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World's greatest 'Star Wars' collection, now Guinness-certified

Rancho Obi-Wan, in Petaluma, Calif., with more than 300,000 artifacts, has officially gotten the Guinness world record.

At Rancho Obi-Wan in Petaluma, Calif., 'Star Wars' fans can see priceless artifacts and fantastic replicas, such as this R2-D2 and Dejarik game, from the original film. Guinness has now awarded Rancho Obi-Wan designation as the world's largest 'Star Wars' collection.
Daniel Terdiman/CNET

If you ever wondered who had the world's largest "Star Wars" collection, Guinness has cleared up any uncertainty.

Among its other geeky grantees, Guinness granted official world-record status to Rancho Obi-Wan, longtime Lucasfilm employee Steve Sansweet's Petaluma, Calif., collection of "Star Wars" memorabilia:

The "Star Wars" films have inspired collectors of memorabilia in a way that few other movie franchises have achieved.

It therefore takes something special for one individual to be named as having the world's largest collection of memorabilia related to the series.

The super fan who is currently able to lay claim to that title is Steve Sansweet, a journalist and author, and president of Rancho Obi-Wan, a non-profit museum in Petaluma, northern California that houses his collection of an estimated 300,000 unique "Star Wars" items.

Although Rancho Obi-Wan has more than 300,000 items in its full collection, less than 100,000 are currently cataloged. The collection contains everything from lunch boxes to action figures to vending machines to mailboxes to pieces of the actual Death Star used in the original film. Plus, of course, more than 3,000 posters, books from 37 countries in 34 languages, including Braille, more than 30,000 trading cards, stickers, postcards, playing cards, and other ephemera, and more. Rancho Obi-Wan opened in 2011.

And does Sansweet know how his collection stacks up? No doubt, even before Guinness blessed him with the world record designation. When I asked him last year how his archives compare with ("Star Wars" creator George) Lucas' own holdings, Sansweet smiled and said, "I've got stuff he doesn't have. And he knows it."

(Via Laughing Squid)