George Lucas goes to Singapore to open new Lucasfilm Sandcrawler creativity center

By Daniel S Levine,

Lucasfilm is expanding in Singapore, where the company once owned by Star Wars creator George Lucas opened a creativity center dubbed the ‘Sandcrawler’ because it is shaped like the famous Star Wars vehicle.

Lucas told local media that, like the original idea for Star Wars, many thought that expanding into Singapore was a bad idea, notes tHe Hollywood Reporter. However, he said the country is “a symbol of the people of Singapore and computer animation combining with Lucasfilm to create something that is (of) world quality.”

The 22,500-square-meter (242,190 square-foot) building is triangular in shape and modeled after the vehicle that the Jawas used in A New Hope. According to Reuters, the building expands on the first Lucasfilm Singapore building opened in 2005. The new headquarters will have a staff of 400.

“May the Force be with you,” Singapore prime minister Lee Hsien Loong said at the opening Thursday, quoting the most famous Star Wars line.

“This is a very robust operation that is comparable to exactly what we're doing in San Francisco or Vancouver,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said. “Many of the top-end movies that are being made in the next 18 months to two years, a vast variety of that work will head in this direction.”

Industrial Light & Magic is already working on The Avengers: Age of Ultron and Transformers 4 in the city-state. The Lucasfilm-based VFX company also did work on Pacific Rim and Iron Man in Singapore.

“This will be our busiest year ever at Industrial Light & Magic,” Kennedy said, likely referring to the long list of blockbusters due out in the 2014 and 2015.

Disney bought Lucasfilm for over $4 billion in October 2012 and a seventh Star Wars film is due out in December 2015.

image: Wikimedia Commons



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