Iconic ‘Star Wars’ X-wing Starfighter Fetches $3 Million At Auction
The miniature X-wing starfighter was used in a movie titled ‘Star Wars‘ in 1977 and after 46 years it was auctioned at $3 million in an event held on Sunday October 16th 2023 at Heritage auctions in Dallas. A Star War is a proposed system of artificial satellites armed with lasers to destroy enemies missiles in space.
The X-wing was designed by Greg Jein a Hollywood model designer, he was a Chinese American born in 1945 in Los Angeles, California. He created a miniature for use in many films and television series. Some of the movies were ‘Sense of Scale’, ‘Close Encounters of The Third Kind’ and ‘1941 Buckaroo Banzai Declassified’.
Joe Maddalena is the Heritage’s executive vice president and was a long time buddy to Greg who died at the age of 76 years last year in May 22. “The auction was a profound testament to my friend as both visual effects master and one of the great collectors,” said Joe. “Everyone from model makers to collectors and science-fiction fans attended making the event its best-attended in years,” said the auction house.
Other items auctioned were Star Wars Stormtrooper costume that sold for $645,000, a Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film ‘A Space Odyssey’ sold for $447,000, ‘SS Botany Bay’ vessel filming model from the ‘Star Trek’ in 1960s went for $200,000, prop devices from hero phaser series went for $187,500 and tricorder garnered $175,000.
Greg grew up in Los Angeles, during his early days in his career he led the team that designed the mothership for Steven Spielberg’s 1977 film ‘Close Encounters of The Third Kind.’ The model that appears big in the movie is 5 feet (1.52 m) (1’5 meters) long. There’s a part of the collection in Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C.
“We always had ‘a ball’ working together, Jein was a great friend and I recall the time he brought a box filled with model kits to entertain me after I had a knee surgery,” said Lou Zutavern Greg’s friend and shop supervisor. “ He loved the search and finding things and making a trade, it was part of the fun for him,” he added.
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