An X-Wing model from the original 'Star Wars' sells for $3.1 million

The First Art Newspaper on the Net    Established in 1996 Thursday, April 25, 2024

An X-Wing model from the original 'Star Wars' sells for $3.1 million
Screen Matched Hero "Red Leader" (Red One) X-wing Starfighter Filming Miniature with Articulating Servo-Controlled Wings and Lights from Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope (TCF, 1977).

by Michael Levenson

NEW YORK, NY.- A model of an X-wing fighter, which was used to film the climactic battle scene in the 1977 “Star Wars,” sold at auction Sunday for $3,135,000, far exceeding the opening price of $400,000 and setting a record for a prop used on-screen in a “Star Wars” movie, according to Heritage Auctions.

Not bad for a model spaceship found buried in some packing peanuts in a cardboard box in a garage.

Friends of Greg Jein, a Hollywood visual effects artist, discovered the X-wing stashed in his garage last year after he died at age 76.

It was one of hundreds of props, scripts, costumes and other pieces of Hollywood memorabilia that Jein had collected over the decades, and had left scattered throughout two houses, two garages and two storage units in Los Angeles.

Heritage Auctions said the winning bidder did not want to be publicly identified. The buyer had been bidding on the floor of the auction house in Dallas, competing with another collector who was bidding over the phone.

A similar model X-wing sold last year for nearly $2.4 million.

More than 500 other items from Jein’s collection also sold at the auction, for a total of $13.6 million.

The two-day event was the second-highest-grossing Hollywood auction in history, after the 2011 sale of memorabilia from actress Debbie Reynolds, which grossed $22.8 million, Heritage Auctions said.

Her collection included Marilyn Monroe’s billowing “subway dress” from the 1955 movie “The Seven Year Itch,” which sold for $4.6 million.

Jein’s collection reflected his passion for science fiction, comic books and fantasy.

It included a Stormtrooper costume from the original “Star Wars” movie, which sold for $645,000, a spacesuit from the 1968 Stanley Kubrick movie “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which sold for $447,000, and a utility belt from the 1960s “Batman” television series, starring Adam West, which sold for $36,250.

Jein also collected quirkier pieces, such as a lace hairpiece that had been worn by William Shatner as Captain Kirk in the original “Star Trek” television series. It sold for $13,750.

But the X-wing drew by far the most attention.

Heritage Auctions said the 22-inch prop was used in scenes involving X-wings flown by three pilots in the Rebel Alliance’s final assault on the Death Star. The characters’ call signs were Red Leader, Red Two and Luke Skywalker’s own Red Five.

It had been built by Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects studio founded by George Lucas, with motorized wings, fiber-optic lights and other features for close-up shots.

But people in the visual effects industry had not seen the model in decades, according to Gene Kozicki, a visual-effects historian and archivist who worked with Jein on “Star Trek: The Next Generation” and “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” in the 1990s.

“It was like ‘Holy cow, we found an X-wing, a real, honest-to-goodness X-wing,’” Kozicki said last month, recalling the moment he and several others pulled the X-wing out of a box in Jein’s garage. “We were carrying on like kids on Christmas.”

Jein’s cousin, Jerry Chang, who attended the auction and spoke on a panel about his cousin’s life and career, said he appreciated that Heritage Auctions “made it a point to honor Greg in everything they did, not just the items up for sale.”

Kozicki said the collection was a testament to Jein’s love of collecting, which started with baseball cards when he was 5 years old.

As his collection spread to Hollywood memorabilia, he was drawn to props and costumes that were made by artisans and craftspeople before the advent of digital special effects, Kozicki said.

It was an art that Jein knew well.

He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1978 for his work on Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Jein led the team that built the model of the alien “mother ship” that appears in the movie. The piece is now in the collection of the National Air and Space Museum.

In 1980, Jein was nominated for another Academy Award in visual effects for his work on Spielberg’s “1941,” which was filmed with model tanks, buildings and a runaway Ferris wheel.

“Greg famously said ‘I have a hard time throwing anything away,’ and I think in a way he kept the collection going so the recognition of those craftspeople wouldn’t be discarded like a prop,” Kozicki said in an email Monday. “I can only hope that the new owners keep that spirit going.”

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

Today's News

October 17, 2023

Is a women's museum still relevant?

Schoelkopf Gallery to represent the Max Weber Foundation, a pioneering American Modernist

An X-Wing model from the original 'Star Wars' sells for $3.1 million

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art reveals newly added artworks in 'Infinite Love' by Yayoi Kusama

How 6 Italian brothers shaped the story of New York

Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is now exhibiting 'Jaune Quick-to-See Smith: Memory Map'

Fondation Louis Vuitton to present first retrospective in France dedicated to Mark Rothko

Solo exhibition by Greek filmmaker and visual artist Janis Rafa on view at Eye Filmmuseum

'That Luscious Day' and 'Daguerreotypes: Up Close' open at PDNB Gallery

Bonhams Scotland celebrates the canine companion with the return of The Dog Sale

Discover the future of technology: artificial intelligence exhibition at the CCCB

Searching for America's first Black female novelist

LeVar Burton to host National Book Awards

Suzanne Somers, star of 'Three's Company,' is dead at 76

Opera Philadelphia cuts its budget, but not its ambition

Balanchine's gems were his dancers. He honored them with 'Jewels.'

Famed Iranian filmmaker is killed in his home

M.S. Rau's new gallery exhibition 'Erté & the Era of Art Deco' features 170 works by the 'Father of Art Deco'

The experience of communing featured in Joy Labinjo's 'Beloved, Take What You Need'

Mendes Wood DM, Paris, presents 'I See No Difference Between a Handshake and a Poem'

Omid Asadi has first major UK solo exhibition at Castlefield Gallery

Unusual Artwork by Famous Artists

The Sparkling Alliance: How Bitcoin and The U.S Art Repertoire are Carving Out New Ways of Engaging and Connecting

Ciambella Tea Cake: The Perfect Every-Day Treat

AI Art and implications to artists and the art world

The Most Interesting Museums for Visiting Students of Any Field

Maurizio D'Andrea: The Alchemy of Abstract in Contemporary Art

Unlocking the Puzzle: Why Crossword Enthusiasts Can't Get Enough

Why You Should Trust a Construction Injury Attorney for Legal Aid?

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

sa gaming free credit
Truck Accident Attorneys
Accident Attorneys

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. Hommage
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site Parroquia Natividad del Señor
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful