Friday, December 4, 2009

An enormous photo of Skywalker Ranch.

It's Friday, meaning that I'm posting late and that I have little energy. I was attempting to slog through the ending of Double Suicide (103) last night, but Alex and I instead attempted to watch a documentary from the 1960s entitled, The Exiles. I don't know what documentaries were like in the 1960s, but this seemed like a poorly staged sitcom that sort of exploited the plight of Native Americans trying to move off the reservations. I slept through nearly the entire thing.

What I did do of worth yesterday was get the chance to geek out about Skywalker Ranch one of those hallowed places in all geeks mind. For those of you who didn't spend their childhood singing the Star Wars' theme to their hairdressers, Skywalker Ranch is the technical facility of George Lucas' LucasArts. One of Alex's many, many bosses is a sound-engineer there and was all too willing to give me the heads up on what exactly was going on there.

A few gleaned items:

- Turns out Skywalker Ranch is just a big sound facility. For a while they had a group of accountants and other "non-creatives" horsing around over there, but Lucas (he of the beard and flannel) thought that all those math-oriented brains were cluttering up the creatives. So he moved them to their own compound right down the road, where they could discuss macroeconomics and not dilute the brains of those trying to make, sigh, art. Lucas, you creative fascist you.

- There are no giant hedge structures of Yoda on the property. My source on the inside told me that the only prop he's ever really seen there is Luke's original lightsaber (awesome), but that he thought most of the other props from the film were "stored in some warehouse." I would like to find that warehouse.

- Where in the past I believed Skywalker Ranch to be a magical place where gods of science-fiction pieced together masterworks, instead I find that it's just a sound facility. And not just for LucasArts, but for whomever wants to rent it out. The fantastical land where I believed you'd be greeted by phaser-toting storm troopers is just an overblown recording studio. I cried a bit.

- Things at Skywalker Ranch: live cattle, an inn, an organic farm, a fire station (with two fire trucks), a reservoir, the aforementioned lightsaber, and a main house where George Lucas himself once lived. This isn't a sound studio it's a goddamn vacation home.

- It's strange to learn that a place of magic in your mind is really just a place where people work. A place were people work that I'd still give an arm and a leg to visit.

Monday: Double Suicide (103)

1 comment:

wescoat said...

In L.A. I've found that most hallowed movie-related places, things and people that live large in our minds are just... well, pretty normal up close. Workin' people at workin' hard at their place of work. The only place I've been to that lived up to its reputation in terms of sheer size and glamorousness is the Vegas strip.