Rancho Obi-Wan

Rancho Obi-Wan is a nonprofit museum in Petaluma, California that houses the Guinness World Record certified largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia, amassed by Steve Sansweet.[1][2][3][4][5] Rancho Obi-Wan covers over 9,000 square feet.[6][7]

Rancho Obi-Wan
Star Wars Celebration V - Steve Sansweet and a landspeeder (4940991776).jpg
LocationPetaluma, California
TypePop-culture museum
CollectionsStar Wars
Collection size500,000
FounderSteve Sansweet
PresidentAnn Neumann
CEOAnn Neumann



The museum had its roots in Steve Sansweet's personal collection, amassed since before the original Star Wars movie was released.[8] It got started in earnest when Sansweet pulled a Star Wars promotional mailer out of his boss's wastebasket when he worked at the The New York Times.[9] The museum itself was built out of an old chicken ranch in Petaluma, California. The museum still houses several chickens and contains coops near the entrance to the main house. The chicken ranch was purchased by Sansweet in 1998.[10][11][1]


In the fall of 2011, Sansweet filed for nonprofit status to launch Rancho Obi-Wan as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and opened the museum officially, however it had been in existence in previous years.[12][13][10]


Rancho Obi-Wan offers scheduled, guided tours only during selected days of the year, by appointment only. Because Sansweet's museum and ranch is inside a gated, private residence with no public access or parking, Rancho Obi-Wan does not publicly publish its physical location. Directions are only given to visitors after they book their tour tickets on the museum's website.[14]

Guinness World recordEdit

In 2014 the Guinness Book of World Records officially certified Rancho Obi-Wan as the largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia.[6][15][16]

Cunningham theftEdit

Throughout 2015 and 2016, Carl Edward Cunningham, a longtime friend of Steve Sansweet, stole over 120 collectibles from the museum. Valued at over $200,000, the theft consisted of primarily vintage Kenner Star Wars action figures.[17][18][16] Sansweet met Cunningham in 1996, who stayed at the museum several times in the period of theft.[19] Cunningham pled guilty to grand theft in 2017 in a Sonoma County, California court.[20][21][22]

Star Wars Celebration activityEdit

At Star Wars Celebration 2019 in Chicago, Rancho Obi-Wan showcased its collection in the exhibition hall. Including displays about Star Wars Celebration, and women in Star Wars.[23] Sansweet and Rancho Obi-Wan were also present at Star Wars Celebration 2022 in Anaheim, hosting a Mandalorian themed exhibition.[24][25]

Coronavirus reactionEdit

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rancho Obi-Wan halted all tours of the facility, and closed the museum.[26] In response, the museum started an online version that documented the collection over a series of photos and videos.[15]

USA Today pollEdit

In 2021, USA Today hosted a poll to determine the top ten pop culture museums in the United States for its readers choice program, with Rancho Obi-Wan in third place after the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and the Patsy Cline museum.[26][27][28]


Starting in 2013, Rancho Obi-Wan hosts a fundraising event dubbed the Rancho Obi-Wan gala. The event centers around a live auction that raises money for the museum.[29][30] During the Coronavirus pandemic the Gala was held online.[11]

Inventory countEdit

Officially, Rancho Obi-Wan has 93,260 pieces of Star Wars memorabilia; however, that is just the number audited and catalogued.[31] Over the years the collections size estimates have increased from 350,000,[32][33] to 400,000,[12][19] to more than 500,000.[34]


  1. ^ a b "The Star Wars collection is strong at Rancho Obi-Wan | Bartell's Backroads". abc10.com. January 20, 2023. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  2. ^ "Alta Asks Live: Rancho Obi-Wan's Steve Sansweet". Alta Online. October 25, 2020. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  3. ^ Bartell, John (January 26, 2023). "San Francisco's crooked street".
  4. ^ "Danville awakens force for 1st in-person Star Wars Day celebration since the pandemic began". ABC7 San Francisco. May 5, 2022. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  5. ^ "9 eccentric (and totally fascinating) Bay Area museums". The Mercury News. July 19, 2022. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  6. ^ a b "Rancho Obi-Wan offers tours of the world's largest collection of Star Wars memorabilia". ABC7 Chicago. May 4, 2020. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  7. ^ Sandell, Clayton (October 23, 2018). "Rancho Obi-Wan: This man spent years building the largest 'Star Wars' collection in the world". ABC News. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  8. ^ "The Impressive 'Star Wars' Memorabilia Collection at Rancho Obi-Wan". Atlas Obscura. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  9. ^ Wortham, Jenna. "Ultimate Star Wars Fanboy Stashes a Galaxy of Cool Collectibles". Wired. ISSN 1059-1028. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Leibowitz, Ed (November 9, 2020). "In a Galaxy Closer to Home". Alta Online. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  11. ^ a b DiFeliciantonio, Chase (November 25, 2021). "The world's largest galaxy of 'Star Wars' relics is in a Petaluma museum. Here's what's inside". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  12. ^ a b "Rancho Obi-Wan Star Wars Tour". Inverse. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  13. ^ Terdiman, Daniel. "Behind the scenes with the world's greatest 'Star Wars' collection". CNET. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  14. ^ "Rancho Obi-Wan". Sonoma County Tourism. Retrieved March 15, 2023.
  15. ^ a b "World's Biggest STAR WARS Collection Opens Virtual Tour". Nerdist. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  16. ^ a b Hoyle, Ben. "Luke Skywalker on the case of Star Wars' theft at Rancho Obi-Wan museum". ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  17. ^ "Man admits to stealing $100,000 in 'Star Wars' collectibles from Petaluma museum". Santa Rosa Press Democrat. July 10, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  18. ^ Glionna, John M. (June 6, 2017). "World's most prolific Star Wars collector appeals to fans after 'devastating' theft". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  19. ^ a b "Owner of Rancho Obi-Wan, the Smithsonian of 'Star Wars,' speaks out on 'devastating' memorabilia theft". Los Angeles Times. June 7, 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  20. ^ "Collector charged in theft of Star Wars items from private Northern California museum". The Mercury News. June 6, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  21. ^ "Collector charged in theft of 'Star Wars' items in California". Las Vegas Review-Journal. June 6, 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  22. ^ Kukura, Joe. "World's Largest 'Star Wars' Toy Bandit Captured". SFWeekly. Retrieved March 10, 2023.
  23. ^ "Rancho Obi-Wan at Star Wars Celebration honors fandom, Leia, and Jar Jar Binks". SYFY Official Site. April 12, 2019. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  24. ^ Team, StarWars com. "Star Wars Celebration Anaheim 2022 Announces First Celebrity Guests". StarWars.com. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  25. ^ "Star Wars Celebration adds Rancho Obi-Wans the Evolution of the Mandalorians Exhibit". Star Wars News Net.
  26. ^ a b "Petalumans attempting to push Rancho Obi-Wan to No. 1, one vote at a time". Petaluma Argus-Courier. May 4, 2021. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  27. ^ "'A Christmas Story' House in Cleveland among 20 nominees in USA TODAY 10 Best poll for favorite pop culture museums: How you can vote". wkyc.com. January 18, 2023. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  28. ^ "Best Pop Culture Museum Winners (2021) | USA TODAY 10Best". 10Best. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  29. ^ Newbold, Mark. "Inside Rancho Obi-Wan's 2nd Annual Gala, Part 2: Here We Go Again". StarWars.com. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  30. ^ "Rancho Obi-Wan Annual Gala Returns in October". Coffee With Kenobi. August 7, 2018. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  31. ^ "15 coolest items from the world's largest Star Wars collection". Guinness World Records. May 4, 2022. Retrieved March 9, 2023.
  32. ^ Glionna, John M. (December 30, 2015). "In a warehouse far, far away, the galaxy's top Star Wars collector holds court". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved March 11, 2023.
  33. ^ "Steve Sansweet: The Force Is Right". March 3, 2016.
  34. ^ "The force is strong with Rancho Obi-Wan". Boston Herald. March 27, 2016. Retrieved March 9, 2023.

External linksEdit