Star Wars Prop Sells for Three Million
A model X-wing fighter used in the original Star Wars movie has sold for $3.135 million at auction. The model X-wing was the star item in an auction of Hollywood memorabilia that belonged to the late special effects artist, Greg Jein. The price is a record for a prop from a Star Wars movie. The collection also featured a stormtrooper costume from Star Wars, a spacesuit from 2001: A Space Odyssey, and items from televisions shows of the 1960s like Star Trek and Batman. In total, the auction pulled in $13.6 million, the second-highest ever for a Hollywood memorabilia sale.
Greg Jein, who died last year at the age of 76, had worked on major Hollywood movies himself. He received an Academy Award nomination for his work on Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. He was always adding to his collection of sports, fantasy, and science-fiction items, but friends who helped organize his belongings after his death were still surprised to find the X-wing model buried in a box in his garage.
Star Wars, a mind-blowing space adventure, was successful upon release in 1977. It spawned sequels, prequels, and a billion-dollar universe of related television shows, books, games, and toys that is still going strong in 2023. Still, images from the first film, including characters like Darth Vader and R2-D2, remain the most iconic. X-wing fighters were important in the climactic final sequence of the movie, and the model that sold at auction is one of four that were used to film those memorable scenes.
The buyer of the X-wing model is choosing to remain anonymous.
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Hear the article spoken:
- Prop (n) - an item that is used alongside actors while they perform
- Auction (n) - a sale where things are sold to the people that offer the most money
- Memorabilia (n) - objects that people like to collect because they are connected to important or interesting events
- Pull in (phr. v) - to earn money
- Spawn (v) - to produce or generate
- Sequel (n) - the next part of a story, usually in film, television, or book form
- Prequel (n) - an earlier part of a story, usually in film, television, or book form
- Iconic (adj) - famous and symbolic so that it represents what it is a part of
- Climactic (adj) - related to the most important or exciting moment, especially toward the end of a story
- Anonymous (adj) - someone whose name is not known publicly
Discuss the following questions with your partner(s).
- What did you think about this story? Was there any surprising information?
- How do you feel about the fantasy and science-fiction genres? Do you prefer other genres?
- Do you like movies that have good special effects? Which movies impressed you in this way?
- Are you a Star Wars fan? Which of the films have you seen? Which film is your favorite?
- Why do people collect things? Do you collect anything?
- If you could have memorabilia from any movie, which movie would you choose? Can you think of an item that you would like to have?
- When someone dies, what usually happens to their belongings?
- When a sequel is made for a movie you like, do you always try to see it? Is the sequel ever as good as the original?
- Have you ever bought or sold something in an auction? What is good about that way of selling or buying?
- Why do you think the buyer of the model X-wing is staying anonymous?