Rancho Card Box Mystery: Solved!

Mystery card box

Because I live just across town from Rancho Obi-Wan, I’ve had lots of opportunities to examine the collection over the years, taking mental notes of many pieces I’d love to own. One section that’s always commanded my attention is the “cast and crew” display case, which holds rare paperweights, pens, belt buckles and other gifts given to Lucasfilm employees and crewmembers since 1976. But one piece that has always mystified me—and Steve—is a beige-colored velveteen box with an embossed logo from The Empire Strikes Back.

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Kenner ‘Luke Endor’ Large-Size Action Figure Used in Making ‘Jedi’

Star Wars fans begin their journey into collecting along many different paths, and action figures are frequently the "gateway collectible" of choice due to their widespread popularity.

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Collecting Star Wars…Barf Bags?

ST barf bag_lo

I've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other and seen a lot of strange Star Wars stuff, but there's nothing that could prepare me for finding a Star Wars barf bag in the seat compartment in front of me!

The first Star Wars air sickness bag was produced by Disney for the Star Tours ride at Disneyland. Flight simulator rides such as Star Tours can trigger motion sickness in guests, so Disney planned for that eventuality with Star Tours branded bags—for possible practical use, but also as a gag gift for test riders including families of the Walt Disney Imagineers who worked on the ride.

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How I Was Almost the ‘Cover Girl’ Of a Star Wars Book

In early 2000, the incredibly talented sound designer Ben Burtt approached Lucy Wilson, then Publishing Director of Lucasfilm Licensing, to propose a book wherein he could relate his stories of developing the sounds and various intergalactic languages used in the classic Star Wars films. Del Rey Books loved the idea and we began work on Star Wars: Beeps, Bleats, and Boskas.

As editor of the book, I was excited to work directly with Ben and we brainstormed various layouts for the book, which included illustrations by Sergio Aragonés, who I fondly remembered from my childhood obsession with MAD magazine.

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Darth Malgus: An Imposing New Presence at Rancho Obi-Wan

Darth Malgus guards Rancho's Art Gallery
How would you like to live with the terrifying Sith Lord Darth Malgus? We’re about to find out at Rancho Obi-Wan as the more than 7-foot tall, 3-foot wide dark-side warrior has staked out a space in front of the museum’s art gallery. And he’s not leaving!

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The Rebel Troop Carrier, from Echo Base to Rancho Obi-Wan

The Rebel Troop Carrier in a scene from The Empire Strikes Back.
The Rebel Troop Carrier in a scene from The Empire Strikes Back.

Blink and you’ll miss it on screen in The Empire Strikes Back! On a list of the 200 top vehicles in the Star Wars saga, it wouldn’t make last place. I’m embarrassed that there’s not even an entry for it in the 1.1 million word Complete Star Wars Encyclopedia, which I co-wrote. And yet now it’s sitting, in all its amazing full-size glory, in the carport at Rancho Obi-Wan.

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A tauntaun rocking horse?

Woodchuck's tauntaun rocking horse

Without quite meaning to, I’ve developed a bit of a “tauntaun focus” in my collecting. I’ve always loved the noble beast of burden and the way it was brought to life in The Empire Strikes Back through stop-motion animation. Combine that with my love of handmade and fan-made items, and today’s arrival at Rancho Obi-Wan was even more exciting: an amazing wooden tauntaun rocking horse created over a period of 80 hours by Florida friend and skilled craftman Chuck Bowman, aka Woodchuck.

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