is an intellectual conundrum while "Star Wars" goes right for the heart.
"It's totally different seeing it in the theater," said Ponce. "It's huge! It ... fills your world. You're totally caught up in it."
"With the big screen and sound, it's overwhelming, a spectacle," said Lipman. "A gestalt imagery of good and evil. It's such a PURE fantasy."
We random-sampled some midday moviegoers in Waikiki to get their responses.
Chris Kneeskern, 22, a security guard, said he was "too young to see it when it first came out, but my family loved it, and they kept telling me it was the best science fiction movie of all time. I've heard so much hype over the years that I have to see it for myself."
Bernard Colter, 68, a Navy retiree, said he also is fascinated by the special effects, and wanted to see what was added. When it first came out, he took his grandchildren. Now they're taking their children.
A couple of people declined to give their full names because they were playing hooky from work.
"I have to see it!" said "Margaret," 40. "When it first came out, I took my babies, and now my son, who's 25, says: Go for it, Mom! It's marvelous - the everyman struggle against good and evil, and the philosophical bent that says the struggle is within us."