'Star Wars: A New Hope' Starfighter prop to sell at auction

Prop is screen-matched to classic 1977 movie, carries open bid of $300k

Cover Image for 'Star Wars: A New Hope' Starfighter prop to sell at auction
Heritage's Starfighter prop had additional details included for close-ups in the film. (Credit: Heritage)

A Y-wing Starfighter ship prop used in “Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope” is set to sell this month at Heritage with a starting bid of $300,000.

The Starfighter is one of just two Hero examples built for the film by concept artists Collin Cantwell and Ralph McQuarrie, based off of a yellow notepad sketch created by George Lucas. Though many “PYRO” examples were built for the film — featuring less details as they were meant to be seen briefly in the film and often blown up — Hero productions carried a far more detailed design meant for close-ups in the film.

The Y-wing Starfighter ship prop starts with an opening bid of $300,000. (Credit: Heritage)
The Y-wing Starfighter ship prop starts with an opening bid of $300,000. (Credit: Heritage)

Screen-matched to the classic 1977 film, the ship is a 1:24 scale miniature and is believed to be the "TIE Killer" seen in the famous “trench run shots.”

“George wanted the Y-wing to be like a World War II TBF Torpedo Bomber, which had a gunner in the belly, facing back to cover the tail, and on top behind the pilot, and then the pilot facing forward,” Cantwell says in "The Making of Star Wars." “So the Y-wing could have that kind of interaction between three people on it.”

Another screen-matched ship prop from the film, the X-Wing “Red Leader,” was sold last year by Heritage for $3.135 million.

“As Heritage has done time and again, we’re bringing together some of the most important cultural artifacts that have never before been in a single place,” Heritage Auctions executive vice president Joe Maddalena said in a press release. “When you do that, you immediately, instinctively recognize the importance and influence of these science-fiction films and television shows — how they’ve shaped how we look at and think about the world and beyond.”

The prop joins Heritage’s July Hollywood/Entertainment Auction, alongside other notable “Star Wars” items, such as a production made "Princess Leia" bikini as seen in 1983’s “Return of the Jedi” (starting bid: $30,000) and a poster consisting of the original concept artwork for the first “Star Wars” film by Michelangelo Papuzza used for the Italian Novelization cover (starting bid: $30,000).

Other top lots set to cross the auction block July 25 and 26 include an original oil painting of Uncle Scrooge by the character’s creator, Carl Barks, described by the auction house as “the largest and, in (their) opinion, the greatest of Barks' many 'Duck paintings' of the famed Disney characters” (starting bid: $200,000), multiple Academy Awards such as the Best Picture award given for the 1944 film “Going My Way,” as well as a tunic attributed to William Shatner as Captain Kirk in season 1 of “Star Trek” in 1966.

Will Stern is a reporter and editor for cllct.