At the end of “Return of the Jedi,” the light saber duel ends badly for Darth Vader when his own son slices his hand off. The appendage, still gripping Vader's weapon, tumbles freely through the Death Star's bowels, onward through the space station's core to eventually land safely in the Burbank basement of Bob and Kathy Burns.
There it joined the original set pieces from “Alien and Aliens” and the title monster from “An American Werewolf in London.” Perhaps the weightiest piece in the couple's collection is one of its smallest: the original metal ape skeleton of “King Kong.”
To understand the Burns' effect on movie history and their influence on the many Oscar-winning movie artists who recently gathered in L.A. to pay this couple a grand tribute, you must first understand Bob and Kathy Burns. At the center of the rubber-and-foam SciFi and Fantasy memorabilia bursting to the walls of their unassuming Burbank home is a grander story.