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Air Force Collections Stories

May the 4th be with you!

As fans across the world unite in celebration of all things Star Wars todaywho would’ve thought that we’d have a link to the famous film franchise right here in our own collection? 

Signed poster photograph of Jesse Jensen in action as Jedi knight Saesee Tiin
Signed poster photograph of Jesse Jensen in action as Jedi knight Saesee Tiin. From the collection of the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.

Our Research Team recently discovered an actual link between No 3. Squadron RNZAF and the Star Wars movies in the Squadron memorabilia. They were initially puzzled by what they found, but some detective work through the archives revealed the answer – we’re sure there are a few ex-3 Squadron people out there who will be able to tell us more! 

Red nylon flag for the television series
Red nylon flag for the television series "Survivor". Presented to No. 3 Squadron RNZAF, 2009. From the collection of the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.

Back in 2009, the Squadron was engaged oExercise ‘Tropic Astra’ in Samoa, to hone their tropical operational skills. At the same time, a film crew were filming a series of the reality TV show ‘Survivor’ in Samoa. 3 Squadron must have lent some assistance, as the film crew gave them a wooden plaque and flag to thank them for their support

Rectangular wooden plaque
Rectangular wooden plaque presented to No. 3 Squadron for their assistance with the 'Survivor' television series filmed in Samoa in 2009. From the collection of the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.

In addition, it turned out the ‘Survivor’ producer and production designer, Jesse Jensen, had played a minor role as horned Jedi knight Saesee Tiin in the amphitheatre battle scene of Star Wars Episode II: The Attack of the Clones in 2001. He gave the Kiwis two signed photoswhich you can see in the accompanying photos. 

Signed portrait photograph poster of Jesse Jensen as Jedi knight Saesee Tiin
Signed portrait photograph poster of Jesse Jensen as Jedi knight Saesee Tiin. From the collection of the Air Force Museum of New Zealand.

Were you on that exercise and can tell us more? Please get in touch with us here!

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