‘Star Wars’ Museum Lands in Chicago

Parts of the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum collection on display. The "Star Wars Identities" traveling exhibition, currently at the Cite du Cinema in Saint-Denis, France, features 200 objects from George Lucas' collection — including the costumes of Chewbacca, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organ

Parts of the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum collection on display. The "Star Wars Identities" traveling exhibition, currently at the Cite du Cinema in Saint-Denis, France, features 200 objects from George Lucas' collection — including the costumes of Chewbacca, Han Solo and Princess Leia Organ

Star Wars creator George Lucas has chosen Chicago as the location of a planned museum of his art and movie memorabilia, snubbing San Francisco despite the push to build it adjacent to Crissy Field in the Presidio.

A spokesman for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum will be built in the Windy City.

The Associated Press says: “It was unclear for weeks whether Chicago or San Francisco would be selected. Some people thought Chicago might have the upper hand because Lucas’ wife is from Chicago and because of Emanuel’s powers of persuasion. But Lucas is a California native, his visual effects division is based in San Francisco and the headquarters for LucasFilm and Skywalker Sound is in nearby Marin County.”

Artist’s rendering of proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum in San Francisco’s Presidio. The body governing the former Army base has rejected the museum and two other proposals.
Artist’s rendering of proposed Lucas Cultural Arts Museum in San Francisco’s Presidio. The body governing the former Army base has rejected the museum and two other proposals.

The Sun-Times describes the museum as a $1 billion investment and Chicago Business says, quoting a task force set up by Emanuel to study the project, it “would generate between $2 billion and $2.5 billion of additional tourist spending and significant tax revenue over ten years.”

Back in March of 2013, Lucas announced plans to build the center. Although it’s being described as the “Star Wars museum,” Lucas says the facility would feature, among other things, a wide selection of populist art he owns, including “a number of Norman Rockwell paintings.”

“I don’t have enough walls, which is why I want to build a museum,” Lucas told The San Francisco Chronicle in March.

The AP says:

“The city offered up a slice of real estate along the Lake Michigan shore that is near other attractions, including the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. At the same time, San Francisco suffered a setback when the city rejected Lucas’ first choice of a location near the Golden Gate Bridge.

“Emanuel has long been trying to portray Chicago as a global destination, and throughout the decision process, a spokesman for Lucas praised Chicago for the attention it heaps on culture, architecture, innovations and education — some of which are the themes Lucas’ museum will seek to promote.”

Read more of KQED’s coverage of the plans for the Lucas Museum at KQED’s News Fix.

KQED’s Kevin Jones contributed to this article.

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