No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

June 24, 2014 | 5:18 p.m.
kirk mckoy harrison ford 1110201303 No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Actor Harrison Ford, who was cast as Han Solo in the original "Star Wars" trilogy. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

split No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Two women have joined the cast of "Star Wars: Episode VII": Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o, left, and Gwendoline Christie.

kirk mckoy oscar isaacs  1110201304 No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

"Inside Llewyn Davis" actor Oscar Isaac has been tapped to join the "Star Wars: Episode VII" cast. Click through to see who else scored a role in the film. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

la et daisy ridley No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Actress Daisy Ridley, relatively new to the acting scene, has also landed a role in the upcoming film "Inbetweeners II." (Matthew Brooks)

174240 ca 0923 emmys jlc 086 No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Actor Adam Driver, best known for his work in the HBO comedy "Girls." (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

afp getty  half of a yellow sun uk premiere red carpet No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Actor John Boyega, best known for playing Moses in the sci-fi flick "Attack the Block." (Tim P. Whitby / Getty Images)

169610 ca 1219 lae28093ene280930105e28093vone28093sydow 2 mam No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Actor Max von Sydow, who received Academy Award nominations for his work in "Pelle the Conqueror" and "Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close." (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

apphoto britain frank screening No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Irish actor Domhnall Gleeson, who played Bill Weasley in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." (John Phillips / Invision / Associated Press)

afp getty wondercon anaheim 2014 20th century fox pres2 No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Actor Andy Serkis, best known for motion capture acting for roles such as Gollum in "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, and Caesar in "Rise of the Planet of the Apes." (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

162527 ca 1202 conversation 09 No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Actress Carrie Fisher, best known for her portrayal of Princess Leia in the original trilogy. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

lae28093ete28093mark hamill 2 No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Actor Mark Hamill, best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the original trilogy. (Stephanie Cornfield / For the Times)

165059 ca 0406 starwars 1 gmf No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Actor Anthony Daniels, best known as C-3PO in the original "Star Wars" trilogy. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

clh1 ca oc 0510 starwars o 1 No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

Actor Kenny Baker, best known for portraying "Star Wars" robot R2-D2, left, and actor Peter Mayhew, best known for portraying Chewbacca in the original trilogy. (Keith Hamshere / Lucasfilm Ltd)

In a galaxy far, far away in the Midwest, one known as Chicago, a grand institution will be built…

George Lucas has chosen the Illinois metropolis as the location for his museum, according to a Lucas spokesman as well as a spokeswoman for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. The city beat out San Francisco, New York, and of course, Los Angeles.

Rest assured that Los Angeles made overtures, and not shy ones either, to claim the filmmaker’s museum, which will officially be called the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts. According to our sister blog, Culture Monster, none other than Mayor Garcetti himself reached out to the “Star Wars” creator. In a letter that he posted on his website, Garcetti tentatively proposed the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, located near USC, which is where Lucas studied film in the 1960s. From Culture Monster’s David Ng:

“The plan would be to tear down the arena, which opened in 1959, and to build the museum on the site. There’s already an approved environmental impact report concerning the possible demolition of the arena, according to Molly Fowler, a spokeswoman for Garcetti.

She said the mayor is eager to help museum officials expedite the construction process should Lucas choose L.A. The mayor would also help convene a body of cross-industry advisors that would help in the construction, she said.”

In addition to promising an easy path for construction, Garcetti also laid out many reasons why Los Angeles would make a great pick, including the 42.2 million tourists who visit the city annually. Even a Twitter campaign was fired up, under the hashtag #WhyLucasInLA.

But despite Twitter bringing up attractive Angeleno features such as the La Brea Tar Pits and In-N-Out Burger (really, people, burgers was the best you could do?), Lucas has chosen Chicago. Why?

Perhaps the plum piece of real estate Chicago has offered has something to do with it: The Lucas museum will get to share the city’s lakefront museum campus, home to the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum, two long-established sites that could lend the Lucas Museum an air of dignified history. The Field Museum, for instance, opened in 1893 (to house the exhibits and collections assembled for the World’s Fair).

Also, Chicago had this advantage: investment executive Mellody Hobson, Lucas’ wife (the two married last year) and a lifelong Chicagoan. The couple is spending half the year in her native city, and the two have quickly become top-tier philanthropists there.  They’ve donated $50 million in the last year to Chicago institutions, including $25 million to the private University of Chicago Laboratory Schools to help construct an arts building named after Gordon Parks, the first African American staff photographer for Life magazine and later the first African American to direct a major Hollywood movie, his most famous film being 1971′s “Shaft.”

Maybe love is the greatest force of them all then. Who can fault Chicago for reaping the benefits?

The Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts, expected to open in 2018, will feature art from Lucas’ personal collection — including works by Norman Rockwell, N.C. Wyeth and Maxfield Parrish — as well as exhibitions on “Star Wars,” the motion picture industry and digital media.

–Margaret Wappler | @MargaretWappler

RECENT AND RELATED

'Star Wars' George Lucas Mark Hamill‘Clone Wars’: Dave Filoni on Ahsoka’s fate

‘Star Wars’ comics leaving Dark Horse in 2015

Star Wars Instagram: Darth Vader takes a selfie

‘Star Wars Rebels’ reveals the Inquisitor

‘Star Wars’: Larry Kasdan wants film to ‘start fresh’

Frank Oz ready to return to Yoda for spinoff

Abrams directing ‘Star Wars’: Many voices cry out

Lucas: ‘Star Wars’ stood on the shoulders of ‘Trek’

‘Star Wars’ writer Simon Kinberg talks spinoffs

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’ to open Dec. 18, 2015

‘Star Wars: Episode VII’: Abrams, Kasdan to pen script

 

Comments


One Response to No force for Los Angeles: The George Lucas museum goes to Chicago

  1. Ron Howard says:

    Hundreds of millions of dollars for entertainment…
    just entertainment…
    what was that opening line of a play, "we are the first society that has entertained itself to death."
    Charity, what charity.
    Ego, well, of course, my ego.
    What a gigantic waste by someone who is getting on…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title="" rel=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <pre> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Close
E-mail It
Powered by ShareThis