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Thursday, April 13, 2017

CINESCAPE PRESENTS: COOL FANTASY VEHICLES - X-WING STAR FIGHTER

CINESCAPE PRESENTS:

COOL FANTASY VEHICLES


Pilots rushed to their fighters, klaxon alarms blaring. Each pilot doing a quick inspection of their ship, before climbing the ladders and locking themselves in the cockpit.

Switches were flipped, the scream of the engines whine blared through the cavernous hangar. Grounds crew moved away from the ships, pulling the refueling hoses from the hulls.  Signal officers waving the ships into formation so that they could be cleared for take off.

Each pilot waited impatiently for the signal to launch and it happened quicker than expected. The ships rose into the air, headed for outer space. The comlinks crackled with static and nervous breathing as the 30 star fighters headed towards history.

The space ships pulled out of orbit from the small moon that was hidden behind the gas giant planet of Yavin. The debriefing still fresh in their minds. An impossible job, launch a torpedo down one of the exhaust shafts and destroy the Empire's battle station. The only pilot that knew what they were up against was Luke Skywalker. The rest of the pilots couldn't imagine the size or scope of the Death Star.

Slowly the battle station moved into view and the comlinks came alive, each of the pilot muttering or gasping at the size of the planet destroying ship that they were facing.

Luke grimaced. Could they destroy that thing in time?


Lore and Background

During the production of Star Wars, Joe Johnston and Colin Cantwell designed and built a lot of the models that were filmed for the movie. The models for the X-Wing were built from other model cars, trucks, ships and planes that were readily available from hobby shops. Called kit bashing, the model makers would take pieces from different model kits, assemble them together and with a few minor tweaks, they would have their prop ready so that they could film it.

The X-wings were designed around a hollow core body, made from surgical tubing, so that it could be wired to connect the lighting and the servos to allow for the wings to open and close.

The cockpit was designed with faceted windows so that the reflections would look accurate for the screen when filming. The individual X-Wings, which were originally painted blue, had to be changed over to red, because of the limitations of filming, as the background would bleed through the color. The ships markings were also tailored for the individual pilot, as if they were owned by the fighter pilots themselves.

In the Star Wars universe, the Incom T-65 X-Wing star fighter is the primary workhorse of the Rebel Alliance. Possessing deflector shields, a hyperdrive and an R2 astromech droid for repairs and navigation, a complement of proton torpedoes as well as armed with quad laser cannons. The X-Wing was designed for hit and run tactics, maximum speed and fire power, with long range capabilities.

Early in the GCW, Incom, the company that built the space ships, became nationalized by the Galactic Empire. Strongly independent, much of Incom's designers and engineers defected to the Rebel Alliance, taking four prototypes with them, giving the Alliance the blueprints and training them in how to produce, repair and refine the star fighters.

The Force Awakens

30 years after the fall of the Galactic Empire, Incom, now Incom-FreiTek, started production on the T-70 X-Wing fighter. With advanced weaponry and more versatile than the T-65. Unfortunately corruption and the Military Disarmament Act and production of the T-85, basically grounded the T-70. Even though it was still used in local planetary defense forces and it was cheaper to purchase than the newer model, the T-70 still found use around the galaxy. Especially with the Resistance, lead by General Leia Organa.

Wrap up

There's always a first. The first cold beer on a hot summer day, the first date, the first day at your new job. The first time you saw an X-Wing fighter as it approached the Death Star and heard Red Leader say "Lock S-Foils in attack position", waiting for that moment, when we saw the fighters begin their attack.  Let's face it, there are a lot of cool vehicles in the Star Wars universe, but there is something about the X-Wing that's reminiscent of a souped up muscle car or even a dragster.
Sleek, versatile, and dangerous, not to mention, it's one of the few fantasy vehicles that looks like it could actually work in the real world.



Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
Star Wars (original title)
PG | 2h 1min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy | 25 May 1977 (USA)

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.
Director: George Lucas
Writer: George Lucas
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

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