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New Star Wars maestro J.J. Abrams most certainly gets inundated with requests from fans. However, a duo of amateur astronomy enthusiasts decided to make their own special request float above the pack by launching an X-Wing fighter into actual space! Well…an X-Wing fighter model, anyway.
The team, calling themselves Project Helium Tears operating out of Essex in the U.K. would pair their proclivity for launching camera-attached weather balloons into orbit with a passion for Star Wars in a stratospheric strategy to garner the attention of J.J. Abrams. Making their intentions clear by way of familiar fanfare and opening crawl, they are hoping this plan will incite the franchise overlord to send them tickets to the VIP premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which would presumably be slightly before the film’s wide release date of December 18.
One would think that you’d need a special kind of atmospheric preparation to launch something past the point of gravitational pull, but apparently all it entailed was attaching a small constructed Revel X-Wing model kit to their weather balloon, along with an adjacent-positioned GoPro to capture the magic. With a little ingenuity, £1,200 of resources and apparently six months of overall planning, the trinket that would have been destined to hang from the ceiling with fishing line in someone’s geek room would instead be looking down upon the Earth from approximately 118,000 feet!
Of course, the guys of Project Helium Tears also approached their spectacular solicitation from another angle that could play to the heartstrings of J.J. Abrams in their admiration for practical special effects. In fact, the video directly references the stylistic strategies utilized for The Force Awakens, which will see a return to practical effects and shooting locations that are actually real, rather than blue screen. Moreover, there were even several incidental instances of Abrams-esque lens flare in the space shots caused by the actual sun!
Overall, it stands as an impressive feat that’s already making waves on the web after just a few days. Their efforts are bound to catch the attention of J.J. Abrams, if they hasn’t already. However, whether or not those efforts will eventually be rewarded in the way that they hope, much like the identity of Kylo Ren and the Chrome Stromtrooper, remains to be seen.
Yet, if we’ve learned anything about Abrams in the past months, it’s that he’s the kind of guy who admires fan passion and doesn’t seem to let it go unrewarded. The man bought 1,500 pizzas for people who waited in line for Star Wars Celebration. Surely, he’s got something up his sleeves for these guys who promoted the Star Wars cause in an appropriately space-centric way.