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Smithsonian to present Star Wars X-Wing Fighter

The National Air and Space Museum houses some of the most sacred artefacts from the aerial age.

Visitors can marvel at the 1903 Wright Flyer that flew over Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the bright red Lockheed 5B Vega that Amelia Earhart flew alone across the Atlantic Ocean, and the bell-shaped Friendship 7 capsule who made John H. Glenn Jr. the first American. orbiting the Earth.

Now, the museum said, it will display a spaceship that has only flown on screen, in an entirely fictional galaxy where good and evil seem locked in an eternal battle.

That’s right: An X-wing Starfighter will adorn the newly renovated museum building on the National Mall at the end of next year, the museum said on Tuesday, which was celebrated by “Star Wars” fans as a public holiday because it was May 4th (May 4th be with you).

The Hollywood prop, with a wingspan of 37 feet, appeared in “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” in 2019 and is on long-term loan from Lucasfilm, the film’s production company.

While air and space purists may lament the handing over of valuable exhibition space to an alleged spacecraft that played no role in advancing space travel, the exhibit no This isn’t the first time the museum has teamed up with the franchise’s power of satisfaction. In the late 1990s, he presented “Star Wars: The Magic of the Myth”, a show based on the original “Star Wars” trilogy; this show toured across the country.

“Although it took place a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, Star Wars has presented generations of fans here on Earth in outer space as a setting for adventure and exploration.” said Margaret Weitekamp, ​​chair of the museum’s space history. A declaration. “All air and space milestones begin with inspiration, and science fiction so often provides that spark.” She added that “Wing X on display in the middle of our other spacecraft celebrates the journey from imagination to realization.”

Designed like the nimble fighter Luke Skywalker used to destroy the Death Star in the original 1977 film “Star Wars,” the X-wing was named for the distinctive shape of its “attack position strikes.” , said the museum.

The artists of Industrial Light & Magic, the special effects studio founded by George Lucas, the creator of the film, have represented X-wings and other “Star Wars” spaceships with miniatures as well as models and cockpits life-size, enhanced with visual effects, says the museum.

This particular X-wing will undergo “conservation” – also known as cleanup and prep – in the restoration hangar at the museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, where it will be visible to the public before its departure. exhibited at the museum next year.

Although this is the first “Star Wars” prop on long-term display at the museum since the “Magic of Myth” exhibit in 1997, the museum also featured a studio model of the Enterprise spacecraft from “Star Trek”. original from the 1960s as well as a Buzz Lightyear toy from the “Toy Story” animated films, which was airlifted to the International Space Station in 2008.

A Photo released by the museum showed the orange X-wing in a hangar next to an actual twin-engine bomber, dubbed Flak-Bait, which survived more than 200 missions in Europe, more than any other American aircraft in existence during WWII global.

“Look at what happened in the shop for a tune-up,” the museum said on Twitter. “If you see Poe Dameron around, let him know that work on his X-wing is going well, and it will be ready to air soon.”

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