For sale: Starfighter. Cheap

Some people ask “why?” Some people ask “why not?”

Greg Anderson, of Menahga, Minn., clearly falls in the latter category because he built a half-size Star Wars starfighter.


Why not?

We know what you’re thinking: he must be a “Star Wars nut.” He’s not, which is actually the most interesting part of the story on him in the Park Rapids Enterprise.

We have a thing for people who do things just because they can.

“I enjoy science fiction, but I’ve never been big on ‘Star Wars,'” he said. “I was looking for a project to do, and I was thinking of a building a stargate, but the logistics of it was just way too much.”

Stargate is the movie featuring a device that enables nearly instantaneous travel across the cosmos, and who doesn’t want one of those in the backyard? But maybe they’re harder to make than a starfighter.

Anderson sketched some blueprints, then had to figure out what material to use, then had to determine how to make it strong enough not to fall apart when someone eventually tries to do whatever you do with a foam board, half-sized starfighter in the far reaches of Minnesota.

He found a cheap video gamer seat for the cockpit. The only thing that’s missing is a control stick.

“I’m looking for an old game controller. They used to have one with buttons on it, like a Sega or Atari. I haven’t been able to find one,” he said.

The cockpit canopy is glass-free for “photo opps.”

The “astromech droid” that assists Rebel Alliance pilots in their battle against the Imperials — a.k.a. R2-D2 — is a white bowl from a dollar store painted with acrylics.

The “ion cannons” are half as long as the original. “I didn’t want them sticking out,” Anderson said.

The armament is, in fact, made with a broom stick handle, foam and plastic tubing. “It’s pieces and parts,” he said.

He could have just bought one — he says there’s one going for $250,000 online somewhere — but it sounds as if the $1,800 he invested has stretched the budget a bit. He figures maybe he can recoup it on eBay because someone, somewhere must want the thing.

And he’s gotten what he wanted to get out of it anyway.

“The fun has been building it, more than anything else,” he said. “I didn’t do it for the money. I did it because I wanted to do it.