“We have several opportunities to build the production stages in communities that see us as a creative asset, not as an evil empire, and if we are to stay on schedule we must act on those opportunities,” Lucasfilm said in a statement. Today’s decision by George Lucas to back out of the Grady Ranch project reportedly caught Marin County officials by surprise, according to the AP. The filmmaker long planned to build a digital studio near his Skywalker Ranch but the project ran into many years of objections and legal action from neighborhood groups. Local homeowners had voiced opposition to the project, which they said was inappropriate for their suburban community. The studio was going to house production facilities for Lucasfilm’s advanced media projects and now will find a new location instead.

Lucasfilm has spend more than 25 years trying to get the so-called Grady Ranch project underway, long before most of the digital technologies that would be employed at the studio were even conceived. But it always faced objections from local homeowners.