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 email@example.com.
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.
Interviews Bonnie’s been doing the rounds for her craft book with interviews at Geekdad and TFN. The book also got favorable reviews on TFN, Geekdad, and iGeektrooper.
Meanwhile, Deceived author Paul S. Kemp has appeared on podcasts from SF Signal and (along with John Jackson Miller) the ForceCast’s Jedi Journals.
Tour. DK is sending out some of their authors and artists, along with The Clone Wars’ Ashley Eckstein, on an east coast tour throughout May. Ryder Windham, Chris Reiff, Chris Trevas, and Jason Fry will be making appearances.
The StarWars.com folks need our help. They’re creating a retrospective of fan photos with Steve Sansweet. (You know you’ve got ’em.) It’s as simple as finding and/or scanning your pictures, uploading them to your (free) Flickr account, and adding them to the group Steve Sansweet & You.
Speaking of Steve… He featured a Jader creation as one of his Facebook picks of the week: Chris Cassidy’s Tickle Me Emperor.
In a Facebook post this afternoon, Steve Sansweet pegs the attendee numbers of Celebration V at 28,000 – the lowest since Celebration I in 1999. Celebration IV in 2007, which also had no movie to boost awareness and attendance (but did have the advantage of being in movie-loving Los Angeles) weighed in at 35,000.
It’s no shock that the numbers are lower for this round – in addition to the economy, the late announcement and a less-than-inspiring locale, August is smack dab in the middle of convention season – most notably in that CV was bracketed by the biggest cons of all: San Diego Comic-Con in July and Atlanta’s Dragon*Con coming up on Labor Day weekend. Both are huge draws for much of the same audience, and we even had a Jader or two choose D*C over CV.
Really, between all that, 28,000 doesn’t look all that shabby!
Wherever Celebration VI may be (and I am not asking for suggestions) I hope they return to a late-spring date – if nothing else, because that would make almost any location fairly palatable. (And a note to our delicate warm-weather flowers: Orlando’s life-sapping humidity has more than paid back the midwest’s debt for CIII’s ridiculously light snow, okay? We’re even.)
UPDATE: Steve in the comments of his FB post:
For those of you questioning the attendance number at Celebration V, there are several things to remember. Lucasfilm and Reed are thrilled with the final total; I had been predicting a max of 25,000. We are still in the worst economic times… since the Great Depression of the 1930s. We had less than 8 months to promote the show, and many European fans—who have to make August vacation plans a year in advance—could not change those plans. And we had 8,000 more attendees than the last event, Celebration Japan. The Orange County Convention Center was a perfect location: its layout, total cooperation from all the great people who work there, and because Orlando is the ideal family vacation spot.
So the internet (or at least what I’ve caught in my box-surrounded haze) has been buzzing about this bit out of Sansweet’s presentation at C2E2, as reported by IGN:
During the Q&A section of the panel, a fan said, “I would really love to see new adventures after Jedi with our favorite characters Luke, Han and Leia,” to which Sansweet replied, “And you will, in the new animation.”
Sansweet told the Forcecast that he’s “in the dark,” but guesses that the comedy show may be “a mix” of the different eras. Stand down, canon savants: For one, it’s too early to tell, and for another IT’S THE COMEDY SHOW. Save your dignity and keep the pearl-clutching in reserve.
As for the comedy show and the ‘Squishies’ rumor, Sansweet did imply there is a connection, but said “How it develops, we don’t know.”
It’s hard for me to get excited about this (Florida in August, ugh) but will the location/timing keep you away? I think I’ll still probably go, but I’ve already seen several folks declare that they won’t.
The 4 Stages of Celebration Announcements: whining, denial, envy, purchase.
Back to news: Wizard has moved Chicago Comic Con back a week to avoid a conflict: Consider that a consolation prize for the midwest fans. (Cross your fingers for an Indianapolis CVI: Their expansion will be done by that point.) As for other major cons, GenCon (August 5-8) will certainly see a few less Jaders, but I doubt the usually stuffed-to-the-gills Dragon*Con (September 3-6) will suffer many ill effects. (Anything to help the elevator wait times.)