On May 19th I visited Skywalker Ranch.
Essentially there are three legal ways of getting on the premise of Skywalker’s beautiful ranch. 1) You work there. 2) You are invited due to some sort of business. 3) You know someone who works there. Now while either of the first two options would be a dream come true, the latter is not any less equal. I have the pleasure and privilege of being friends with Blake Collins, a Skywalker Sound foley mixer, who recently began working there. He even wrote a blog during his “trial period” that you should check out.
During the visit I saw many fabulous and fantastical things. Below are just a few of them:
My wife and I met Blake and his beautiful family around noon at Skywalker. Below is a selfie outside of the Main House. Pictured: Blake, myself (regardless of how pained I look, I was very excited. My eyes are sensitive to sunlight…being part vampire and all), Jenni (my wife), and Shayla (Blake’s wife). Their kids came too, but were too short to show up in this photo.
Below is a picture of Jenni and I standing on the front porch of the Main House, which both inside and out reminded me of an Alabamian mansion. (The round part on the second story is George Lucas’ office.)
Here we are sitting on the porch just below George Lucas’ office.
Inside of the Main House we ate lunch, saw the research library with it’s incredible stain-glass dome, and causally strolled around the first floor. The Main Building is decorated with George Lucas’ personal art and movie poster collection. The Rockwell’s were my personal favorite.
Now, of course this blog post would be filled with dozens of photos, but one of the rules at Skywalker is you mustn’t take photos inside any of the buildings. Below I was going to include some photos I found on Google, but surprisingly there isn’t much to find (I guess they really take that no photos rule seriously.) At very least here is a photo of the magnificent library (aka my dream room). Also below is a picture of a random nook (aka my other dream room).
We also saw a lot of the Technical Building where Blake works, and is home to Skywalker Sound (pictured below).
There we got to see Blake’s foley studio (which is essentially a recording studio full of every object and surface you can possibly imagine), watch a demo in the state of the art Stag Theater, and poke around in a foley overflow room.
We also got to see a few doors which we were not allowed to enter:
1) The door that leads into the foley studio where they are currently working on The Last Jedi.
2) The door that leads to another studio where they are also doing some other sound work on The Last Jedi.
3) The door that leads to Ben Burt’s studio.
I also got to see Tic Tok from Return to Oz! I had kept my poise for most of the tour, but seeing Tic Tok was so unexpected my suppressed excitement seeped out a bit.
Here are some more photos from Google of the inside of the Technical Building:
The Stag Theater
The Tall Room
We also went to the souvenir shop were I picked up a T-Shirt, and a Christmas tree ornament. If I’m recalling correctly, the souvenir shop is near the Fitness Center, and it was there that we saw Ben Burt’s son, Ben, playing volleyball.
And course we got to see Lake Ewok, which sits across from the Main House. (Reportedly, Ben Burt likes to swim in it on occasion.)
All in all, we had an amazing time seeing Blake and his family, getting to see what he does for a living, and of course getting a tour of a fantastical place I’ve always wanted to visit. ✖