Celebration Europe: Ian McDiarmid is a go

Ian McDiarmidGuests 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!

Panels. And, naturally, the collecting track is back!

Rancho Obi-Wan auctioning off almost 2,000 Star Wars action figures

This month, Steve Sansweet’s Rancho Obi-Wan celebrates it’s one-year anniversary as a nonprofit and the release of Sansweet’s latest book, Star Wars: The Ultimate Action Figure Collection. And to commemorate it, they’re auctioning off a collection of 1,950 Star Wars action figures.

The figures were originally collected and donated by one-time ILM model maker Fon Davis, and date from the original Kenner vintage line through early 2011.

Funds raised from the auction will go to support Rancho Obi-Wan.

Dunc’s recap of Saturday at Celebration VI, part I: George Lucas, The Clone Wars and AOTC 3D

I saw George Lucas this morning! Granted, a lot of people can say that today: He also appeared at The Clone Wars and Detours panels… So far. But I saw him leave the show floor. So at least I have something.

I did get a chance to see the Rancho Obi-Wan exhibit, which includes a Jader-made set of custom Barbies made up as Amidala and handmaiden showgirls.

Almost quirky
After roaming the floor for a bit, chilling in the Star Wars Lounge for a while and catching up with a few folks, I headed over to the Behind the Scenes stage for the Quirky Point of View panel. It was really fascinating, and I’m sorry I had to leave early… To not see George Lucas at The Clone Wars panel. (Sigh.) I did catch the final trailer, which was justifiably pretty neat. But I missed the George chat. C’est la vie. But Tosche Station was there!

Attack of the Clones in 3D
Following The Clone Wars was the first of three panels highlighting the 3D Attack of the Clones with John Knoll and Dennis Muren. Again, Tosche Station and Amy Ratcliffe did nice recaps, but I will say that the AOTC footage they showed was fantastic. It was more of a sizzle reel than an actual trailer, so we saw bits of scenes with Padme’s ship landing/explosion, the Coruscant chase, Kamino, Dex’s Diner and the big ending scene with the clonetroopers, Palpatine and Bail Organa. The 3D did indeed seem deeper than it did on The Phantom Menace, but overall it seems to fit.

More details on the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience at Celebration VI

Rancho Obi-Wan has announced more details on what will be on display and for sale at the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience, a mini-museum of rare Star Wars items on the Exhibition Floor at Star Wars Celebration VI. They’ve increased their floor space, and will have such unique items as a prototype 1978 Boba Fett blaster, a piñata of Luke riding a tauntaun, and more – about 300 pieces of Steve Sansweet’s collection will be shown at Celebration.

When asked if something with a Club Jade connection will be coming to Orlando, Steve responded:

“We’re going to take my “Amidala and Handmaidens Go Vegas” dolls to C VI for the Rancho Obi-Wan Experience—made by Club Jade members and auctioned off for a Kids Reading cause. I was in a fierce bidding contest with Lisa Stevens, onetime owner of the company that ran the Official Fan Club and Insider!”

In addition to selling memberships to the non-profit organization (with exclusive Celebration membership swag, like the Yoda patch, above), members will have a chance to win a bronze bust of Darth Vader, while everyone can share in giveaways of postcards, bookplates, and stickers. Additionally, Rancho Obi-Wan souvenirs will be available for purchase, including shirts, caps, patches, and of course, copies of Steve’s books. Also, The ROW Experience will serve as headquarters for the Curto Burns Collectors’ Cast, a monthly podcast about Star Wars collecting.

Rancho Obi-Wan bringing mini-museum to Celebration VI

Your father wanted you to have this when you were old enough

Rancho Obi-Wan, the giant collection of all things Star Wars owned by Steve Sansweet, will be hitting the road for Celebration VI. The Rancho Obi-Wan Experience will have a mini-museum space on the main exhibit floor and will showcase all sorts of item, from props and prototypes to original art and fan-made wonders, all brought from the world’s largest private collection of Star Wars stuff.

Steve Sansweet will be on hand to chat with fans and answer questions. Steve and other managers and board members of Rancho Obi-Wan will be doing a panel on Rancho Obi-Wan as part of the Collectors’ Track. Additionally, there will be preview sales of the upcoming Star Wars: Ultimate Action Figure Collection book at the booth, with all four authors on hand to sign unique bookplates. Fans who sign up to be members of Rancho Obi-Wan at Celebration will receive an exclusive Celebration VI patch that matches the 2012 Rancho Obi-Wan membership patch, as well as a personalized membership kits.

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.

EUbits: Interviews with Bonnie Burton and Paul Kemp

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.

This place can get a little rough. Looking for a new forum home now that the ones on StarWars.com are going away? EU Cantina has revamped their boards, and even TFN’s Lit has a welcome thread.

Rancho Obi-Wan. A look inside Steve Sansweet’s library.

Book Review: Steve Sansweet’s 1,000 Collectibles

1,000 Collectibles: Memorabilia and Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away by Stephen J. Sansweet and Anne NeumannAdmit it.  You’ve always wanted to see Steve Sansweet’s collection.  I mean he has the World’s Largest Star Wars Collection.  (I’m sure that has to be trademarked, by now.  But it’s true.)

We’ve gotten to enjoy a video tour in the past, but that doesn’t allow you to really look at all the cool stuff close up.  The new book “1,000 Collectibles:  Memorabilia and Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away” lets you do that without trying to win a charity auction or do something really drastic.

The book is divided into sections based on the type of collectibles.  Sections like “Wear It” and “Eat It” are particularly amusing.

The photography by his curator and co-author, Anne Neumann, really allows you to see the detail in each of the selected pieces.  This is particularly useful for some of the more insane collectibles that just have to be seen to be believed.

For me, though, the best part of the book are the stories.  You can find out how he started.  He tries to answer all the usual questions he gets when he’s giving a tour.  But the captions for each of the items are the most entertaining.  They’re often a large paragraph long and include fun stories about how they were created and the odd ways in which some of them came into his collection.

This is like getting to take a tour of Rancho Obi-Wan without having to go there.  And even though you don’t get to be washed over with the full show, the sheer volume of the book will help make up for it.

If you’re looking to add this to your holiday wish list, tell your loved ones that they can find it in the collectibles section of the bookstore.