Smithsonian shows off its new life-size Star Wars X-Wing movie prop

The Smithsonian Institution is now home to a life-size X-Wing aircraft prop from one of the Star Wars movies. Though you can't yet see it in person — it won't be unveiled until next year — the museum has shared an image of the massive prop, which has a wingspan of 37-feet. The X-Wing was acquired from LucasFilm division Industrial Light & Magic.

The Smithsonian's new prop is the T-70 X-Wing Starfighter model, the version of the fictional aircraft that we see in the 2019 movie Rise of Skywalker. The museum goes into details about the nature of this fictional Starfighter, noting that it comes with some subtle but distinct design differences compared to the version fans first saw in the 1977 movie A New Hope.

Though the technology doesn't exist in real life, many people will recognize the iconic space jet — it has been part of popular culture for more than three decades, playing a major role in space battles across the Star Wars universe.

The big difference between the Smithsonian's T-70 X-Wing and the T-65B found in the first trilogy is the large engine on each wing that can split into multiple hemispheres during X-attack formation. The prop is currently located in the Smithsonian's Restoration Hangar.

According to the museum, which is the largest in the world, its team is currently cleaning the massive faux aircraft and checking it for any damage that might have occurred during transit. Star Wars fans will be able to see the prop in person at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington DC next year. The team plans to suspend the X-Wing from the museum's ceiling.