Ed Driscoll

Revenge of the Jedi

Found the Rhetorican, George Lucas has a little fun with his fellow One Percenters in posh Marin County, after they rejected his proposal to build a movie studio (which would bring jobs, revenue, and additional taxes into the area). First, his PR department issued a statement that reads:

The level of bitterness and anger expressed by the homeowners in Lucas Valley has convinced us that, even if we were to spend more time and acquire the necessary approvals, we would not be able to maintain a constructive relationship with our neighbors.

We love working and living in Marin, but the residents of Lucas Valley have fought this project for 25 years, and enough is enough.  Marin is a bedroom community and is committed to building subdivisions, not business.  Many years ago, we tried to stop the Lucas Valley Estates project from being built, but we failed, and we now have a subdivision on our doorstep.

Next — well, we’ll let Movies.com take it from here:

[Lucas] wants to transform the property into low-income housing, naturally, ending their official statement with this zinger, “If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land, then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit.”

He’s working with the Marin Community Foundation to instead construct affordable housing for either low-income families or seniors living on small, fixed incomes. In order to smooth along the development, he’s already given them all of the pricey technical studies and land surveys Lucasfilm spent years conducting. And we think that’s just great. Because if there’s one thing rich people will hate more than having movie magic made in their backyard, it’s poor people moving in.

Mr. Lucas, we may hate you for turning your back on the original trilogy, but our hat is off to you on this one. Well played.

Heh. Incidentally, the press release from Lucasfilm’s PR department that Movies.com quotes goes on to note:

While we managed to build on Skywalker Ranch after one year master plan approval and another year PDP approval, it took over 10 years for the Master Plan approval on Big Rock and Grady Ranches. It took us three years for a PDP on Big Rock and now we are four years into trying to get a PDP permit for Grady Ranch with no end in sight.

As the company grew we realized we needed more space than what we were building in Lucas Valley at Skywalker Ranch, and it could not accommodate the whole company. We then worked to find more land on which to expand our corporate headquarters, our video game enterprise LucasArts, and our visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic. We were told there was no way we would be able to build a facility of that size in Marin County and therefore we moved the majority of our employees from Marin to the Presidio in San Francisco. We’ve had a great partnership with the Presidio Trust and created a low impact facility which offers great benefit to its surrounding community

How out of touch is Marin? They make San Francisco look like a pro-business city — at least from Lucas’s perspective. On the other hand, it’s a rather distorted perspective. Considering Lucas thinks of communist Vietnam as the good guys, why should he be angry at a local government that attempts to thwart his business plans — or be surprised at “The level of bitterness and anger” expressed by his fellow California leftists, simply because they’ve aimed their rancor towards him?

Found via The Rhetorican, who goes on to note, “Now all they need over there is a state prison and Marin County will finally be representative of California state government’s three main constituencies: ‘the very rich, the very poor, and the public employees.'”

Update: Will Smith gets mugged reality, decides not to move to France anytime soon. Don’t miss the video.