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Star Wars’ Prop That Was Missing for Decades Turns Up ina Garage and Sells for More Than $3M

X-wing starfighter from the movie Star Wars

Last November, a rare and exciting prop from the original Star Wars movie was found in the garage of the recently departed Greg Jein. Since 1977 when the film was made, no one knew just where this important piece of film history was, but it turned out to be safely stored in a box with packing peanuts in Jein’s garage.

While finding the prop was certainly exciting, it wasn’t exactly surprising. Greg Jein was one of the Oscar-nominated visual effects artists for the 1977 original Star Wars film, so his garage actually had quite a few props from the film.

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However, the most compelling prop found in the garage that caught the world’s attention was a 20-inch model of the X-Wing starfighter. The model was used for close-up shots of the renowned battlecraft during the final scene and during the famous “trench run” on the Death Star of the beloved film and is widely considered one of the most interesting props of the Star Wars saga.

In fact, one of Jein’s coworkers, Gene Kozicki, explained, “For those of us that grew up in the ’70s or ’80s, and those of us that work in visual effects, this model is as significant a find as the ruby red slippers or the Maltese Falcon.”


Of course, when Greg Jein’s friends who were cleaning out his garage found the X-wing starfighter, they knew it was important, but they didn’t realize just how valuable it was. But they decided to auction it off, along with several other pieces of Star Wars memorabilia that they found, including a Stormtrooper costume, action figures, and production shooting scripts.

Finally, just last Sunday, the X-wing starfighter was sold by Heritage Auctions for an almost unbelievable $3.13 million. This is the highest price ever paid for any Star Wars prop ever sold, beating the sale of another X-wing model that sold for $2.375 by almost a million dollars.

Although the buyer has chosen to remain anonymous, the world knows almost every detail of the X-wing starfighter they purchased. Along with being used throughout the film, the model itself is quite interesting as it has motorized wings that open into “attack position,” as well as metal heatsinks, a miniature pilot, electrical lights, and a domed top robot unit.

This incredible piece of history had not been seen in fifty-five years since it left the filming set. And even to those who did not decide to spend $3 million to have it in their homes, even just knowing that it still exists and being able to see the X-wing starfighter model once again was exciting enough.

No one knows why Greg Jein decided to keep the X-wing starfighter safely stored away for more than five decades, but at least now it’s back out into the world.


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