Strange Magic at Skywalker Ranch

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On Tuesday, I spent the day at Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, where I watched the new Lucasfilm animated musical Strange Magic and took a tour of the grounds. More accurately, we toured a portion of the grounds, since the property is too vast to cover on foot in a single day.

The Technical Building, home of Skywalker Sound, reflected in Lake Ewok. Photo by the author.
The Technical Building, home of Skywalker Sound, reflected in Lake Ewok.
Photo by the author.

image001We began our day in the lobby of Skywalker Sound, where we were greeted by Elijah Kelley, who plays Sunny. After a round of hugs and selfies and the quiet arrival of George Lucas, we were ushered Stag Theater, a 300-seat Art Deco auditorium that features what Lucasfilm claims is the best audio system in the world, where we watched the film and then enjoyed a musical performance by Kelley, followed by Q&A sessions with the producers, and then a tour of the ranch. Those interviews and my review of the film (it’s quite enjoyable) will be the subjects of future posts.

After Star Wars became a box office giant, George Lucas decided he wanted to make movies outside the studio system. He found a perfect spot on the coincidentally-named Lucas Valley Road, 40 minutes north of San Francisco, and set about creating Skywalker Ranch. A few years ago, much of the Lucasfilm operation was relocated to the Presidio, so today Skywalker Ranch is primarily used by clients at Skywalker Sound.

Read the rest of Jim MacQuarrie’s visit to Skywalker Ranch at GeekDad.

Statues on either side of the Stag Theater stage, Sistros (L) and Braata (R), two of the Four Sages of Dwartii, seen in Palpatine's office in Episode III. Photos courtesy of Sassy Mama in LA.
Statues on either side of the Stag Theater stage, Sistros (L) and Braata (R), two of the Four Sages of Dwartii, seen in Palpatine’s office in Episode III.
Photos courtesy of Sassy Mama in LA.
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