(Images: Urban Ghosts. Star Wars podracer movie prop from The Phantom Menace)
For many, the first instalment of the Star Wars prequel trilogy might not have been George Lucas’ finest offering, but that doesn’t mean that Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace wasn’t without its visual high points. One stand-out sequence was the podrace, in which the young Anakin Skywalker takes his already-impressive talents to the desert arena.
From Wikipedia: “To research for the podrace vehicles, the visual effects crew visited a jet aircraft junkyard outside Phoenix, Arizona and scavenged four Boeing 747 engines. Life-sized replicas of the engines were built and sent to Tunisia to provide reference in the film. Except for Jake Lloyd inside a hydraulically controlled cockpit and a few practical podracer models, the entire podracing scene—which the effects crew designed to be as “out of this world” as possible—is computer-generated.”
The craft shown in these images is one of those practical podracer models, a full-scale example that presumably appeared in the movie. It’s on display at Wings Over the Rockies aviation museum in Denver, Colorado, whose other rare exhibits include a B-1A Lancer bomber (of which only four were built and only two survive).
In addition to the podracer, a 3/4 scale replica of Luke Skywalker’s X-Wing fighter from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope stands nearby. The “real” New Hope X-Wing is, unfortunately, understood to have been scrapped after filming wrapped.
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