Villa Varykino is the Star Wars collection of MattG and Anaria (with a couple of other favourite franchises thrown in from time to time). Our mutual interest of collecting and photography lead to starting this blog in 2016 as a way to catalogue and showcase, on a daily basis, our ever-growing Star Wars and sci-fi collection. Each day we will focus on a selected item or two from our collection, sharing their photos and backstory.
We first met in 2004 through our shared love of Star Wars – which is now a part of our daily lives together. Our joint collection now spans our entire home, with Star Wars items in every room, including life size droids and costume displays, collectables and artwork. We run the Star Wars New Zealand website, and are long-time members of the 501st Legion and Rebel Legion costuming clubs. We have been interviewed on NZ national television, radio, newspapers and magazines about our love of Star Wars, costuming, and collecting.
In 2006, we got engaged at Villa Balbianello in Italy – the filming location for Padme’ and Anakin’s first kiss and wedding scenes from Episode 2 (our story was included in this StarWars.com article). It was the perfect location for two Star Wars fans to start their journey together.
As well as collecting, we both enjoy many other Star Wars fan hobbies – gaming (mostly SWTOR), reading the novels and comics, creating costume and prop replicas, hosting local fan meetups, and traveling to the Star Wars Celebration conventions in the US (when we can).