For people and comedy websites that are fueled by pop culture, the mere mention of George Lucas offers endless amounts of ammunition, most of which is targeted toward George Lucas. But regardless of what anyone thinks of the man and his place in the pantheon of awesome, in his civilian life, Lucas is perfectly capable of producing moments of greatness.
Alberto Pizzoli / Getty
This is what it looks like when a man trades his neck to the devil for fame.
Until recently, Lucas spent a lot of time, money and effort trying to build a huge digital media production studio on his property in Marin County, California. The project was going to create around 600 high-paying jobs and bring loads of revenue to local businesses. Too bad a good chunk of his neighbors reveled in riches themselves, and as such didn't give a crap about business or, for that matter, jobs. They vehemently opposed the project, claiming that it would bring too much traffic and noise, not to mention so much light pollution that their "dark starry skies would be destroyed."
That's an actual quote, by the way.
Araya Diaz / Getty
Clearly a neighborhood on the verge of overpopulation.
For a whopping 25 years, Lucas tried to build the property. Although he did secure small victories here and there, he was constantly swimming against a current of "not in our backyard" arguments.
Then, in the spring of 2012, Lucas officially stated that he would give up, sell his property and take his business elsewhere. However, his opponents' cheers died in their throats when he announced the second half of his plan: He had sold his land to a nonprofit organization called Marin Community Foundation. According to their deal, the foundation would build the area full of something the county was in dire need of, but had for some reason been struggling to find space for: low-income residential housing. As in, the projects.
If you're imagining Pruitt-Igoe on Tatooine ... well, so are we.
The foundation praised Lucas, but the rich residents were less thrilled. Their initial reactions were absurd shrieks of nonsense that showed the entire world how far removed from reality they were: Lucas' action was "class warfare." The housing project would throw the whole area into a state of "sheer terror." They even, we kid you not, compared the situation to the conflict in Syria. You know, because everyone worse off than you is just waiting to storm your home with a rocket launcher.
Alas, after the initial shit-flinging had died down, there seemed to be precisely jack shit the jackass neighbors could do about the project besides choking quietly on their bile.
New York Times
Today, this entire valley is crack dealers.
And that, friends, is how a famous pop culture icon defeated a wealthy, villainous clique while helping a bunch of poor people. Wait, holy shit. That's the plot of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, isn't it?
For more vengeful acts we don't condone (but still love), check out 7 Legendary Acts of Petty Revenge and 8 Awesome Cases of Internet Vigilantism.