Steve Sansweet’s Rancho Obi-Wan will highlight fan contributions to Star Wars fandom in their first book, Inspired by the Force: Star Wars Fan Artifacts & Art, which will debut at Celebration Anaheim in April. It’s intended to act as “an exhibit guide,” so the Rancho Celebration exhibit will also be fan-heavy this time:
The Rancho Obi-Wan Experience exhibit will feature fan objects and art starting in the late 1970s through today, from an airbrushed van tire cover and hand-tooled leather backgammon board to a Chewbacca tissue box cover and bird house, from amazing art mash-ups based on a print by Goya and a painting by Picasso to bizarre limited edition figurines made by urban artists.
The Rancho Obi-Wan exhibit at Celebration VI featured several fan creations – including one by a Jader – but this will no doubt be an even greater variety. I just hope they have more floor space this time!
In any case, the book will be $25 and pre-orders for pickup at the con will begin in March.
Guests Today’s addition to the guest list is the Emperor himself, Ian McDiarmid. It’ll be his third Celebration; His first was the original Celebration Europe in 2007.
Attractions. Steve Sansweet, is another high profile guest, and he’s bringing the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience to Germany. The Experience was extremely popular at Celebration VI; We hope they get a bigger space at CE!
Since we’ve had every other sort of announcement lately, I suppose some toy news was inevitable. USA Today got the scoop on Hasbro’s new Black Series, so named because the color somehow inspired their designers. (It reminds me of Jim Beam bourbon, but to each his own.) The big change here is that the line will contain a few 6-inch figures, in addition to the traditional 3¾-inchers. Never before has six inches been considered such an enormous upgrade.
Hasbro hopes the new line will appeal to both new buyers and adult collectors, which makes sense since the larger figs are priced significantly higher than the regular ones. They’re supposedly quite detailed and articulated, but I remember reading that the original Clone Wars line (based on the Tartakovsky series) didn’t sell because they weren’t the same size as the normal figures. Have times changed? Or are the clearance racks about to get a whole lot more crowded?
There is one side to the Disney deal that I haven’t seem much bandied about: It means there probably won’t be any more Star Wars Happy Meals. In 2006, Disney stopped their partnership with McDonalds, and they have in recent years done tie-ins with healthier options like Subway, which they have teamed up with for Brave and Frankenweenie. Head into a Subway today and you’ll see promos for Wreck-it Ralph. (Hat tip to CJer Rach for noticing!)
Steve Sansweet’s collectible mecca is now an official nonprofit corporation. From their Facebook page:
Rancho Obi-Wan, Inc. is a NEW California Nonprofit Public Benefit Corporation whose specific purpose is to serve the public through the collection, conservation, exhibition and interpretation of Star Wars memorabilia and artifacts, using this collection to provide meaningful educational, aesthetic, intellectual and cultural experiences for a wide array of audiences and to carry on other charitable and educational activities associated with this goal. Send queries about private tours to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Which also means, basically, that you can arrange for a private tour or even rent the place out for an event. Check out somepics from the grandre-opening from our pal Matt Martin.
Clearly, I need to take a speed reading course. I don’t know how anyone can quickly get through the coffee table books that seem to come out each year for your holiday pleasure. There’s always so much text involved. So why not just do a review on first impressions? For instance, the awesomeness that is The Complete Vader by Ryder Windham and Peter Vilmur.
This book basically takes you through the story and pop culture development of Darth Vader over the years; from his development to The Clone Wars television show.
In between? Awesome things inserted into the book. And I do love me the special books where they have things stuck in them. For instance, towards the beginning is a folder that allows you to take out a copy of the piece-by-piece instructions for putting on the Vader costume that was used for public appearances. (Sorry. Did I just crush some childhood dreams there?) And there’s also an early costume sketch that is all aged and faded looking, as if it was smuggled out of the Archives. And then there’s a look at the early toys associated with Vader.
And this is basically how the book unfolds. You hear about story developments in the years being addressed. Expanded Universe products. And the toys and pop culture happenings.
My only complaint about the book would be its construction. The pages and inserts are so heavy that it exposes the binding; giving it a flimsy air. Although I don’t believe it’s actually flimsy precisely because it’s stitched in, instead of glued. However, this might turn off well-meaning relatives trying to get you that awesome holiday gift.
So is it worth getting and/or putting on your “Star Wars things I haven’t actually purchased” list for the holidays? Absolutely; especially for fans of the pop culture aspects of Vader. It’ll be a fun stroll down memory lane.