Lucas draws light sabre
Star Wars director George Lucas has dismissed claims that he is waging "class warfare" by selling some of his land for low-income housing after rich neighbours nixed plans for a new studio space.
In the latest twist in a long-running battle, the legendary filmmaker lamented that some people living near his Skywalker Ranch complex, outside San Francisco, had claimed that he was running an "evil empire".
Lucas said the addition to his studio would have provided jobs for local people and would not have had a significant environmental effect on the well-to-do area. But he withdrew his application for permission to build the extension last month because his neighbours' complaints would have delayed the project indefinitely. He decided instead to offer the land for the development of housing for low-income families.
That triggered a new round of protests from some in the well-heeled community, including claims that he was "inciting class warfare".
Lucasfilm, the studio behind the Star Wars and IndianaJones movie franchises, rejected the charge.
"It's unfortunate if people think of affordable housing as a sort of class warfare, because affordable housing is for your firefighters, your police, your teachers," said Lucasfilm spokesman Miles Perkins.