|A DAY AT LUCASFILM
by George Perry
visit to Skywalker Ranch is every bit as special to a Star Wars fan as
a peek inside Area 51 is to a UFO researcher. At Skywalker,
however, I guarantee you will find a UFO, an alien, and his
robot! It's a pretty magical place, and like Star Wars it's a
construction of the mind of George Lucas. I was fortunate to win
a trip to Skywalker Ranch in 1986 soon after the main house (really an
constructed. While I do not work for Lucasfilm, I try to keep up
with the changes at Skywalker Ranch and Lucasfilm. This site
describes my visit in 1986 soon after the ranch
house (office) was built.
Several articles have been written
and programs broadcast by the media about George Lucas'
headquarters nestled in the California redwoods and rolling green hills of Nicasio,
California. However, the Ranch's low
profile remains and little public information is available.
I'll relate stories that were shared by Lucasfilm staff during my
visit that I've heard nowhere else. At the same time, I'll avoid revealing information
that could pose a security risk for Lucasfilm Ltd. Your comments or additions for this
site are welcome; however, please do not ask for directions to Lucasfilm locations or how
to contact Mr. Lucas. The Ranch and production facilities are not open to the
public. Only employees, family, and invited guests are allowed inside.
At times, even family are not admitted while Lucasfilm is
hard at work on
key parts of Star Wars Episodes.
How did I do it? The visit became possible when, in 1985 I
purchased a LucasArts / Epyx software product known as Koronis Rift, one of the first
computer games with a 3D playing field. The package contained a sweepstakes entry for an
all expense paid trip to San Francisco and a tour of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). I
completed the entry form and entered. ...and entered. ...and entered. All told, I probably
submitted 30 entries on index cards, as allowed, throughout the span of the contest.
One evening in March of 1986 I received a call from
Lucasfilm or Epyx asking if I remembered entering the LucasArts sweepstakes. This question
didn't awaken any immediate realization of the consequences until the friendly female
voice rather shouted, "You won!" I inquired if the trip would include a visit to
the newly completed Skywalker Ranch. She indicated that she would check into it. Airline
tickets and hotel reservations arrived two days later by Federal Express to the surprise
of my parents, who thought this was an elaborate hoax.
Follow me inside and I'll take you on a
virtual tour of the world of Lucasfilm! Note:
Be sure to visit the "Lucasfilm Today" page which has been updated to
include information about the new Skywalker Campus overlooking the
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. About 17 acres and some
buildings including a coffee shop are open to the public!