In a galaxy not so far away, the iconic X-wing starfighter model from the 1977 classic ‘Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope’ is set to hit the auction block, with bidding starting at a jaw-dropping $400,000. This 20-inch miniature, meticulously designed by the late American-Chinese model designer Greg Jein, is not just any collectible; it’s a piece of cinematic history.
Consider the X-wing starfighter; it’s one of just four filming miniatures, and yes, each was endowed with servo-controlled wings capable of expanding into an ‘Attack Position’. Played a pretty hefty part in Star Wars’, ye olde original film’s breakthrough space battle. Certain fans might find themselves swimming in nostalgia at this model’s thought – it’s proof positive of Greg Jein heavy lifting work alongside the folks over at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). And you know? Bagged themselves an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects they did. Just goes to show their groundbreaking input didn’t go unnoticed within our beloved Star Wars universe.
Picture George Lucas, the brilliant mind behind Star Wars and ILM’s owner. He put forth the blueprint for that iconic X-wing fighter. See, he envisioned a real clear line between good and evil in his sprawling space saga; hence, you’ll notice this striking singular red stripe adorns top wings – an unambiguous marker of sorts.
What makes this X-wing model even more remarkable is its untouched state. As VFX historian Gene Kozicki notes, “This model has not been displayed or modified since it left ILM.” The discovery of this model in Jein’s collection was a momentous event for the Star Wars and visual effects community, akin to finding the ruby red slippers from ‘The Wizard of Oz’ or the Maltese Falcon.
The circumstances surrounding how Greg Jein acquired the model remain somewhat mysterious, with Kozicki speculating that Jein obtained it through his active collecting and trading activities. The model was found hidden away in a cardboard box, where Kozicki and a team of enthusiasts stumbled upon it, recognizing the historical significance of their discovery.
Constructed using resin, vacuum-formed styrene, acrylic, and metal components, the model showcases intricate details, including battle-worn aesthetics with blast marks and heat-scorching around exhaust nozzles. Inside the cockpit, a miniature pilot is ready for action, while the wiring powers the lights on the laser cannons mounted on each of the four wings.
For collectors and Star Wars fans, this upcoming auction in Dallas, held by Heritage Auctions from October 14 to 15, offers a special chance to acquire a piece of cinematic history. The X-wing starfighter model exemplifies the artistry of the gifted artists who created the Star Wars universe as well as its timeless enchantment. This little spacecraft is ready to command a price as astronomical as the galaxy it came from because to its impressive heritage and perfect condition.