I’m sure you’ve heard Steve Sansweet on many different podcasts talking about his Star Wars collection and promoting Rancho Obi-Wan. I’m also sure you’ve seen pictures of the main room of his Star Wars museum. But let me be the first to tell you, none of that does this place justice! I know every person that visits the Ranch says this, but that’s because it’s the honest truth. Like most Star Wars fans, I have been dreaming of seeing the collection and exploring the museum. Just this past weekend I got the opportunity to visit the Ranch for the second annual gala.
I booked a train from Chicago to the San Francisco area and set off on this amazing adventure. The anticipation of getting there made everything so much more exciting. After over 55 hours of travel, I arrived in the beautiful northern California town of Petaluma.
Pulling into the Ranch for the gala you were greeted by Steve Stansweet and members of the 501st, and as always, these troopers went above and beyond their duty. Just another reminder of how amazing the Star Wars community can be. At this point I thought I knew what I was in for, but that could not have been further from the truth. Stepping into the first room my jaw hit the floor because every place you look there is something new and interesting. At this point I really felt sensory overload, so many things just calling my name. What really was amazing to me is that this room is not the main room you see in all the pictures. It was just one of the many they had. Each room you entered had the same experience, more and more items and each with a story. My favorite room of the whole place was the library. Books upon books filled the shelves with every novel, roleplaying games and fact books you can think of. Of course there was a hardcover and a paperback for each novel, but most books had multiple versions because of the tiniest differences between them. Then, besides all the English versions, they also had just as many foreign language books that have been released around the world. While there are thousands of items on display, there’s so many still packed away just waiting to be sorted out. I can’t image the task it takes to organize every Star Wars T-shirt, trading card, poster and video game ever made.
During the gala there was a new Obi-Wan Kenobi statue revealed with a voiceover by the one and only James Arnold Taylor, who welcomed everyone to the event. Also, guests got to play different games to win prizes and participate in a live and silent auction. Dinner was served in the new edition building where a life size Jabba the Hut was on display, and we also were treated to a belly dancing performance.
Just as many have tried to do before me, explaining what it’s like to visit Rancho Obi-Wan doesn’t even come close to seeing it for yourself.
I not only recommend visiting Rancho Obi-Wan, but strongly suggest you visit during an annual gala. Getting to experience this place with other members of the community and the staff of the official Star Wars website really made the evening complete. Next year’s gala will be held October 24th and has already been nicknamed Rancho Obi-Wan’s Galaoween.
I would like to thank Anne Neumann, Consetta Parker, and of course, Steve Sansweet for putting on this wonderful event. They went out of their way to make sure everyone was having a fantastic time.
A huge thanks to Marc for this report!