Recognize this fountain, you might.
The serene Yoda Fountain is located just outside the doors of the Letterman Digital Arts Center - home to Industrial Light & Magic, LucasArts, and Lucasfilm's marketing, online, and licensing units. I've seen it in pictures. I've seen Bonnie Burton check in at the Yoda Fountain on Twitter (via Foursquare). And then I finally got to see it. I exited the elevator and walked into the lobby and almost ran out the doors to see this fountain. It was the first of many nerd-flail moments. I mean really, I was practically bouncing up and down.
I went back indoors because I knew the lobby was full of goodies. The tables in the lobby were scattered with Star Wars books. A couple of the walls were lined with bookshelves, and action figures and sculpts had proud places right by the books. In between the shelves, Boba Fett and Vader hung out to greet visitors. This little mini museum was just the beginning.
About the time that I was thisclose to touching something I shouldn't have, the friend from ILM that the geek boy and I were meeting for lunch came out to the lobby to pick us up. We were handed fancy badges that had to be used a lot more than I was expecting to gain access to different areas. The walk to the cafeteria is kind of a blur. As I hoped and dreamed, the halls were lined with displays and paintings and so many beautiful/amazing/geeky sculptures and paintings. I mean, I sort of knew that's what it was like but to experience it person... wow. The highlights: maquettes of Jurassic Park dinosaurs, the model for the house from Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events (so incredible), E.T., E.T. in the bicycle basket, Davy Jones busts from Pirates of the Caribbean, Jar Jar in carbonite opposite of a doorway with Han Solo in carbonite, stunning matte paintings, R2-D2... so much fantastic memorabilia. It was hard not to touch things; I'm a very tactile sort of person. I just held on to my purse really tight. It probably looked like I was afraid of muggers. Or stormtroopers. I felt like a strong creative force (yeah, pun intended) emanated from the walls. At one point during the visit, I walked just behind Dennis Muren. I had a moment.
If I set the pace, it would have taken almost an hour to just to walk to lunch. Apparently the guys with me actually wanted to eat! I just wanted to stroll around, look at things, pretended like I worked there, and do more nerd-flailing. In that order. But the view from the cafeteria is enchanting and as it turns out, the food is tasty. They have tons of options too – have I mentioned that it takes me a while to decide on what to eat? While I was circling for the third time, I ran into Ashley Eckstein though – so this leads me to conclude that food indecision is a good thing.
Before leaving, I of course had to make a mad dash through the gift shop. I was like that person at Disneyland that you see just picking up things just because of the logo. I couldn't help myself! My favorite purchase was a moleskine emblazoned with the Lucasfilm logo. I'm a sucker for a moleskine (or any sort of journal/notebook) and the beautiful silver logo made it irresistible. Somehow I still forgot a coffee mug and a bottle of Skywalker Ranch wine. Next time. Oh yes, there will be a next time. After all, I have to go back to get Bonnie's tour! (This time I just got to squish her with hugs and drool over all the toys and crafts in her office).