A Trip to the Ranch...

Today I had the wonderful privilege of visiting Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California, thanks to my directed study advisor, Roger Ridley.  Roger works as an assistant technical director for Lucasfilm on a feature animation.  The company is split between two locations: Big Rock Ranch where the animation previzualization department is, and Skywalker Ranch where Skywalker Sound and a few other offices are located.  He took me on a tour of the beautiful campus and I was constantly wondering if I was at a visual effects company or at a really fancy reception center.  Here are a few things I learned on my trip that may or may not be true:

  • All of the security guards carry lightsabers.
  • The Ranch has it's own fire brigade.
  • Saying "This is not the Toyota Camry you are looking for," while waving your hand won't get you a laugh from the security guard at the gate.
  • The main campus plaza has glass bottom ponds that look over the expansive underground parking garage.
  • The Ranch grows all of its own food that it serves in the employee cafeterias.
  • The Ranch has its own vineyards that doesn't serve its wine in its employee cafeterias.
  • You can order fresh taun taun from the cafeteria when it is in season.
  • The library is one of the most beautiful private libraries I have ever seen.
  • A colony of ewoks live in the trees just over the hills.
  • The cafeteria serves blue milk in tupperware containers, just like they used to to at Mos Eisley!
  • They have canoes and boats to use for summer parties on the lakes at the ranch.
  • George's office at the main house is off limits to minor employees.
  • George has his own private elevator so he doesn't have to see his employees.
  • George's private elevator goes down to his own screening theater, which has a killer sound system.
  • George is rumored to have a certain Gungan encased in carbonite in this theater.  He uses it as a coffee table.
  • George has the largest collection of original Norman Rockwell paintings on display at the Ranch.  He uses the rest for placemats at his dinner table.
  • The Stag Theater, named after a diner in George's home town, at Skywalker Sound has the best sound system in the entire world, probably because of the abundance of THX technicians that roam free-range on the ranch.
  • Each seat in the Stag Theater has its own subwoofer.
  • There is a rancor pit located in the atrium off of the main house... either that or a wine cellar.  I couldn't really tell.
  • The main house of the ranch contains and displays ancient relics that were supposedly discovered by Indiana Jones: the Holy Grail, the fake Holy Grail, the Shankara Stones, and the Crystal Skull.
  • The Ark of the Covenant was, unfortunately, still locked up at Area 51.
  • All of the main characters' lightsabers were on display as well, along with a model of an AT-AT.
  • A vast majority of the staff is contractually obliged to have facial hair, including the women.
  • Fanboys are tazed if they get overstimulated by all of the nostalgia.  Don't ask how I found this out.

All in all, it was a fun visit and fulfills a lifelong dream of mine.  Next up is the lifelong dream of actually visiting the ranch each day and getting paid to do so.

1 comment:

Elder Max and Sister Pat said...

It sounds like an amazing place. I'd like to see it even though I've never seen more than the first part of the first Star Wars movie.