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Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What I did this weekend...

I haven't posted in six day, but I have a good excuse.  I flew to San Francisco to spend a long weekend with an old friend (also, the best man at my wedding).  He moved to San Francisco about a year to take a job with LucasArts.  I had to sign a NDA to even get in the building.  What follows is my video essay of a trip to Skywalker Ranch and LucasFilm in the Presidio.  Sometimes it pays to have friends.

First we went to Skywalker Ranch which is located across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County.  After a long drive up a windy mountain road, we arrived.

Welcome to Skywalker Ranch. This is the "Main House" where
the executive offices are located.  Going to the second floor will
get you an official reprimand.
This is the reverse view from the front door of the "main
house."  I think this guy George Lucas has some money.

But not enough to afford a more current phone?  Seriously,
these phones were all over the place.  And they weren't props,
I checked for a dial tone!

Considering this is a book blog, I had to check out George's
bookshelves.  Mostly classics.  There's also a reference library
filled with books about visual mediums.  I didn't photograph it
because there was a librarian giving me stern looks!

Is that the original model of the AT-AT?
Yes, yes it is.  And some Willow armor.

A close-up of the AT-AT foot with inscription from the crew.

Is that the REAL crystal skull?
Yes. It's a good thing it's behind
glass, or I would have found out
if it was glass - by dropping it.

So these are the original lightsabers.  Coolest thing I've
ever seen?  It's quite possible.  I actually hopped around.

Skywalker Sound.  This is the primary working building on
the Ranch.  All of the film (except Clone Wars) and video game
work is done at the Presidio properties.

Francis Ford Coppola has vineyards on the Ranch.  He and
Lucas are old homies.
The THX guy tried to scare me by jumping out of the bushes
inside Skywalker Sound.  C'mon.  You're not Darth Vader, bro.

This is Ewok Lake.  The guy in front of it is the largest Ewok
EVER!  I didn't think Ewok's could swim.

This is the Archive.  Inside these barns are all the relics
from Lucas' projects.  In the event of a fire on the Ranch
all the oxygen is sucked out of the buildings.  To enter the
Archive requires super sekret approval from the boss.

Skywalker Ranch is a working ranch.  These are some of the
horses.  Big, medium, and little.
Then we went to LucasFilm.  The campus is broken up into different parts - ILM, LucasFilm itself, and LucasArts.

Me and LegoGeorge.  He whispered sweet nothings into my ear.
I responded by asking, "Are you fucking serious about Binks?"
The answer was, "yes."  I disagreed vehemently.
However, I do love Han Solo who was available for high fives.
Then R2-D2 was all, "Don't leave me hanging
Justin!"  But he doesn't have any hands.
Me and my boy Yoda chilling outside of the LucasFilm campus.
He was all like, "Muscles don't matter Justin." And then I was
like, "Oh yeah? Flex in your face Yoda!"
Obviously, I didn't photograph everything.  As someone who works in a building that is a tourist attraction, I'm particularly aware of the difficulties of having visitor's running around with a camera.  I tried to be sensitive to that.  Thus I do not have pictures of any of the working rooms that I saw (they're amazingly awesome ).  Nevertheless, it was an awesome indulgence of my nerdom.  Thanks to the Lucas folks and my friend.

I now return this blog to its regularly scheduled books reviews.

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At August 23, 2011 at 8:55 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too cool! I am very jealous! :)

At August 23, 2011 at 9:09 AM , Blogger Neth said...

Awsome! I'd have loved it, in spite of the internal conflict I'd have due to Lucas jumping the shark.

At August 23, 2011 at 10:14 AM , Blogger Aidan Moher said...

I... wha... urgh....

Bugger all, I'm jealous.

At August 23, 2011 at 10:22 AM , Blogger Justin said...

@Neth I'd jump the shark too if it gave me the money to own that Ranch. 2,000 acres of awesome about 15 minutes from the Golden Gate bridge.


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