April 20, 2015
(or SARLACC participates in Earth Day by cleaning up desert ‘trash’ )
This year’s SARLACC road trip was added on to our Star Wars Celebration festivities. The day after celebration a dozen SARLACC members departed Anaheim by car for the 4 hour drive to the Imperial Sand Dunes in California. This was the filming location of the Sarlacc pit and Jabba’s sail barge in Return of the Jedi. After filming of these scenes, much of the set was scrapped and left on the desert valley floor. With a little digging and determination, you can find pieces from the set.
We arrived at the dunes just before lunch. The temperature was a warm 95 degrees and the sky was a picturesque blue. The parking lot was the central meeting place for our caravan. There we loaded up on water and were interviewed by a visiting film crew from Lucasfilm on hand to document the trip. The film crew stayed behind while the majority of us hiked the dunes.
Of course a trip to the dunes would not be complete without the appropriate themed collectibles.
After a strenuous walk we saw the valley floor below.
We were looking for the original fence posts located on the valley floor that would provide clues as to where the Jedi set was filmed.
After finding the fence, we set our shovels to work. Much of the set remains just below the surface of the sand, broken into small pieces and preserved in the arid desert climate.
By the time the film crew arrived we were very successful. We had found plenty of the sarlacc set including painted foam (part of the sarlacc pit), wood nails, wood boards used for scaffolding, plywood remnants and pipes and pipe clamps including scaffolding bases.
After a brief time digging, and nearly 7 full ziploc bags full of items, we surveyed the filming location once last time before heading out on ATV. Honorary SARLACC member and collector from Canada Ross Cuddie was a tremendous help ferrying folks across the dunes on ATV.
Next time we’ll have to make a button to say that we visited the sarlacc and weren’t digested 1,000 years.
As many members caught flights home that evening, the rest of the SARLACC crew went to the Angels Star Wars night at the ballpark. New York collector Mike Ritter arranged for this special surprise to show up on the reader board.
The perfect end to the perfect day. Another successful SARLACC adventure spent with friends.