Rancho Obi-Wan (ROW), home of the world’s largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia, will have a special exhibit at Celebration Anaheim that focuses on fan passion and creativity over nearly 38 years. It will be ROW’s third trip to a Celebration, each time with a different selection of items from a collection estimated to contain nearly 500,000 different items. In addition, Rancho will have an expanded tour schedule both before and after Celebration to accommodate fans visiting the West coast. (See the tour availability calendar and forward to next April and May.)
“I’ve been a part of Star Wars fandom from the beginning,” says Steve Sansweet, Rancho’s president. “And to me, one of the things that set us apart from other large franchises is the skill and creativity of passionate fans worldwide. I’ve been collecting fan-made objects and art from the beginning, and they all have their own stories to tell.”
Rancho Obi-Wan’s Celebration Experience will be in a 900-square-foot space on the main exhibit floor and contain around 300 separate items including a hand-carved, jointed AT-AT using nails for chin guns, and an amazing piece of original string art backed by velvet, both treasures from the early 1980s. Fan-made piñatas, lightsabers, hand-embroidered jackets, costumes and even a painted chair rescued from a scrap heap also will be displayed.
“We’ll have a good selection of toy and other prototypes, some props, and rare manufactured items too,” Sansweet says. “But Star Wars has triggered so much creativity—even careers—that we want to focus on the uniqueness of the Star Wars fan culture as we approach a new era for Star Wars and for fandom.”