The Untold Truth Of Skywalker Ranch

Skywalker Ranch is an expansive property located in the hills of Nicasio in Marin County, California. Director George Lucas purchased the land in the 1970s and expanded the property slowly by buying parcels of land throughout the years. The property has grown to 4,700 acres, but only about 15 acres have been developed to create a filmmaker's paradise.

According to Lucas, he has always worked out of his home or a rented home, and for him, it made sense to continue that tradition. With that in mind, he decided to build Skywalker Ranch to have employees at Lucasfilm have a dedicated place for work that also gives the vibe of a comfortable home (via Entertainment Tonight). The property consists of 14 buildings that include a Victorian-style home that serves as the main headquarters. Other facilities include restaurants, a state-of-the-art theater, pastoral gardens, and the manmade Lake Ewok, as reported by Architectural Digest. Throughout the years, many in the film industry have used Skywalker Ranch's post-production facilities including Clint Eastwood, Philip Kaufman, and James Cameron.

It's not George Lucas' home

Many assume that Skywalker Ranch also serves as George Lucas' permanent residence, but that's not the case. Its main purpose is to provide a workspace for filmmakers, while also offering luxurious facilities for relaxation. In an interview with Star Tribune, Lucas stated, "It's a nice, contemplative environment, which I need to think. Having a peaceful environment is very important to the creative process." Filmmakers can spend the majority of the day working on projects and can spend the rest of their time enjoying the other facilities.

Skywalker Ranch has its own bed and breakfast with 25 rooms that are named after personalities that Lucas admires, including George Gershwin, Dorothy Parker, and Akira Kurosawa (per Skysound). There are also a variety of facilities that guests can make use of, including a fitness center, a heated pool, basketball and volleyball courts, and an observatory. Although Lucas himself doesn't live at the ranch, he has his own office there.

The main house is Victorian-inspired

Skywalker Ranch's main house has a Victorian style, which may not be something one might expect from George Lucas. However, the director told Architectural Digest that it's more of his style. "I've never been into science fiction. My taste has always been romantic. I think my heart lies at about the year 1910. I love that style." The house was built in 1985, and various elements were inspired by the architecture and design between the 1850s and 1910s. A lot of the structures were built according to Lucas' taste, including the stained-glass windows and the Victorian-style staircase. "I didn't want it to look like an interpretation of a Victorian building. I wanted it to look like a real Victorian," he stated.

Despite its Victorian charm, the house is decorated with some modern pieces including countless props and prototypes from "Star Wars" movies. Still, Lucas said that his inspiration for the films isn't about space and the future. "Even 'Star Wars' was old-fashioned. It didn't have much to do with space. It was based on a 1940s cinematic style and 2,000-to-3,000-year-old mythology," the director said.

Skywalker Sound is located on the property

Skywalker Sound is the main business at Skywalker Ranch. It's a post-production facility that offers various services including recording and mixing, sound design and scoring, picture editing, and engineering just to name a few (via Skysound). The company was established in 1975 and was then called Sprocket Systems before it was moved to the Skywalker Ranch. Skywalker Sound's facilities are spread on 150,000 square feet of floor space and feature 50 editing suites, 15 sound design suites, and six feature mix stages. One of the main features of Skywalker Sound is the 300-seat Stag Theater, which boasts high-quality equipment where filmmakers can view projects in various audio and video formats.

Some of the movies created with the facilities at Skywalker Sound include "Fight Club," "Titanic," "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," and hundreds more, per IMDB. There have also been countless video games done at the facility.

It has an extensive library

Apart from state-of-the-art technical facilities, Skywalker Ranch also has its own library that consists of an extensive collection. According to I Love Libraries, George Lucas is a big fan of research libraries, which is one of the reasons why he decided to have a research library. In the early 20th century, Universal Studios and Paramount Studios established their own research libraries to offer filmmakers resources and research materials that filmmakers could utilize. Both research libraries have since closed, and in 1993, Lucasfilm acquired valuable collections and materials, such as scripts, photos, and visual references.

The Lucasfilm Research Library is located in the main house at Skywalker Ranch and boasts thousands of books dating back to the late 1800s. It also houses video and audio materials, newspapers and periodicals, hundreds of drawers containing photographs, as well as music scores, production reports, and just about anything that has to do with filmmaking. In a 2012 interview, library manager Jo Donaldson shared some of the pieces that can be found in the library. "We have many books that are unusual and valuable, including some that are hand-colored. It's fun to look at the check-out cards from our historical collections as we have found books that were checked out by Cecil B. DeMille, Alfred Hitchcock, Cary Grant, Clint Eastwood, Steve Martin, Edith Head, Charlton Heston ... the list goes on and on!" However, only Lucasfilm employees are allowed access to the library.

Skywalker Ranch has its own vineyard

Skywalker Ranch may be known as a high-tech post-production facility, but not many know that it also operates as a vineyard. Per Skywalker Vineyards, George Lucas was inspired after his fellow director, Francis Ford Coppola, started a winemaking company. The vineyard was first established in 1991 and covered 4 acres of land, which was later on expanded to 28 acres. Skywalker Vineyards offers pinot noir, sparkling wines, chardonnay, rosè, and red blends. The vineyard offers a Skywalker Vineyards Wine Club membership that allows members to have access to exclusive events and discounts.

Apart from the vineyard, Skywalker Ranch is also a working ranch. The property has a barn that houses a number of animals as well as an organic garden that grows a variety of fruits and vegetables. There is also an olive tree grove that spans 7 acres, which is where the ranch's olive oil comes from, and bee colonies are maintained for the production of honey (via Skysound).