Sansweet’s Rancho Obi-Wan goes nonprofit

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 info@ranchoobiwan.org.

Which also means, basically, that you can arrange for a private tour or even rent the place out for an event. Check out some pics from the grand re-opening from our pal Matt Martin.

The skimmed book review: The Complete Vader

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.

Oprah is looking for Princess Leia collectors

Oprah Winfrey’s people are looking for collectors of Princess Leia merchandise:

Are you a big Star Wars fanatic obsessed with Princess Leia? Do you collect the biggest, best, most outrageous Princess Leia memorabilia in the universe? We’re looking for fans with the most unique collectors’ items out there. Do you have a special edition Princess Leia Pez dispenser, a life-sized model of Princess Leia — or do you own all the Princess Leia figurines/dolls in existence?

If other Star Wars fans are envious of your unusual collection of Princess Leia goodies — then we want to hear from you!

Could Carrie Fisher be going on the show? Maybe Katie? We’ll find out.

The fandom minute: Star Wars spending

Making maths. Justin Brown calculates how much he’s spent on Star Wars over the years. And although it’s a nice chunk of change, it’s still less than one copy of Frames, so I’ll give him a pass, despite that whole Boba Fett thing.

A social experiment. Ryan Britt takes a look at just how confused Clone Wars loving kids may be by their first look at the rest of the movies. Could ‘Anakin becomes Vader’ end up as their ‘Han shot first?’

…And for their parents. John Scalzi looks at awesome scenes in bad movies.

Right at home. Artist Cedric Delsaux returns to fandom’s radar with a new set of Star Wars images taken in what may be the world’s most sci-fiesque city, Dubai.

Why stormtroopers miss. Cracked explains the much-maligned plot hole with science.

Eye Candy Vader and Yoda via font.

Book Review: The Jedi Path (Vault Edition)

Do you want to make people smile?  Get The Jedi Path (Vault Edition) and tell them to push the button. 

I brought this to my local Star Wars club meeting, yesterday, and people actually squealed with delight when the vault opened.  And when they calmed down enough to do it again and listen to the sound effects?  Delighted claps that made them look like five-year-olds on their birthdays. 

Going beyond the coolness of the vault, the book itself is fantastic!  It’s designed as an orientation manual/text book for younglings at the Jedi Temple that has been passed from master to apprentice in a line descending from Yoda to, belatedly, Luke.  (And, yes, they explain how this happens.)

As with many textbooks, it’s filled with notes scribbled in the margins.  And I think this is my favorite part.  It represents a conversation through the ages.  And Dan Wallace really captures each owner’s voice in these notes.  Of particular amusement, however, are Darth Sidious’ notes after he captured the book in the Order 66 aftermath.

There are also tons of keepsakes inserted by its various owners that are hilarious.  My only complaint would be a coin that keeps falling out of the book and rolling across the room; a particular source of amusement for my dogs.  I suspect that will make it difficult to keep this collectible intact in the future.

As to the book itself?  It’s a brilliant compilation of thirty-three years of Star Wars lore in a spackle job at a level not seen since Michael Stackpole’s I, Jedi untangled the Bantam Era.  Contradictions are explained.  Disparate details from several different authors are melded into a coherent theory.  And it’s all in the style of textbook; along with some stunning illustrations.

I’m no Santa Maul, but I would definitely add this one to your holiday/birthday wish list.