PETALUMA (CBS SF) - Star Wars collectors may feel a tremble in the "Force" as Guinness recognizes Petaluma's Rancho Obi-Wan with the largest collection of Star Wars Memorabilia.
Sitting just a little bit outside of Petaluma is Rancho Obi-Wan. If you are thinking this must be another property owned by George Lucas, you would be close. Actually, it is owned by Steve Sansweet, the former Director of Content Management and head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm.
During his time at Lucasfilm LTD, Sansweet has amassed the largest privately-owned Star Wars collection on the planet. With over 300,000 unique items, the Guinness Book of World Records for 2014 has recognized Sansweet and Rancho Obi-Wan as housing the "Largest Collection of Star Wars Memorabilia" in the galaxy.
"I'm delighted with the recognition from GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS, which for years has been the authority in these matters," said Sansweet, president and CEO of Rancho Obi-Wan and Fan Relations Adviser for Lucasfilm Ltd.
"We were really excited to work with them. Preparing the photo shoot set a record in my book for one of the most fun-filled days ever at the museum. We were especially happy to have Craig Glenday, editor-in-chief of GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS, with us to personally oversee the shoot. We kept adding so many great items that we don't even know how many individual ones can be counted in the photo."
Since 1977, Sansweet began his collection before the blockbuster made it into theaters. Plucking his first piece, a 20th Century Fox/Lucasfilm promotional booklet, from the trash can of a colleague at The Wall Street Journal.
A sci-fi aficionado, Sansweet naturally picked up any item related to Star Wars for years and years where the collection has grown to enormous levels.
In 1998, Sansweet purchased the Petaluma Hatchery, a former egg-producing/chicken farm. The 9,000 square foot building that was once home to over 20,000 chickens is now the home to Sansweet's Star Wars Museum.
In 2011, Sansweet retired from Lucasfilm, after George Lucas completed the six Star Wars films and attending eight "Star Wars Celebration" fan events. Sansweet's collection had outgrown its space and needed an expansion. The alleviated project fit the collection into another hen house that allowed fans to visit and admire the collection.
The location is a private residence with no public parking or access. However, Star Wars fans can experience the record-breaking magic of Rancho Obi-Wan first-hand by scheduling a tour, personally guided by Steve Sansweet himself. For more information please visit www.RanchoObiWan.org.
Guinness Out With Its Latest Book of World Records
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