A Future of the Force exclusive interview with the former Director of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm and head of Rancho Obi-Wan, Steve Sansweet.
Future Of The Force recently reported about the very special auction to support Rancho Obi-Wan. Today we speak with the head of this non-profit museum, Steve Sansweet.
PH: How did this Rancho Obi-Wan Death Star Auction come about?
SS: Rancho Obi-Wan is a nonprofit museum and we raise funds to maintain the collection for future generations to enjoy, for everyday operating expenses and for “once in a generation” surprises, like the roof we replaced on the museum building last year. We raise money through such things as our annual memberships, tours, our annual gala and sales at our exhibits at Star Wars Celebration events.
But this time we wanted a fun and differnt way to both involve fans and raise some money. Based on past successful auctions others have done with artists reimagining such things as Darth Vader and Stormtrooper helmets (some of which are in the Rancho collection) we decided to see what could be done with the globe shape of a 10-inch Death Star.
PH: What was the process for determining which artists and items to include in the auction?
SS: We know and have become friendly with scores of Star Wars artists through doing fan conventions over the years. While many are mostly 2D artists who have done paintings, prints, sketch cards and tattoos, others have worked in 3D. We emailed more than 50 artists to see who be able to take on this charity project and got a large number of positive responses.
PH: How long did it take to bring this all together?
SS: We’ve been working on this for almost a full year. We had to first decide on the object, then get the Death Stars cast in resin, select artists, send out the replicas and ask for them back by October. We approached our friends at Prop Store—who have run many successful pop culture auctions—to see if they had the time and desire to work with us on this.
PH: Is this an online auction or do the bidders need to be present to bid?
SS: This is strictly an online auction. It runs from Feb. 10 to 21. When the bidding starts, all 30 of the Death Stars up for auction will be revealed. Right now there’s a limited preview gallery of a dozen of them.
PH: Anything else you would like to share about the auction or the items up for bid?
SS: We’re thrilled with the creativity the artists showed in doing their individual Death Stars. We couldn’t have done this without their fine work and the generous assistance of the team at Prop Store. We hope one or two of these may end up in the permanent collection of Rancho Obi-Wan!
The Rancho Obi-Wan/Prop Store ‘Death Star Auction’ runs from Feb. 10 to 21 – don’t miss your chance to own a piece of Star Wars history.
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Patty Hammond is a Senior Correspondent for Future of the Force. She is a passionate Star Wars fan and is a devoted fangirl and blogger. Follow her on Twitter @PattyBones2 where she uses the force frequently!
Editor’s Note: We, at Future of the Force, would like to extend our personal thanks to Steve Sansweet for giving up his time and granting this exclusive Future of the Force interview.