Famed Star Wars creator George Lucas plans to open his new museum in Chicago. This decision marks the end of a long debate over where the museum would be built. Several cities sought the honor of hosting the exhibits archive, to be named the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA), not the least of which was his home community of San Francisco, but in the end the film maker decided the Windy City offered the best option.
Lucas has lived and worked in the San Francisco area for most of his career and initially hoped to place the museum there but his proposal was rejected by the Presidio Trust. While the city fought to keep the museum in the Bay Area in spite of this, Mayor Edwin M. Lee indicated that he understood the movie maker’s decision to go with another city. Understandably, Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel sees it as “a milestone” and that “George’s philanthropy will inspire and educate for generations.”
The facility envisioned by the famed producer will be highly interactive and sit on a 17-acre site along the Lake Michigan lakefront in the Windy City. One of the selling points for Lucas was that construction of the museum will open up a large amount of green space in Chicago by moving parking underground and replacing the existing parking lot with parkland. The producer stated it would be a “privilege” to be a “custodian of this cherished land.”
The LMNA will contain memorabilia from Lucas’ films, art from his own private collection, and other exhibits of interest to various aspects of narrative media arts. Although there are no details yet regarding exhibits and events the LMNA, which was previously to be called the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, has created a website at which contains images of art the film maker anticipates featuring as well as links for news and contact information.
A sure highlight of the museum will be anything relating to the Star Wars movie franchise that made him famous. Since the release of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope in 1977 the franchise has continued to gain fans and popularity. With the release of the first of three new movies in the epic saga set for December of 2015, excitement is sure to continue building for anything George Lucas or Star Wars related. This will surely be a boon for the new Windy City project. He is also famous for the Indiana Jones franchise which he created with director Stephen Spielberg.
Lucas has thanked his supporters in California in support of the museum and also stated that many groups in the Windy City area believe the museum will make great contributions to their work and the community. One hopes it can impact Chicago like Lucasfilm Ltd. and Skywalker ranch have impacted the Bay Area. Though Lucas’ construction plans are not yet finalized for the project he hopes the museum will be completed and ready to open for business in Chicago in 2018. His fans have waited longer for an opening before and they will surely arrive in droves when the project is completed.
By David Morris