I would like to give just a little side note. If you have not gotten a chance to read my blog entry from last week, I would like to encourage you to do so as this blog entry is a continuation from the blog entry that I posted last week. I want you to be able to get the full story.
After finishing up at the Skywalker Ranch General Store, our tour guide brought us outside and led us down a different pathway that took us on the other side of Ewok Lake. The pathway curved around and brought us to the main house. This is where George Lucas works. The whole concept of the design of the house was inspired by George Lucas himself all down to the most minute detail. George had the house built after one of his favorite eras the Victorian era. The front door had this ornate glass that was so reflective that it almost looked like a mirror. It was absolutely stunning. I wanted to take a picture of the glass but I wasn’t sure if I was allowed to as you could see into the house so I refrained. But it was one of the most unique and beautiful glass windows that I have ever seen. The house is filled with art from George Lucas’ favorite artist Norman Rockwell. George Lucas had the furniture made at his own Mill Shop that he has on the ranch. All of the art glass and many of the light fixtures were designed and made at his Art Glass Studio which is also on the ranch. George Lucas loves Redwood so there is Redwood all through out the house. I can see why he loves Redwood so much as it is so beautiful and the color is very rich.
Just a side note of something that I learned, part of the Ewok films were filmed in the Redwood trees that are just outside of the Ranch.
Anyway, back to what I was originally talking about. I loved all the intricate details of the house. I know that I keep using the word stunning but everything about the house truly was stunning. When we walked into the house, there was a huge staircase in front of us with large windows by the landing. There was a beautiful fireplace in the entry. Above the fireplace that was in the front entry of the house was a glass case with a lot of George Lucas’ awards inside of it. It was cool to see all the different awards that he had from his accomplishments.
We were shown another room that had another beautiful fire place in it. He has 14 fireplaces throughout the whole house.
Then our tour guide took us to a little hallway that had glass cases on both sides of the walls and inside of the cases were artifacts from different movies. Such as, Luke Skywalker’s original lightsaber that was also given to Anakin Skywalker to use. The prototype of Jabba The Hutt, a mini A-Wing model that was in The Empire Strikes Back, an AT-AT model that was also in The Empire Strikes back. There were artifacts from the movie Willow. Also, from Indiana Jones (another one of my favorite movies) his hat, his whip, the golden idol in the Raiders of the Lost Ark, as well as the medallion that was used to find the ark of the covenant, and the holy grail. Charlie Chaplin’s cane with a letter of authentication was there as well. It was pretty awesome!
After that, we walked through a sitting room with a Grand Piano, a Steinway to be exact. One time George Lucas had the staff all gather around the piano for Christmas and sing together.
As our tour continued through the house, we saw a private theater that was for the staff. On the wall were a lot of the games that George Lucas had made. Some that I had played a while ago but hadn’t seen in a long time and had forgotten about but they were some of my favorite ones to play.
George Lucas also has a library in the house that he made for the employees and for those working on films to use for work related projects. This place was phenomenal. When you walk in almost everything is made out of Redwood. When you look up, there is a huge dome-like stain glass and when the sun shines through it, it causes the room to be lit in a beautiful golden-like haze. There are also little stain glass windows all around the top of the room. The library reminded me a lot of the library that was the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Our tour guide gave us a brochure with a picture of the library on it since we weren’t allowed to take pictures. So even though it doesn’t quite give the full effect of what it really looked like in person, here is a glimpse of what it looks like.
In the library, he also had a wooden box with Darth Vader on the front of it. In it he has book of all of the Star Wars movies and each page is a picture of the film frame of each part of the movie. We talked to librarian that was there. What started out as six month job for her turned into a 27 years. George Lucas would honor his employees that have worked for him for 20-30 years. If you had worked there for 20 years you would get an Oscar like statue that was really C3PO. If you had worked there 30 years you would get an R2D2 statute that had glass over it. The employees love it!
We toured some more of the grounds and saw where all of the archives used to be held which have now been moved to what they call the archive building. George Lucas plans to have a museum built which will hold all of the Star Wars archives. Talk about Way Awesome!
Later, I learned that from the information the tour guide gave us that George Lucas has a guest complex with different rooms. All of the different rooms and suites are named after people that George Lucas admires. Every room is filled with memorabilia, photos, art, books and some are filled with period furniture that is associated with the person the room or suite is named after. One of the people he admires is Frank Lloyd Wright. It’s pretty sweet I must say.
Well, it looked as if the tour was coming to an end as we came back to the Tech building. I noticed our tour guide left us for a moment and when he came back he said we had been cleared for him to be able to show us something. We went into what they call the Stag theater. The tour guide allowed us to go to the front of the theater where there were two giant statues. These statues were from Senator Palpatine’s office in the movie The Phantom Menace. They were amazing.
The guide then said to have a seat in the theater chairs so that we would have a feel of what it would be like to watch a movie there. So we sat down and he said, it’s too bad that we can’t watch anything. I was like, “yeah.” Then we just all sat there silently, not saying anything at all, in complete, total silence.
All of a sudden over the speaker a guy’s voice came saying, Do you want to watch something? The guide totally surprise us and said he had planned for us to watch some things. I must admit at this point I got a little emotional as I was feeling as if I was being spoiled. I was so amazed at the lengths our tour guide was going to, he was truly going out of his way to bless us. He didn’t have to do all of that but he did and I greatly appreciated it!
We saw raw footage of Star Wars: A New Hope. It started out with raw footage and then would switch over to what Star Wars really sounds like with the background music, Darth Vader’s real voice, and sound effects. It was amazing! Our tour guide told us that after they filmed the movie the actors and actresses would have to come back in and re-record their lines in the movie. The actors such as Darth Vader’s lines were recorded by someone else. James Earl Jones recorded his voice over the lines of David Prowse who was just the body actor for Darth Vader. In watching the raw footage, it was really strange to hear David Prowse’s voice saying all of Darth Vader’s lines and it sounding so different to James Earl Jones booming voice that had replaced the voice of David Prowse. All that to say I think that George Lucas made a great call on having James Earl Jones voice as Darth Vader.
Then we saw part of Indiana Jones and The Raiders Of The Lost Ark. They showed how they layered sounds in order to make it sound so authentic and real when rocks were falling and different things were happening.
The last thing we were shown was part of the movie Oblivion. Our guide wanted us to hear how each speaker in the ceiling was used. It was such clear sound and at one point in the movie there is a swooping sound and as the sound moved from speaker to speaker you could feel it under your feet. I had never experienced anything like it.
Our tour then came to an end and it was a perfect ending I must say. I was so thankful for our tour guide who was willing to take time out of his day to show us the ranch. I will be forever grateful for this experience and to those who made the day a beautiful one. All in all it was amazing. We saw so much in 3 hours that it would take a lot of time to say everything that happened.
But, this was definitely an experience I will never forget. An experience that will remind me that when you ask God for something He just might surprise you! I am not sure as to all of the reasons why God opened the door to go to Skywalker Ranch. Sometimes, I think it was just because I asked Him and He wanted to bless me! Other times I think that He had seen me going through some tough times and just wanted to cheer me up and show me that He loves me and takes notice of even the most minute details in my life. At times I had thought how silly it must be to ask God to be able to see something I would enjoy. But, then He gave me an example of when you want to ask your parents for something and you are pretty sure that they will say no but you ask them anyway because you still have a little bit of hope that they might say yes. You think, well it doesn’t hurt to ask. And so you ask and they surprise you by saying yes. Then, you are glad you said something to them. I guess what I am trying to say is that I believe there are times when God wants us to ask Him! So, I would like to say to you don’t be afraid to ask Him!! No matter how silly you may feel! You may be surprised at the outcome!! Your answer may be yes!!