In the introductory video report of that article, you can watch part of the iconic scene from the first part of the cult Star Wars saga, or Star Wars: A New Hope from 1977.
Director George Lucas used it in the battle of the space fighters, in the most famous flight through the trench in the Death Star, and finally in the fatal impact of this giant base itself.
You can listen to and view information and footage in the introductory video report.
And right after that, shots of the model of the main one follow – the fighter “belonged” to the main character of the film series, Luke Skywalker, and bore the designation Red Five, later Red Leader, according to the color of the rebel fighter squadron fighting against the Empire.
It was this miniature that the author of the saga and the director George Lucas used to film the famous film sequence. So it’s probably no wonder that it sold for a record amount at Heritage Auctions in Dallas on Sunday, October 15.
“Ladies and gentlemen and anyone else watching the Greg Jein Collection auction. X-Wing! You’re flying away with this item for $2.6 million,” the auctioneer knocked off the highest bid from a buyer who wished to remain anonymous.
Tens of millions for detailed work, art and meaning
The fighter model started the auction at 400 thousand dollars, while with the auction surcharge and taxes, its price ended at exactly 3.135 million dollars, which is about 72.4 million crowns when converted.
According to Heritage Auctions, it is the most expensive Star Wars prop used on screen to ever go up for auction.
The X-Wing miniature from the final battle scene in A New Hope is 1:24 scale, measuring approximately 55 centimeters. Inside the cockpit sits a little Luke Skywalker, behind him the astromech droid R2-D2, the fighter is marked Red Leader, and even has traces of enemy hits.
“I just… Oh god, I’m just staring at that thing. Look at her. Look at the work, the painstaking painting – is it Joe Johnston’s work? I would say that! The colors are incredible, the scorch marks. The sensitivity with which they assembled, repaired and fixed it,” describes the author of the podcast about props, screenwriter and film producer David Mandel in the SZ Byznys report.
“Look at the details – at the pilot, at R2-D2. Look at the grips. She’s so damn good,” he adds.
In the stash of an award-winning designer and collector
Another interesting thing about this X-Wing is that it was long lost. It was created by effects and model maker Gregory Jein, who received two Oscar nominations for his work on various sci-fi and fantasy films.
He died last year at the age of 76 and, as an enthusiastic collector, left behind hundreds of props – in two houses, two garages and two warehouses.
A miniature of the famous space fighter was found by his friends in one of the garages, carefully packed in a cardboard box.
“If I could, I believe I would shoot the cameraman on the spot, rig it up to make him look like the culprit, steal her, kill everyone in the hallway outside, run to the car, head for the airport and Los Angeles with this thing. I would buy her a seat next to me. I wouldn’t even think about it,” jokes David Mendel in the SZ Byznys report.
The second highest-grossing prop auction in film history
A similar model of the X-Wing from the filming of Star Wars was also auctioned last June for $2.4 million.
More than 500 items were auctioned in the two-day auction of props from the Greg Jein Collection, selling for a total of $13.6 million. For example, a Stormtrooper uniform found its new owner for $645,000.
The auction became the second most profitable event of its kind in the history of Hollywood, according to the American newspaper New York Times.
The first was the 2011 auction of the estate of actress Debbie Reynolds, which fetched $22.8 million. Her collection also included the absolute record holder for auctions of film props and suits – Marilyn Monroe’s iconic white dress from the film The Straw Widow from 1955, for which an anonymous buyer gave $5.6 million.