In Russia, Star Wars collectors abide by a singular maxim, which is that the bigger the replica, the cooler the impact. While the rest of the world settles for cutesy miniatures, those in the Siberian Northeast choose size over efficiency. And what could be larger-than-life than the mind and legacy of George Lucas? With the galaxy at its palm, Star Wars has become the very definition of pharaonic.
One Star Wars fan embodies this particular Russian ideal to the last letter, having cobbled together his own life-sized X-wing starfighter in the comfort of his own backlot. Cosplayer Ayaal Fedorov could’ve stopped at simply recreating Luke Skywalker’s rebel flight suit; a source-accurate mock-up would have been stellar work, and yet he decided to take things a step further by building an X-wing to accompany it. His logic is rock solid: why masquerade as a Star Wars Rebel Alliance pilot if you haven’t got the starfighter to back it up?
Fedorov, known in Star Wars global circles as JUST AYAAL, was especially meticulous in the way he structured the process of putting Luke’s X-wing together. Each part was constructed and painted over separately, from the laser cannons and pre-built proton torpedoes, to the three-man cockpit within the tubular fuselage. The body itself took three months to finish. Once the individual pieces were completed, Fedorov and his Star Wars team assembled the starfighter by hand and by crane in his backyard. They devoted the entire summer to making the Star Wars X-wing from scratch, just in time for the holidays before the first drop of snow blankets the grass underneath. The project still has a ways to go, however. According to Fedorov’s Instagram updates, the team is planning on including duplicates of Star Wars droids R2-D2 and C3PO for use in the cockpit.
Check out Fedorov’s social media updates on the beloved Star Wars spacecraft below:
The X-wing repro isn’t the first time Ayaal Fedorov attempted a full-scale copy of a Star Wars vehicle. He had previously added the finishing touches to Din Djarin’s Razor Crest, an ST-70 Assault Ship from Disney’s The Mandalorian, only this year, for which he attracted widespread media attention. The Yakutsk native reportedly spent over $10,000 on the life-sized Razor Crest, to the point of having to sell his car and ask for donations over the Internet to accomplish his Star Wars dream. A huge chunk of the expenses were taken straight from his own coffers, a move that almost bankrupted him.
Though Fedorov neglected to mention the source of his X-wing’s funding, it’s safe to assume the costs are about as high. This is Star Wars, after all. Though the Razor Crest replica obviously cannot fly, it comes with a fully-designed decorative cockpit, is 46 feet tall, and weighs over a ton — same as the X-wing. Both ships were made from lightweight material, like plywood and heavy cardboard. Lucasfilm also had to build a non-functional, full-sized version of the Star Wars X-wing on set, and theirs and Fedorov’s are not too different.
The X-wing is one of pop culture’s most enduring fictional Star Wars spacecrafts, right up there in the ranks as Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon, Darth Vader’s Death Star, and Star Trek’s USS Enterprise. Nothing could be more riveting than watching the X-wing’s easy maneuverability in the vacuum of space. The Star Wars ship comes with four launchers, with each laser cannon equipped with up to three proton torpedoes. The starfighter boasts a titanium alloy body capable of shock-absorbing most targeted attacks, and nifty deflector shields, and an efficient electronic countermeasures system similar to most modern-day fighter jets. It’s capable of interstellar warp travel thanks to its powerful supraluminal hyperdrive and uses its distinctive strike foils to stabilize itself during dogfights. Perfect in the Star Wars universe.
Much like Fedorov’s version, Luke Skywalker’s X-wing from the first Star Wars employs a unique navigational system replacing standard electronics with an astromech droid. There’s a preset socket in the cockpit made especially to house something like R2-D2, which can make minor repairs during flight, record up to 10 hyperspace coordinates, and put the X-wing into full autopilot should the option prove necessary. The pilot can choose to eject the droid should destruction or capture become inevitable. The Star Wars X-wing would eventually make a reappearance in the sequel trilogy, with Rey (Daisy Ridley) flying it at the conclusion of The Rise of Skywalker.