It's hard to believe that the iconic Death Star was at one point treated as a trash can, but that is, in fact the case, all because the studio wanted to save some money.
The journey of the original Death Star model is cataloged in a new piece on Star Wars.com, and it almost met its end in 1977. Thanks to the studio no longer wanting to pay storage fees, their storage unit, full of props and production pieces from the set, was set to be thrown away. A crew member named Doug W. thought enough of the piece to take it home with him, along with the trench from the original sequence.
He kept it in his possession for about ten years, and in 1998 he stored it at his mother's antique shop, where a fan named Todd happened upon it. He did the research to prove that this model was actually the original model, even calling Lucasfilm to verify, but unfortunately, he would lose out on it to another buyer. That buyer owned a place named Star World, where the Death Star stayed for some time. Todd would have another chance, though, as Star World was set to close, and he found the model in their building for sale, doubling as a trash can in the corner. He gladly took it off their hands.
It's crazy to think that something so iconic could be so easily be lost, but luckily for everyone a few devoted enthusiasts manage to preserve it along the way.
From Lucasfilm comes the first of the Star Wars standalone films, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, an all-new epic adventure. In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is directed by Gareth Edwards and stars Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen, Mads Mikkelsen, Alan Tudyk, Riz Ahmed, Jiang Wen and Forest Whitaker. Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel are producing, with John Knoll and Jason McGatlin serving as executive producers.
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Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now.