As new residents of the Bay Area, we recently visited Lucasfilm in San Francisco. My kids love Star Wars and were looking forward to seeing the Yoda statue. We managed to find it easy enough, but a rather unsavoury incident occurred which means we won’t be back. Here is the letter I mailed to them in response:
To Whom It May Concern
Hello, my name is Ed Henderson and I am writing this letter on behalf of my 4–year–old son Toby and myself.
We have recently emigrated from Edinburgh, Scotland and have been enjoying some of the wonderful sites, Marin, San Francisco and California has to offer.
Toby has recently watched the “original” Star Wars movies for the first time and is able to understand what is going on. He absolutely loves Star Wars and is always playing lightsaber or with his favorite R2–D2. You can imagine his delight when I informed him that the people responsible for making the movies were near to his house and that there was a Yoda statue/fountain in San Francisco we could go visit.
We came along to your Presidio location in San Francisco on Sunday 9 December; it was a lovely sunny morning. Toby and his brothers had a nice time running around the many paths and having their picture taken with Yoda.
Toby and I then had a look through the window into the wonderful lobby you guys have (he spotted many of the characters he has learned and loved over the last few weeks). He wanted to go in of course but I suggested you were probably closed (it was Sunday AM) but we saw a lady at Reception so we tried the door just in case.
Toby and I entered the Lobby; he was super excited with his red lightsaber, and was bouncing around, fighting invisible bad guys. Before I could even speak to the lady she shouted across the lobby to me (and I quote) “GET OUT OF HERE NOW.”
Before I had time to even respond, she shouted a follow up with “YOU NEED TO GET OUT NOW!” and then said something into her walkie–talkie.
There was absolutely no need to be spoken to in this manner; there was no emergency, yet she was acting as if there was one. I was so shocked and did my best to remain calm for Toby’s sake. I responded with “I don’t mind leaving if you are closed, there is no need to be so rude.’ She shouted, “GET OUT NOW” at us again, even though we were clearly leaving.
Toby asked me outside why we weren’t allowed to go in and I told him that even though the lady was very rude and shouting, that it was most likely that it was just closed today.
Toby thought for a minute then said amongst other things:
- “Daddy, if they are closed, why didn’t the lady just tell us nicely?”
- “Daddy, they could put a sign on the door that says CLOSED”
- “They could lock the door to stop people annoying the lady as she is probably inventing more Star Wars?”
Some great suggestions from a four–year–old, never mind what a grownup like me really wanted to say to her.
He was quite upset at being shouted at, and told to get out, when in his world, it looked like a great place to visit. He would have only been a little upset if he had been treated like a human being rather than a trespasser.
Hopefully some of this letter is helpful for the future and maybe stop other visitors and fans being treated so horribly.
Ed & Toby Henderson
I will report back if Toby or I get a reply from Lucasfilm. Nothing yet (as of 7 January 2013).