Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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November 30, 2012

Another Yoda statue, Calif. Star Wars fans may get

SAN ANSELMO, Calif. (AP) — Star Wars fans might soon have another Yoda statue in the San Francisco Bay area to visit.

Filmmaker George Lucas plans to help build a small park in Marin County that would feature a bronze sculpture of the popular Star Wars character, along with one of Indiana Jones.

Lucas' estate manager, Sarita Patel, said the Yoda statue would be similar to one in San Francisco's Presidio neighborhood. That one — a full-sized replica of the Jedi sage — lies atop a fountain outside an arts center where Lucas moved most of his operations in 2005. It has become a big draw for fans.

Lucas applied for a permit Wednesday to demolish a building on the site of the planned park in San Anselmo, the town where he lives, the Marin Independent Journal reported (http://bit.ly/YsKH3u)

He announced over the summer that he planned to donate the land where the building sits to the San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce, and donate the statues for the proposed park. Lucas has since also agreed to pay for the building's demolition.

The chamber hopes to raise $150,000 to $200,000 to create the park.

San Anselmo Town Manager Debra Stutsman said the demolition application, which includes a historical analysis of the building, will be reviewed by the town's Planning Commission and Historical Commission.

The building, as well as a fresco inside, date back to 1945.

Patel said Lucas plans to donate the fresco to the Spanish consulate in San Francisco.

Lucas built his film operation in Marin County and had planned to put up a palatial new digital media production studio there. But he abandoned those plans earlier this year in the face of opposition from neighbors and what he said were delays in the approval process.

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