February 2, 2014 – Sometimes you will find Star Wars in the least expected places. If you find yourself on a cruise ship or flying, by chance, to the Eastern Caribbean island of St. Martin, be sure to visit “That Yoda Guy” Museum. (Address: 19a Front Street, Philipsburg, St Maarten-St Martin. TEL: 1 721 542 4009)
Founded by Nick Maley, who has adopted the nickname “thatYodaGuy”, That Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit is both a small non-profit museum on one side, and a Hollywood memorabilia store and art gallery on the other side.
The museum and store are easy to find. Located on the main shopping street called Front Street, you can ask any local (English is the primary language) or simply look for the bobbing General Grievous head sticking out from the second story and the yellow store sign. You have to climb a flight of stairs, but take your time: There are lots of posters, descriptions, and costumed props as you climb the stairs.
Located on the second floor, the small museum charges a separate admission fee (about $10.00) and contains movie memorabilia from Star Wars, Superman, The Terminator, Alien and Highlander. If your time is limited, you can skip the museum and browse the merchandise and Star Wars memorabilia for sale. Nick Malley is very gracious and will take the time to chat with you and answer any questions you may have, including Star Wars history and production techniques.
Founder Nick Maley and another employee usually can be found in the store talking to customers and Star Wars fans. Nick Maley is one of the artists and contributors to the creation of Yoda and other Star Wars creatures. If you purchase an item (minimum $39.00) or visit the museum, he will autograph any item and pose for a photograph with you.
HISTORY: For over 350 years, St. Martin (the French side)/Sint Maarten (the Dutch side) have been jointly and harmoniously administered by France and the Dutch Republic. The Dutch harvested the island’s salt ponds in the 1620’s, and the French built small settlements on the island as well. In 1648, the Dutch Republic and France signed a treaty, agreeing to jointly administer the island. The border between the Dutch and French sides of the small island is practically invisible, and English is the dominant language.
St. Martin/Sint Maarten is located east of Puerto Rico in the eastern Caribbean. Over a dozen cruise ship lines stop for the day at the island. St. Maarten is also known for its airport and short runway, which are just yards from a popular beach. During some jet takeoffs, the exhaust from the jet engines has been known to blow tourists across the sandy beach.