On November 5, 2011, Steve Sansweet, owner of the world’s largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia, hosted a re-opening of his re-organized Rancho Obi-Wan. About 180 guests were invited, and I was one of the lucky chosen ones. Below is a video of the event. You can see a glimpse of me in the background from 1:00 to 1:03. I’m the fellow in the glasses and blue shirt wandering off toward camera left.
The collection is stunning. I salute Steve for the wherewithal and fortitude to amass such a treasure trove. I also thank him for his generosity in staging the event. It was first class all the way. He sent attendees a fancy invitation, which contained a pass for a shuttle bus which circulated between the Ranch and downtown Petaluma every 20 minutes. Steve provided food and drink, and two cakes, one themed after the Star Wars first anniversary poster. 30 people managed the crowd, and a sheriff as there as well. He had a raffle, and he gave us tote bags with gifts. In his library, two Lucasfilm designers looked through Jonathan Rinzler’s expensive Star Wars Blueprints book and reminisced about their involvement. James Arnold Taylor (voice of Ben Kenobi in Star Wars: The Clone Wars) visited wearing a Jedi outfit. James had provided a voiceover introduction to the Ranch, as Ben Kenobi. A couple of stormtroopers from the 501st Legion lined a passageway, where Steve had prepared a video interaction between himself and a stormtrooper on the monitor–which you should experience first hand. The museum, and Steve’s party, was itself a Star Wars celebration. It was a privilege to be there.
Chris Wyman of Rebelscum.com has a detailed report, The Grand Re-Opening Of Rancho Obi-Wan, posted November 8, 2011 at 08:46 PM CST, here. He provides plenty of photos so you can see for yourself the amazing extent of the collection, and the Grand Re-opening itself.
If you get a chance to visit, you’re in for a treat.