Bravo! The Project - A Documentary Film

Posts Tagged ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’

Skywalker Ranch

July 31, 2011

The Road to Skywalker Ranch

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Whether speaking metaphorically or literally, the road to Skywalker Ranch is laden with surprises. On a metaphorical plane, Betty and I marvel at the path that led us here . . . the bold idea for the film, the idea’s rapid implementation, but most importantly, the people we have worked with and with whom we will work. Twists and turns and surprises at nearly every juncture, and mostly pleasant, even exhilarating surprises. Like topping a humdrum, dry-season summit and having to catch your breath because of the towering copses of green trees, cacophonous bleats and rattles of wild animals and the chirps and peals of strange birds.

The road to Skywalker itself, the literal one, after turning off US Highway 101, is twisting and turning, up and down, curves masked by groves of live oak, madrone and laurel trees. As we near the Ranch, magnificent stands of Redwood trees, Sequoia sempervirens, line both sides of the road. Huge stones jut out of the golden grass of midsummer in this coastal forest ecoregion. The actual gate to Skywalker Ranch is unassuming, almost nondescript. You’d miss it if you didn’t know exactly where you were going.

When we went to San Antonio to interview the majority of the Marines in July 2010, we had no inkling that Skywalker would be one of the final destinations on the road to production of the film. We were sweaty and hot, anticipatory, even a little tremulous as we debarked our flight in San Antonio with Mark Spear and asked our questions, got our answers, got surprised, ate lots of great Mexican food in the ninety-eight-degree heat.

After Texas, when we went to Ann Arbor, Michigan and Washington, DC, or to Brown County, Indiana and Springfield, Illinois, Iowa City, Iowa, Omaha, Nebraska, the surprises continued to rear up and flash their brilliant neons.  Now, after Skywalker, where will the road lead us?

This evening we took a walk to inspect the Skywalker premises. The glass in the windows, the red brick in the Tech Building, the ivy on the walls, huge garden, rush-encircled pond, the veranda on the Main House, the covered bridge, the fitness center, the deer, the wild turkeys, olive trees, cattle, California Bay trees, apricots, corn, sunflowers, the swallows flitting across the skyline as the light from the setting sun striated in vertical lines, the late rays breaking over the top of a western butte. Like knowledge streaming into our brains.

Tomorrow we will begin working with John Nutt and Mark Berger and the spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi, lost in the types of moments when Betty and I feel like we are barely holding on to a dream become reality, but the reality is big and broad and smiles like the mouth of the Sacramento as it empties from the Carquinez Straights into San Francisco Bay. After that, whence?