Posts Tagged ‘Rancho Obi-Wan’
I didn’t set out to amass the world’s largest private collection of Star Wars memorabilia, or WLPCoSWM for you acronym fans. It just kind of happened. It’s like a baby’s first steps: First one tentative foot forward, soon followed by the second, then a quicker third step…and the next thing you know, little Carl Lewis is winning nine Olympic gold medals in Track and Field!
SW column May 1987 (c) Dow Jones & Co.
People often ask how I got involved with Lucasfilm. There are several answers, some less embarrassing than others.
In 1987, just a few months after I had become Los Angeles Bureau Chief of The Wall Street Journal, and well aware of the upcoming Star Wars 10th Anniversary, I proposed an editorial page column looking back at and assessing the amazing cultural phenomenon and Lucas’ career. I had never written for the edit page before, but the New York editors said yes. Then I—a fiercely independent, hard-bitten journalist who had once spent two years tracking down and reporting on multinational corporate bribery scandals—began fantasizing about my first visit to the fabled Skywalker Ranch and a chat with George Lucas. Oh, the cruelty of daydreams that dissipate as quickly as a cold front during an Orlando summer!
Editor’s Note: Whether you’re a regular reader of this blog or not, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of, or met, Steve Sansweet. (And he’s appeared in the blog many, many times.) In addition to owning the world’s largest collection of Star Wars collectibles — on display at Rancho Obi-Wan — Steve has been a frequent presence at fan conventions, expos and gatherings around the world. He is also an advisor to Lucasfilm, where he served for over a decade as the company’s Head of Fan Relations. And now he’s a blogger. Welcome, Steve!
If you’re a fan who frequents any number of Star Wars collecting forums, Facebook pages or twitterfeeds, you probably picked up some heightened chatter starting last Saturday around 4:00pm PST. No, George wasn’t announcing the release of a seventh Star Wars episode, and no, a Blu-ray release of the Holiday Special (which looks bad in any resolution) isn’t imminent – rather, it was the grand re-opening of Rancho Obi-Wan, an enormous museum celebrating the merchandising legacy and fandom inspired by our favorite space saga. Its original — and far quieter — opening occurred way back in 1998, and has since served as a resource and spectacle for those lucky fans who have received a tour.
Around 200 guests file in to the new Rancho Obi-Wan (photo by Victoria Webb)
Rancho Obi-Wan – which houses the personal collection of Star Wars super-collector Steve Sansweet – was unveiling a spacious new addition to display Sansweet’s ever-expanding collection of Star Wars goodies, including full-size arcade games, bicycles, life-size droids, and fan-created artwork. What’s more, Steve announced Rancho Obi-Wan’s new nonprofit corporation status, which will “serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of Star Wars memorabilia and artifacts” (check out ranchoobiwan.org and Rancho’s official Facebook page ).