The Force of Thrift

Aaron and Angelika a few years ago, wearing our “Force for Change” t-shirts

Our family cannot understate the influence that Star Wars has had on us. I clearly remember seeing the film, back in the 70s, at the old Fraser Theatre in Vancouver. It completely captured my imagination. I wanted it to be real. I fell in love with Luke Skywalker (the blue eyes, I think). I loved the whole concept of the Force and being a young, enthusiastic Christian, I likened it to the Spirit. Everything about it was awesome.

Fast-forward many, many years and I am happily married and we have a son in kindergarten who sees Star Wars on TV. That encounter set the direction of much of his life. The prequels were coming out and so not only did the original series air on TV but there were documentaries about the making-of and 60 Minutes did a show on director George Lucas. When Aaron discovered that the studio that backed George’s film American Graffiti edited 15 minutes out of his movie, Aaron was outraged. He applauded George’s determination to make the Star Wars films on his own terms. He also decided – at age 5 – that he was going to be a movie director. He has since graduated from Capilano University with a diploma in motion picture arts and is working in the industry.

The other thing that has had a huge impact on Aaron’s life, is thrift shopping. He has both volunteered and worked in a thrift shop and understands the difference between thrift and retail shopping – the idea that you don’t go in to get what you want, you go in to see what you’ll find. It’s the thrill of finding treasure that brings you back.

So when Aaron’s Star Wars world and his Thrift world collided a couple of weeks ago, the impact was felt across galaxies. My son found the motherlode of treasures.

These are table games played with miniature model ships from the Star Wars world

When he walked into the local MCC Clothing Etc thrift shop and saw some Star Wars ships, he made a beeline for them. What he found was a collection of collectible, model ships that are all part of an elaborate table top game called The X-Wing Miniatures Game. He saw a $50 price tag and assumed it was for The Millennium Falcon alone; turns out, it was for the whole collection. It was one of those experiences where he calmly gathered up the whole thing and made his way to the cashier, while inside he’s thinking “Start-the-car-start-the-car-start-the-car!!!”

The Millennium Falcon

Side view. Aaron is also a photographer. can you tell? just wait…

When he got it home and unpacked the lot, this is what he ended up with: 32 small ships, 5 large ships.

the haul.

all the good guys

all the bad guys

After doing some research on Amazon and eBay, he learned more. All the ships are part of what are called “expansion packs” whether they are sold as individual ships or as sets. They include different pilot cards and game scenarios.

Boba Fett, the bounty hunter, flew this Slave I. which, according to Wookieepedia, is a prototype Firespray 31 class patrol and attack ship. so there.

Another bad guy ship, Lambda T4-a shuttle

The cheapest ship is worth $20, the most expensive was listed at $113. A few are very rare and out of print. The total value of the collection is just over $1450. All that treasure for just fifty bucks. Aaron had purchased the starter set (on the left) from a different thrift shop a few years ago for $20. This set came with a duplicate of that set and the Force Awakens (on the right).

The X-Wing Starfighter – the one that the dreamy Luke Skywalker flew – leads the pack. Gotta end with a good guy, right?

What warmed my heart, was that he drove straight from the thrift shop to our house to show us. When you find treasure that good, you have to share it with someone who will understand, right? That’s the Force of Thrift.

What’s your amazing thrift find story?

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