You might not need to pull off a heist to get the coaxium to travel to Petaluma to visit Rancho Obi-Wan, the world’s biggest Star Wars collection, but the opportunity to enter the gates of Rancho and viewing that incredible collection is just as satisfying. Here, Steve Sansweet gives a virtual mini tour, highlighting some of the treasures of his collection.

If you’re roaming the Sonoma hills in search of the greatest Star Wars collection in the world, you won’t find telling indicators like a makeshift Death Star looming over the horizon or a couple of Mandalorians standing sentry at a gate.

From the street, Rancho Obi-Wan closely resembles the chicken farm it was until the 1970s. But now, instead of 20,000 hens squawking inside the sprawling, whitewashed former henhouse, you’ll find the original door from the Mos Eisley cantina where Luke Skywalker met Han Solo, Darth Vader’s ominous-looking black leather codpiece, and about 400,000 other Star Wars collectibles, including props, toys, art, documents, and fan-made creations.

Steve Sansweet—the museum’s founder, president, and chair—made his first significant acquisition in early 1977, some months before the initial film’s release. Then a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, he eyed with envy a Star Wars advertising brochure for theater managers on a colleague’s desk. Fortunately, the colleague tossed it in the trash, and Sansweet fished it out. “It was my very first act of dumpster diving for Star Wars material,” says Sansweet. “It wouldn’t be the last.”

20th and 21st November sees the (virtual) return of the Rancho Obi-Wan Gala and next Tuesday’s 63rd studio episode of Making Tracks will welcome Steve as he walks us through what we can expect from the event.

Star Wars: Fascinating Facts
  • Hardcover Book
  • Hidalgo, Pablo (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 208 Pages - 10/13/2020 (Publication Date) - Portable Press (Publisher)