Lucasfilm’s Blast from the Past

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What treasures were in the 1981 Lucasfilm time capsule?

Every time I go home to my parents’ house, it’s the same thing. With my oldest boy in tow, I head to the cellar. There the various junk boxes strewn amongst the “unfinished” side of the basement wait. Being of a certain age, my parents actually bought me the first few runs of Kenner’s Star Wars figures. And, without question, we always “unearth” a treasure.

Star Wars figures, Kenner

Most recently, an original C3PO figure — looking worse than he did on Cloud City came home with us; finally reunited with his master.

However, imagine if you will, how it would be to rummage through the dark corners of Skywalker Ranch. What relics might find their way home with a fan or collector? did more than imagine. They outlined the contents of the Lucasfilm time capsule from 1981.

The Cornerstone of Skywalker Ranch

The Lucasfilm squad explained:

Lucasfilm Ranch

Forty years agoa special ceremony hosted during the annual July 4th Company Picnic in 1981 sought to commemorate the establishment of Skywalker Ranch itself, which would soon become the official home of Lucasfilm once new buildings finished construction. To officially herald in this new era for Lucasfilm, and to celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary that year, a time capsule was placed into the cornerstone of the Main House building containing several mementos and artifacts

Super producer Frank Marshall played the German pilot in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Image: Lucasfilm.

The list is a who’s who and what’s what of many a Gen Xer’s childhood; truly a collectors dream, it the list is a blend of the standard and the spectacular. A special bottle of wine. Frank Marshall’s Raiders of the Lost Ark crew cap. The ubiquitous Kenner figures that can be found in many an attic around the country; the list is amazing. It is also historic.

Image: Lucasfilm

Time Capsule: What’s in the Box?

Highlights of the inventory included:

  • Lucite star paperweights inscribed with “Star Wars” and “May the Force be with You” in blue velvet bagsgifts to the cast and crew of Star Wars: A New Hope
  • Softcover editions of Ballantine Books’ The Art of Star Wars and The Art of The Empire Strikes Back
  • A miniature wind-up walking R2-D2 toy produced by Japanese licensee Takara
  • Two Voyager I buttons commemorating the spacecraft’s flyby of Saturn on November 12, 1980
  • A postcard depicting Mann’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood displaying the Star Wars title on the marquees
  • The original Lucasfilm contract with Universal for 1973’s American Graffiti and “an unnamed science fiction movie”
  • Cassette soundtracks for American Graffiti and Star Wars
  • A small sealed bottle with the label “California Crude Oil – Made [in] Marin 1981” (this one’s a mystery!)
  • “…and much, much more” according to an account published in the fan club newsletter at the time

As I sit here, I wonder if my parents signed me up for that fan club. Hmmm. And American Graffiti and Star Wars remain the soundtrack to my life. Anyway, tees up this kind of content a few times a month. Check out more of their “History in Objects” over at their blog.

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