Personal photos & videos, from a certain point of view.
We’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other and we’ve seen a lot of strange stuff. Behind-the-scenes includes the building of the museum, cataloging and conservation topics, organizing the collection, preparing for exhibits, media visits and more. If we have a BBQ we’ll share our recipes. If we get a new chicken we’ll ask you for names. If we rearrange part of the museum, we’ll bring you along. Get a glimpse into those deep, dark, creepy spaces to which we rarely go.
While cataloguing our poster collection, we discovered a rare Star Wars poster! Watch the video below to see Steve Sansweet explain why this poster from The Empire Strikes Back is so special.
Read more below about what Steve Sansweet had to say about this finding rare poster!
This is a pre-press color separation used to make the four offset printing plates that were used to print the Style A theatrical poster for The Empire Strikes Back. It’s also familiarly known as the “Gone with the Wind” poster since—at George Lucas’s request—it’s an homage to a 1966 re-release poster of that famous film.
The Empire poster is from 1980 and was painted by American artist Roger Kastel, who is also responsible for the iconic theatrical poster for Jaws.
There usually would only be one color separation made for each print location. It, and the first test proofs produced, would be carefully checked by the printers and the movie studio for any problems before proceeding to print several thousand copies to distribute to theaters.
I have no recollection of where, when or how I acquired this rare treasure. It’s not unusual for me to make the most amazing “finds” by searching through my own collection since I’ve been collecting Star Wars memorabilia for 45 years! – Steve Sansweet
Some of the visitors to Rancho Obi-Wan are diehard collectors who have a mental list of specific things they want to see, such as our collection of carded vintage Kenner action figures. But until recently we’ve never had a guest who was looking to EAT a vintage collectible!
Adam Richman, a genial and knowledgeable pop-culture maven and longtime TV series host, was the first. We were approached in 2021 by a production company putting together a new series for the History channel with an unusual idea. They wanted Adam to revisit pop culture highlights of the 1980s by tasting them! And Star Wars was certainly one of those highlights.
Rancho has lots of packaging for licensed food products from the original Star Wars trilogy, but nearly all of them are empty. (There is that small box somewhere of mummified marshmallow character heads from the UK, but they weren’t easy to locate.) Could we find some four-decade-old food for Adam to discover during a Rancho tour?
A few years ago at a collectors party during Star Wars Celebration there was a contest to see who could finish a bowl of 1984 C-3PO’s cereal first. That was almost too easy since the cereal tasted like dry cardboard even when it was new! But we found a box of sealed 1983 Pepperidge Farm Return of the Jedi cookies in our archives. And we had sealed Topps cards and slabs of bubblegum from The Empire Strikes Back.
Would Adam be up to the challenge? Might I taste something too? I’ve chewed 20 year old Spanish Droids and Ewoks gum, but this was an even greater task. And once I smelled the excruciatingly vile chemical smell coming from the cookie bag, I decided to let Adam have the sole moment of glory.
A lot more happened during the 12-plus hours the crew was at Rancho, and the highlights, if not always tasty, can be seen in the episode of “Adam Eats the 80s” airing this Sunday night, April 10th on The History Channel!
Steve Sansweet is owner and Executive Chairman of Rancho Obi-Wan, former Head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm and contributor to StarWars.com, and previously the longest-running Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal in Los Angeles.
Our mission here at Rancho Obi-Wan is to inspire! We are inspired by all the support from everyone near and far that help us continue to share our collection of the World’s largest Star Wars Memorabilia Collection!
We couldn’t have brought our our Virtual Fundraising Gala 2021 to you without the help of our volunteers and docents.
Here are a few fun behind the scenes photos taken during our Virtual Fundraiser Gala 2021. Featured: Rancho Obi-Wan founder, Steve Sansweet. Volunteer Director of Production Mark Rusciano and Docent Dwayne Smith. *Photos by Consetta Parker, Special Projects and Media Manager for Rancho Obi-Wan
In early 2014 the R2 Builders Club began planning the photo op for the 2015 Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim. The original concept was a ten foot wide Sandcrawler tread section, with a few droids placed in front of it. I began welding the internal steel structure in the fall of 2014. The idea was to create the center of the Sandcrawler, where the large droid “suction tube” was located. By late December of 2014, I decided to go ahead and build one entire tread section, which was to scale with the original prop and stood 12 feet tall and 36 feet long.
No matter how small or large your collection, we all have the same problems: too much saved packaging, storage problems, rodent problems, projects left for later. Sometimes you just need to clean, clean, clean and feel good about it.
When we came up with the concept for a “wall of helmets” we didn’t know exactly how to pull it off. I knew that our exhibit booth was made of slat-wall and I knew there existed hangers for baseball caps, but those hangers weren’t long enough or tall enough and what if the weight of the helmets brought the wall down!?
The library at Rancho Obi-Wan is a favorite place for many. It started with the original novelization, then other stories. There are coloring books, guides, audio books, music, cook books, biographies, programs, scripts, trivia books, yearbooks and so, so much more. Below is just a little glimpse of the library’s evolution between 1998 and today.
On November 5th, 2011 Rancho Obi-Wan officially re-opened after being closed for over a year and a half to construct an Expansion, but now as non-profit. See below for a selection of behind-the-scenes moments.