HISTORY OF THE LFL/WOTR 3/4
|In 1996, Lucasfilm was
preparing for the newly completed Star Wars Trilogy - Special Edition
Theatrical Release. One of the things they
decided they wanted was a scaled replica of the X-Wing Fighter as a promotional item for a few of the release cities, as well as for a major
retailer. They commissioned a company in Germany to create seven 3/4 Scale Replicas of the infamous vehicle. One of those X-Wings
ended up in Tokyo for the Japanese release of the Star Wars - Special Edition.
And that's where it stayed, until 1999. In April 1999, in preparation for the release of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, the
X-Wing was brought to the US for the first ever Star Wars Celebration in Denver, Colorado on the former Lowry AFB and the Wings Over
the Rockies Air & Space Museum where the event was held. It was placed on display for the event and was one of the many highlights of
the weekend. When the event was over, WOTR was told by Lucasfilm that they would be leaving the X-WIng in their care on a "permanant
loan," or until such time as they needed it again.
There it sat, in obscurity, until a group of local Denver Star Wars fans began making visits to the museum to view the curiosity piece. They
began to take pride in the fact that they had full-time access to a "life-sized" X-Wing, and so, in the Spring of 2004, when they learned from
the museum staff that it would be leaving the museum (possibly forever), one of their members took it on himself to put out the call to keep
the X-WIng a Denver attraction. Tim Tracey let the other members of the Rocky Mountain FanForce know what was going down and let the
folks at Lucasfilm know that not only did we wish to see the X-Wing remain in Denver, that we were also donating our services to maintain
the bird (as she had fallen into disrepair over the years from neglect). To our immense delight, the offer was accepted, and we were given
a matter of weeks to get the old girl ready for her debut at San Diego ComicCon 2004. Pooling our resources with the local 501st Mountain
Garrison, we were able to repair the X-Wing, give her a little bit of sprucing up, and pull off a fantastic Farewell Party to benefit the
museum which had lovingly housed her for five years.
In July of 2004, the LFL/WOTR 3/4 Scale X-Wing made a fantastic showing in the Star Wars Pavilion at San Diego ComicCon 2004 to the
delight of Star Wars fans all over the country. And many of the celebrities attending the convention made a special stop at the Star Wars
Pavilion to get their pictures taken with this little piece of history. The Pavilion and the X-Wing were huge successes and, along with the
title announcement for Episode III, considered the high points of the entire weekend.
The X-Wing, just as promised, was returned to Denver, just in time to help launch a new tradition at the Wings Over the Rockies Air &
Space Museum, the, now annual, Halloween Party at the Hangar. So, in October 2004, the X-Wing was given a wonderful welcome home
and helped to brings smiles to many Denver area children as a centerpiece of their Halloween Party.
Now was the time to set to work not only getting the X-Wing ship-shape, but also providing her with the details and loving care, only a
group of committed fans were capable of delivering. With a team of highly motivated individuals, the new Team Lead of the X-Wing
Restoration Project, Kevin Christlely, he set about to turn the X-WIng into a tribute to the original Red-5, flown by Luke Skywalker in Star
Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. In the hopes of getting things as close as possible, he found an artist in the RMFF to lend her expertise
and Beth Hutchison as our artistic director and Lead Painter. And in effort to exceed any of the expectations of Lucasfilm (or anyone else
for that matter), he also enlisted the help of Hyperdyne Labs' very own Jim Shima to create a fantastic lights and sounds package, as well
as a functioning R2 unit for the socket.
It was a slow process, happening over several months, and entailing several setbacks, but when we got the call in December that the
X-Wing would not only be featured at the Star Wars Celebration III in Indianapolis, Indiana in April, but would also be used for a number of
promotional appearances, we all knew that our work was going to be well worth the sacrifices that we all made in the name of preserving a
memorable piece of fandom for all to see. When the truck arrived to pick up the X-Wing in March 2005, we knew that what we had done
would be on display for the world to see, and we were certain it would be well received.
Those suspicions were confirmed after the very first promotional spot in Times Square, New York City, New York when the M&M Dark
M-Pire Campaign was launched, featuring the C3-PO, R2 =-D2 and the X-Wing as the centerpieces of their promotion. However, our first
indication of the fans' response came to us from the members of Rebel Legion's Echo Base - Hawkbat Squadron, and it made all our
hearts swell with pride to hear them praise our work.
A highly successful stint as the center attraction in the Fan Hall at Star Wars Celebration III was the next stop for the X-Wing. With fans
from all over the world taking delight in being able to stand next to a "life-sized" X-Wing and get their pictures taken with one of the X-Wing
Pilots of the Rebel Legion (or in their own costumes) was the high-point for many of them over the weekend.
The X-WIng then proceeded to be featured in numerous promotional events across the country and even made a trip out to Skywalker
Ranch for their special premiere. However, the highlight of the 2005 Tour of the X-Wing was its appearance onstage at the AFI Tribute to
George Lucas. Suspended above the stage of the Kodak Theatre, the X-Wing was prepared to swoop down and carry "The Maker"
himself away to safety, if need be. The AFI tribute was televised nationally, and so the X-Wing finally made its broadcast debut on that stop.
Directly following an appearance at SIGGRAPH05, which featured George Lucas as a keynote speaker, the X-Wing was made ready for
another auspicious stop on its tour. The FIDM Dressing A Galaxy Costuming Exhibit in Los Angeles, California, featuring the work of Trisha
Biggar and showcasing all of the costume and prop work that went into the Star Wars Saga. The exhibit ran from mid September until the
middle of December 2005.
Next up for the LFL/WOTR 3/4 Scale X-Wing is the long awaited return to the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum on the former
Lowry AFB in Colorado and some much needed rest and TLC from the Maintenance Crew to heal the ails of nearly a year of being on the
road and away from the home that dearly loves the old girl.
|©2005 Rocky Mountain Fan
"Star Wars" and related elements are © Lucasfilm Ltd., and their respective owners.