[FANgirl Note: Skylar, our intrepid junior contributor, is back with a report on her tour of Lucasfilm headquarters outside San Francisco.]
“There it is!” In front of my mom and I sat the Yoda Fountain. It was a beautiful day in San Francisco, with an unusually clear sky and warm breeze. The constant fog horn (which was used as a background sound for Bespin in The Empire Strikes Back) and chatter of wild parrots cut through the otherwise quiet campus. After a few pictures at the Yoda Fountain, my mom and I headed inside.
“Wow,” was all I could say. Scattered throughout the lobby were Star Wars memorabilia and a surprising amount of foreign movie posters. As my mom checked us in with security, I looked around. There was a life-size Darth Vader and Boba Fett. Mini-statues were placed next to thick books on the bookshelves. Just in the lobby there was a lot to see. After a few moments, Dan Brooks came in and welcomed us. He then took us to our first stop – after making sure there is no top-secret screening is going on! – the private screening theater. He explained about the best seat in the house: a seat in the exact middle of the theater underneath a red dot on the ceiling. But any spot is a good spot if you get to see the movie before anyone else!
We then looked at stormtrooper outfits that were used in Star Wars. I’m surprised how much the costume actually looks like real clothing – the boots looked just like dressed up boots you could find at store. Next we walked throughout the many hallways, each wall was plastered with Lucasfilm and ILM movie posters. We saw one of the original ILM doors from their office in San Rafael. We passed “Java the Hutt” – a cute little coffee shop with really good drawings on the chalkboard. We also passed a wall of less popular movie posters lined up.
We took an elevator up and passed some interesting corridors we couldn’t go down because of security, even though I was really curious about it! People’s offices were decorated with interesting movie decor, posters, figurines and models. If they hadn’t been working, I would have stopped and stared. There were many photos of teams who participated in creating the special effects on various movies. I realized how much teamwork must go into making the details of these exciting movies.
In the upper lobby, a fake plastic security guard kept watch on Han frozen in carbonite hanging on the wall. My favorite was the figure next to Han: Jar Jar Binks frozen in carbonite. “I love this!” I exclaimed as I took a picture. Dan laughed and we all agreed that this was the best fan art.
We continued on to the scene art, where the hand-painted background scenes are displayed. These were used before green-screens. We also passed through a hallway filled with Ghostbusters sculptures, background transportation for all sorts of movies – some I’d never heard of but my mom and Dan knew – and a cool E.T. flying in a bike basket along a stairwell. We also saw some original Jurassic Park dinosaur models, which though are small, are just as scary as in the movies. The T-Rex’s beady eyes are so detailed they seem like she might track you down the hall.
My favorite sculptures, however, were what I thought were zombie grandparents. “They aren’t supposed to be zombie-like,” Dan explained. “They’re from the movie Cocoon.” The figurines had started to break down with age and exposure. The models of the elderly people in the movies, to me, had turned into the living dead!
Too soon our tour was over. We stopped by the gift shop, which was full of cool items. I got a cool Lucasfilm shirt to remind me of the great time I had. One day, maybe I’ll get to back to Lucasfilm as an employee, and I will get see what’s down those other corridors!
I would like to say a HUGE thank you to Dan Brooks of Lucasfilm for taking me on the tour. I had an amazing time.