Visiting Rancho Obi-wan
In January of 2001 Ayaz and I had the opportunuity to visit the worlds largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia, Rancho Obi-wan, in Northern California and owned by Steve Sansweet. He converted a barn into a Star Wars museum, containing enough items on display to ignite the imagination of the child within every Star Wars fan. Steve actually employees a staff of collectors to help him find and sell items on eBay, and sort through his massive collection. I thought Ayaz and I had a reasonable collection of Star Wars items, but what we saw goes beyond the dreams of any collector.
The tour started with a quick look at the future museum store, complete with sample T-shirts, and extra figures from Steven's collection. Up the stairs begins the tour with a hallway full of framed Star Wars posters, many extremely rare from the late 1970s.
Entering the main exhibit area we were greeted by the familiar Star Wars music of John Williams, and more Star Wars toys than I ever thought existed. Rancho Obiwan has everything official, and more. Life size models of a storm trooper, Darth Maul, Yoda, and Jar Jar were spread throughout the museum. Original movie props (two of the chess piece models from Star Wars, gun towers from the Death Star complete with the motion control motors, and scale model of the frame used to build the life size Millennium Falcon for the Empire Strikes Back. There were several display cases filled with early models of figures, many never produced. One section at the back was filled with artwork, both official and fan created. Another room was filled with Star Wars arcade games and pinball machines, all free play. For me, the original Star Wars arcade game is still the best.
After playing all the games and examining all the displays it was time to head back home.