All wings report in. Red Five, standing by… in Doncaster.
A Star Wars fan has spent two years building a 21-ft X-Wing replica in his back garden from fibreglass, plywood, plastic, and metal.
The ‘battle-scorched’ X-wing starfighter Red 5 has been fitted with half-a-mile of cables and includes flashing lights, joysticks, and the wings even move up and down.
Richard Butler, a 65-year-old former movie extra, says he was inspired to build the recreation of Luke Skywalker’s iconic Rebel Alliance space craft by Mark Hamill’s return to the sci-fi franchise in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
“I heard on the down low that he was coming back to the big screen thanks to a friend who was working on the latest Star Wars film,” says Butler, who estimates he’s spent £750 on the X-wing so far.
“That’s when I had the idea, and that’s when I decided to start the project. He’s old like me, both ageing actors in the industry and thought why not. I’m really pleased with the way it has turned out – I’ve built a lot of other things including Daleks – but all the grandkids absolutely love to ride in it when they come to visit.”
“Over the winter months we’ve hardly had the weather to work on it properly, but now hopefully in the next few months it will be fully finished.”
The colossal movie prop sits under a large sheet of tarpaulin in the secluded part of Ricky’s back garden in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
However, he is worried the signature piece of kit which first featured in the first Star Wars film: A New Hope could cause an influx of tourism outside his home.
Richard, who is a semi-retired actor, said: “I don’t want these Star Wars lots knowing exactly where I live and then my house has turned into a museum.”
Richard, who has been helped by his 15-year-old youngest son Prince, says he still plans to install X-wing sound effects to the model. He also hopes to sell the model to another Star Wars fan in the future.
“It needs to be seen to be believed – every man has his price and I would be willing to sell it to the highest bidder. However, for the moment, the grandkiddies are still having too much fun,” he says.
“Maybe later in the year I shall see if a buyer is available.”