Launching a New Feature: The Rancho Blog

Today we’re kicking off a new feature on the Rancho Obi-Wan website, a regular blog written by our directors and guest writers that will run the gamut from personal experiences, to collectibles old and new, to fandom. The one thing that will bind them together is our shared love and passion for Star Wars. Our plan is to run at least one a week and let folks know about them through posts on the Rancho Obi-Wan Facebook page and through our twitter account.

Some of the blogs will be extensive and go into great detail, but most will focus on a single item or anecdote and be fairly brief. Some will be just text, others just photos with captions, and still others a mix of the two. Many will be personal.

Some of our directors have worked for or with Lucasfilm or its Licensees and partners. Others sell or have sold licensed products. All are fans. You can read about each of them here.

Life Before the Big Bang
By Steve Sansweet

Don Post masks topped the living room shelves

Don Post masks topped the living room shelves


The first version of Rancho Obi-Wan didn’t start coming together until the summer of 1998, and it was another 13 years before it became the nonprofit museum it is today, home of the world’s largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia and open for pre-booked public tours. But Rancho’s predecessor started in a 1,400 square-foot house on stilts in the hills east of Hollywood, the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles.

The den had little room left for Star Wars collectibles

The den had little room left for Star Wars collectibles


The collection, which started with older tin robots and space toys, filled shelves in the den and spilled into the living room. As my passion and spending increased, I started taking Polaroid photos of the new acquisitions, packing them in large boxes, wrapping them in heavy-duty trash bags, and storing them on the ground in the unbuilt lower level of a neighbor’s house.

So we added a second story

So we added a second story


A year later the neighbors announced that they were going to finish off the basement, which left me little option but to add a second floor under my existing one. About two years later came another floor and then one personal storage locker…which eventually became five.

But it got quickly filled

But it got quickly filled


As the dual collections (Star Wars and robots/space toys) kept growing, my options became limited. There was no more room for another floor addition, and the storage lockers—which were packed full—weren’t a long-term solution. At one point, I even thought about buying a second house up the block just for the collection!

The new Star Wars floor started filling up quickly too

The new Star Wars floor started filling up quickly too


Then, in the summer of 1995, I got a fateful call from Lucasfilm. Did I know anyone who might be interested in a one-year-only job to attend fan conventions and explain what the Star Wars Special Edition films were all about, and show the first footage? “Let’s talk,” I said. I left The Wall Street Journal and joined Lucasfilm in February 1996, and although the move to Northern California was still more than two years away, the dream that eventually led to the establishment of Rancho Obi-Wan began then.

Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Celebrate May the 4th at Rancho Obi-Wan!

ROWMay4th
Celebrate “May the 4th” in the ultimate Star Wars environment! No crowds of people, no lines, no hassles; just a fun day with other Star Wars fans.

Starting today, for every donation we receive of $10 or more, we will enter the donor’s name in an opportunity drawing. On April 4th we will draw 10 names and those donors will be invited to bring one guest to Rancho Obi-Wan on May, 4, 2014 for an intimate celebration, including a guided tour of the museum with owner Steve Sansweet, lunch and other fun activities.

Donations in any amount support Rancho Obi-Wan’s mission of inspiration*:
$

Fine print: A donation is not required to be entered in the drawing. Email info@ranchoobiwan.org with the title “May the 4th Drawing” to submit your name and contact information for the drawing. One opportunity per person. Invitations are for two people only, additional invitations can not be procured. Invitations are for May 4, 2014 only, they can not be exchanged for another tour date. Invitations are not transferable to another person. Travel and hotel are not included. Confirmation of attendance required by April 11, 2014. If the name drawn can not attend another name will be drawn.

Share : Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on GooglePlusShare on PinterestShare on Linkedin

Rancho Obi-Wan Introduces Two New Board Members

Rich Smolen & Pete Vilmur

Rancho’s current Board of Directors consists of a multi-talented group of individuals who are dedicated to our mission of Inspiration. They have guided the non-profit through its first two years of operation with valuable insight and real-world experience. Last month, we added two additional members, each of whom will contribute … Continue reading

Rancho Obi-Wan Adopts New Chickens

3-cuckoo

Many of you may know that Petaluma, California was once the “World’s Egg Basket.” More eggs were produced here than anywhere else between 1890 and 1970 or so.  The egg incubator was invented in Petaluma and the temperate weather and soil provided ideal conditions for raising large flocks.  It was … Continue reading