A year ago today we lost a dear friend. Jon Farmer was the quintessential Star Wars fan. He was enthusiastic, creative, kind, giving, helpful and selfless. If you also loved Star Wars (or any other great movie), he loved you. If you needed help with a costume, he was there to assist. If you needed anything at all, he would try to provide. He was an exemplary volunteer for Rancho Obi-Wan and he loved Steve and our mission. He was all in. He wanted everyone to feel the fun of The Force.
Jono was a fellow Texan. Listening to his soft-spoken drawl was like being wrapped in a warm blanket. He attended The University of Texas and studied Architecture several years before I arrived there. He used that knowledge in everything that he created for the Star Wars universe. Once, when he was back living in Dallas, he mailed me not one, but FOUR 6-packs of Shiner beer. Why? Because that’s what Jono did. He wanted you to know he was thinking of you.
The last time I saw Jono was in December, 2019. He took my Mom and me to Disneyland to show us all his work on Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge. He was so proud of being a Disney Imagineer. It was truly his dream job. But even before this coveted employment he had a long string of credits that were envy-worthy. He worked with Dave Filoni on Star Wars: The Clone Wars, before that he worked on Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. And before that he worked at Pixar. I once asked him what he did for Toy Story 2. “Remember that scene where Al the toy collector drops the bowl of Cheetos all over the floor? I did the Cheetos.” Jon was hilarious and had a jolly Santa-Claus-like chuckle. His smile still fills my heart.
I asked some friends to tell us about their Jono. Here is what they said:
Jon Farmer was one of the kindest, most selfless people I’ve ever known. He was not only a dedicated volunteer to Rancho Obi-Wan but an incredible friend. We crossed paths at many conventions and he always made sure to track me down so we could share a hug and take a photo together. He is deeply missed.Tracy K.
I knew when I first met Jon that I’d just met someone that would truly be a lifelong friend. He was kind, genuine and joyous. I will always be grateful for all our laughs, love and time shared together. The thought of his smile and big hugs will forever bring a smile to my heart and soul. I believe I’m a better person for having had Jono as my friend, and I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling this way. The world felt smaller and darker the day we heard the tragic news of his passing, but the memories of him will always shine big and bright. Thank you Jono for being you and brightening my life with your friendship. I love and miss you.Consetta P.
I first met Jono while doing interviews with various Star Wars: The Clone Wars crew members at Big Rock Ranch in 2008. I remember Jono’s desk was surrounded by his vintage Star Wars action figure collection — I think he owned every one except for Blue Snaggletooth. He was a true fan through-and-through and it showed in the quality of work he provided to the shows he worked on.Pete V.
“Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter” and without question Jono certainly brought his light and love with him wherever he was present. No matter what the interaction was or whomever it was with he was always willing to help. For me, Jono embodied everything that is amazing and wonderful about Star Wars and our fandom. The next line of those sage words I referenced earlier from Yoda also resonate for me when I think about him and his influence: “You must feel the Force flow around you.” With Jono I always did and I still do.Michael W.
a short poem…
All my friends are so excited!
Fun and joy fills the air.
Everyone is psyched!
Like little kids in a galaxy far away.
Force is strong. Collective energy soars higher.
I can feel it, and so can you.
Because Jono’s here!Stew L.
Jon Farmer (Jono) was a fixture at Rancho Obi-Wan events as well as other Star Wars-related events. It always brightened my day to see him and his amazing spot-on cosplay costumes. He is sorely missed but I will always warmly remember his infectious smile and the kind words he had for me and everyone else he came in contact with. He truly embodied the concept of inspiring through the force of imagination!Duncan J.
So those people who really knew Jono knew that he had one safe place that he always liked to visit. It was Rancho Obi-Wan. Every time he visited from out of town he would always end his stay at Rancho. He would tell me, I have my spot under Vader in the main room. It’s more comfy then you would think.
He was a huge supporter of Rancho and made sure that he was always available to help out at the Galas. Many of of us spent hours “working” together there and had so many wonderful times. He also planned his Star Wars Celebration trips around working for Rancho. He would get there early to help unpack and stay later to help pack it all back up. This is something that suited him so well because he was always in such high spirits and so approachable.John S.
Jono was warm and friendly to all fellow Star Wars fans. He seemed to know everyone in the Star Wars community, and people have many cherished memories of their time with him.Gus L.
One of the most treasured members of our Rancho Obi-Wan family passed away last year. Jon Famer, or Jono as he liked to be called, was an inveterate volunteer at our Gala events and at Star Wars Celebrations, but he was a friend above all else. He was also a big kid at heart, an amazing cosplayer including as Clone Trooper Capt. Rex. (He even got past my reluctance and made a Clone Trooper costume for me to wear.) Jono’s spirit will live on through the museum. We will never forget him.Steve Sansweet
Anne Neumann is chicken farmer and General Manager of Rancho Obi-Wan, former Volunteer Coordinator and Fan Club Breakfast Manager for Official Pix, and previously a Systems Analyst at the University of Texas at Austin.
All of us at Rancho Obi-Wan have been thinking of our Gala supporters this weekend. It would have been our 8th annual Gala fundraiser on Saturday and we missed seeing you all here. We look forward to celebrating with you next year. Thank you all, take care of yourselves, see you soon.
A very happy birthday to our leader, friend, ambassador and mentor. I found a few fun photos of Steve from the last few years. Steve loves Star Wars. He loves you, the fans. He loves sharing Star Wars with you. Thank you Steve!
Today we mourn the passing of Charles Lippincott, whose name is mentioned on every tour of Rancho Obi-Wan because of this banner, which is on display here, and was painted by Joe Johnston and illustrated by Ralph McQuarrie. Charley took this banner with him to San Diego Comic-Con in 1976 to promote a little-known film called Star Wars—and thus gave birth to the modern phenomenon of fan relations for the movie industry.
For Star Wars Corp., Charley was VP of Advertising, Publicity, Promotion & Merchandising and was largely responsible for the Marvel Star Wars comic books and, with 20th Century Fox, the Kenner Products contract that revolutionized toys and helped make George Lucas an independent filmmaker. Charley was generous with his time and gave a long interview to Rancho’s Steve Sansweet for the groundbreaking 1992 book, Star Wars: From Concept to Screen to Collectible. The Force will be with him…always!