George Lucas Museum Plans Approved by Chicago


George Lucas may have essentially retired from Star Wars when he handed the reins of the franchise over to Disney (which happened exactly three years ago today). But that doesn’t mean he’s stopped working on his own endeavors. In fact, laying down the lightsaber has actually given the filmmaker time to shift his attention back to projects in our own galaxy instead of one far, far away — specifically, in the city of Chicago.

That’s where Lucas plans to build his ambitious Museum of Narrative Art, a proposal that just got the go-ahead from the Chicago City Council on Thursday.

According to its official website, the proposed museum “will be a gathering place to experience narrative art and the evolution of moving images – from illustration to cinema to the digital media of the future.”

Learning from the Empire’s mistakes with not one but two consecutive Death Stars, Lucas’ plans don’t include a planet-obliterating superlaser with a poorly placed exhaust port. Instead, it will feature the director’s personal collection of props, artwork, costumes and memorabilia from his decades in the movie business.

It’s easy to guess that this will mostly consist of items from the Star Wars universe, as well as the Indiana Jones films (hopefully, anything from Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has already been incinerated to erase the memory of that movie.) Reports also say Lucas will display his large collection of Norman Rockwell paintings, and that it will feature theaters for movie screenings and large lecture halls for guest speakers.

But the center will have one thing in common with the Death Star: It will feature a scale model of the Millennium Falcon inside. Apparently, no tractor beam will be necessary.

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Instead of other suitable candidates like San Francisco, Los Angeles, or Hoth, Lucas decided to build the $400 million structure in Chicago on the shores of Lake Michigan because that’s where his wife is from. Although it’s set to begin construction next year, it still faces a few hurdles before it can be completed. The largest is a federal suit from a parks protection group that claims the city can’t give that land to a private organization.

The entire project also underwent a major redesign to reduce its square footage after the NFL’s Chicago Bears complained that it would take away numerous parking spots because of its proximity to Soldier Field. Still, the builders hope that the site will be “fully operational” by 2019 barring any major setbacks, like a rogue X-Wing pilot equipped with a few proton torpedoes.

Check out a few photos of the museum below:

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