Star Wars Czar in Castle Copy Controversy

Just about every week a new report pops up about a planned structure at Skywalker Ranch in Lucas Valley.

Some are saying Marin's most famous resident George Lucas is about to build something that looks eerily similar to the Hearst Castle.

People in the know say the new quarter-of-a-million square foot production studio is a dead ringer for the San Simeon estate's main building.

Whatever it looks like, it will be built on Grady Ranch in Lucas Valley.

One person who claims to have seen the blue prints wrote in to the Marin IJ: "From the Ronda towers to the Swiss carved Teak-wood gable, it is obviously an adaptation of the W.R. Hearst/Julia Morgan design set in rolling hills."

The original was built in the 1920s.

So far Mr. Lucas isn't talking.  His spokesperson told the San Jose Mercury News that it was Lucas himself who was the principal designer of the new building and denies that is was copied from the famous coastal landmark.

"The inspiration for Grady came from George's admiration for the design of the St. Vincent's School for Boys," Emilie Nicks said.  St. Vincent's is a residential treatment home near Marinwood.

The current buildings on the Skywalker Ranch campus are Victorian, Art Deco and Craftsman style structures.

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