The Smithsonian has a full-size Star Wars X-wing starfighter now

The National Air and Space Museum won't let you take the X-wing for a trench run, but you can go look at it.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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A full-size X-wing fighter sits in the restoration hangar at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.


The Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum is famous for exhibits like the historic 1903 Wright Flyer, the sleek Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and the Space Shuttle Discovery, all very real flying machines. Starting this week, visitors will get an eyeful of something fictitious: a full-size Star Wars X-wing starfighter.

The starfighter's wings stretch for 37 feet (11 meters). It doesn't fly, but it was built for the 2019 film Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. It's currently undergoing conservation at the museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.

"If you see Poe Dameron around, let him know work on his X-wing is coming along nicely, and it'll be ready for display soon," the museum tweeted on Tuesday in honor of May the 4th, a day for Star Wars celebrations.

The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center will reopen to the public on May 5, giving fans a chance to see the X-wing while staff work to preserve it. It will be moved to the National Air and Space Museum's facility on the National Mall in Washington DC for display in late 2022.

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The starfighter is on a long-term loan from Lucasfilm, the Disney production company responsible for the Star Wars franchise.

Margaret Weitekamp, the museum's space history chair, said, "All air and space milestones begin with inspiration, and science fiction so often provides that spark—the iconic X-wing displayed amid our other spacecraft celebrates the journey from imagination to achievement."