Star Wars X-Wing Fighter sells for record $3 million+

A 20″ model of an X-wing fighter from 1977’s Star Wars just sold at auction for an astounding $3.135 million.

May the force – and insanely large checkbook – be with you. An X-wing fighter from 1977’s Star Wars that was long considered lost just sold at auction for $3.135 million, or more than a third of the movie’s actual budget. This is now the highest-priced Star Wars item ever sold on the market, topping even the R2-D2 droid used in numerous installments which sold in 2017 for $2.76 million.

The 1:24-scale model of the Star Wars X-wing fighter measures 20 inches and is considered a “Red Leader” (Red One), so named because of the red stripes on the top wings. It is also in “attack position”, making it an even more impressive display piece for the buyer. Add to that that this model stood in for Wedge’s Red Two and Luke Skywaler’s Red Five and this is definitely a prized piece for Star Wars fanatics. The official listing notes a number of scenes the model was used for.

The model – one of just four created for the film – was part of the collection of the late Gregory Jein, who, ironically, earned a Best Visual Effects Oscar nod for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which lost to Star Wars. Jein would later be nominated for another Steven Spielberg film, 1941.

As per a Heritage Auctions exec VP, “Heritage just set the record for the most expensive Star Wars screen-used prop sold at auction…The worldwide response to the Greg Jein collections [has] been outstanding [and] a true testament to Greg and all he accomplished as visual effects artist and collector.” Jein passed away last year.

On the significance of the Star Wars X-wing model itself, visual effects historian Gene Kozicki said, “This model has not been displayed or modified since it left ILM…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.”

The starting bid for the Star Wars X-wing model was “just” $400,000. Another X-wing fighter sold at auction in 2022 for $2.375 million.

Which Star Wars prop do you want to see come up for auction? Let us know!

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