Maybe the Rebel Alliance was doing a bit of house cleaning?
On Monday, officials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology posted a photo to Twitter of an X-wing Starfighter, one of the ships flown by Luke Skywalker and members of the Rebel Alliance in the classic “Star Wars” films, sitting in the lobby of Building 7 on the Cambridge school’s campus.
Attached to the top of the large and detailed model spacecraft was a sign that read, “For Sale.” And beneath that it said, “Call Darth,” a reference to the masked villain and heavy mouth-breather from the fantasy movie franchise.
“Anyone at MIT in the market for an X-Wing Fighter?” @MITstudents, the official account for the office of the dean for undergraduate education and the division of student life, wrote on Twitter.
Unfortunately for interested buyers, the large ship doesn’t actually fly, despite claims on the “For Sale” sign calling the model ship a “great commuter” vehicle. Its presence at the school was also short-lived.
Elizabeth Durant, a spokeswoman from the office for the dean of undergraduate education, had shared the picture of the aircraft online. She said it appeared briefly Monday in the lobby near her office, before it quickly took flight and disappeared.
The replica aircraft was the remnants of an obstacle course from the Mechanical Engineering 2.007 Student Design Final Robot Competition, which was held at MIT last week.
The highly anticipated annual event had a “Star Wars” theme, and was called “May the Torque Be With You.”
The X-wing obstacle course celebrated the 40th anniversary of the first “Star Wars” film’s release.
“The [student-built] robots crawled around and over a replica of a ‘Star Wars’ X-wing Starfighter. Students could earn points by pulling up a sliding frame to rescue prisoners trapped in carbonite; by dumping Imperial stormtroopers into a trash trench; by activating a cantina band; or by spinning up one or both of two large cylindrical thrusters on the wings,” according to MIT News. “Students could choose which tasks to have their robot try to accomplish, and had just one semester to design, test, and operate their bot.”
With the competition over, Durant said it’s likely that someone placed the X-wing with the “For Sale” sign in Building 7 as part of a “mini hack,” or prank, which are common in that area of school’s campus — especially at this time of year.Steve Annear can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.