‘Star Wars’ X-Wing Fighter Sells for $3 Million as Auction of VFX Artist’s Collection Hits $13 Million

A  Stormtrooper costume from the 1977 film went for $645,000

"Star Wars"
"Star Wars" (Credit: Heritage Auctions)

A 20-inch model of an X-Wing fighter used in the filming of “Star Wars” was auctioned off Sunday for more than $3 million, setting a sales record for screen-used props from the 1977 movie.

The item was among a vast array of items being auctioned Saturday and Sunday from the collection of the late VFX artist Greg Jein by Heritage Auctions in Dallas. As of Sunday afternoon, the total sales of the auction had surpassed $13 million with 40 lots remaining.

Other items from the collection that sold were a complete Stormtrooper outfit from “Star Wars,” which went for $645,000, and a set of “Hero B-9 Robot Feet” complete with treads from the 1965-1968 CBS series “Lost in Space,” which was auctioned for $350,000.

The collection also featured an impressive closet-full of “Star Trek” costumes, including a “Starfleet ensemble” that William Shatner wore as Captain Kirk from Season 3 of the original 1960s Paramount series. That set went for $100,000. Meanwhile, a Leonard Nimoy “Mr. Spock” outfit from the same season auctioned for $150,000.

The X-Wing fighter was a product of the legendary team at Industrial Light & Magic that won the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for “Star Wars.”

“Constructed of resin, vacuum-formed styrene, acrylic and metal components over an aluminum internal armature, expertly painted and finished as a battle-distressed spacecraft, replete with service wear, blast marks and heat-scorching around exhaust nozzles,” an extensive description of the model says. “The top two wings are each painted with a single red stripe, identifying this as ‘Red Leader’ (Red One). The cockpit features a miniature pilot, and a dome of an R2 unit is installed behind the canopy.”

The X-Wing entry goes on to note the instances the model likely appeared in the film. “It flies overhead after Luke pulls out of his strafing run and reports that he ‘got a little cooked’ but is still OK,” the description reads of one example.

Jein died last year at 76 after a long and storied Hollywood career in visual effects, during which he amassed his collection of Hollywood artifacts. Among his career highlights, Jein was the chief model maker and built the alien mothership in 1977’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” for which he earned his first Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects. Jein also worked on and built numerous miniatures for the “Star Trek” franchise. More recently, he worked on 2009’s “Avatar” and 2014’s “Interstellar.”

His collection “represents the best-of-the-best, a feat that will never be duplicated due to Greg’s laser-focused attention and knowledge within the field,” Heritage Auction said in a description for the sale.

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