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While many fans still feel he did his part to ruin his own reputation with the Star Wars prequels and special editions, George Lucas to this day remains one of the most important figures in film history. Not only did he bring us amazing franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones and make great titles like American Graffiti, he was also always on the forefront of both audio and visual technology, starting up labs like Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound. In all that time spent evolving the industry and and making money hand over fist, Lucas also began a collection of fantastic art and artifacts from history, and soon you'll be able to travel to Chicago to view it all.
The Chicago Times is reporting that the Windy City has been chosen over both Los Angeles (Hollywood's home) and San Francisco (Lucas' and ILM's home) to serve as the location for the in-development Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. Originally potentially known as the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, the new establishment will feature all kinds of different pieces, including "valuable Norman Rockwell paintings, examples of the Hollywood special effects he pioneered at Industrial Light & Magic, and memorabilia such as a scale model of the Millennium Falcon, the fictional spacecraft commanded by Han Solo."
If the location of the museum seems a bit odd to you - especially given that George Lucas is also from Northern California - then you probably won't be surprised that there was a bit of drama going on behind the scenes before Chicago's selection was made. The Tribune says that the decision was partially motivated by what they call "a bungling of the billionaire’s legacy project by the board of a national park in San Francisco." Instead, the museum was drawn to Chicago, which not only had Mayor Rahm Emanuel campaigning hard for the establishment's presence but also has more tourists annually. Said Lucas in an official statement,
"Choosing Chicago is the right decision for the Museum, but a difficult decision for me personally because of my strong personal and professional roots in the Bay Area. I thank all Californians who reached out to me in support of the Museum."
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be built on a 17-acre site and located in the area called Museum Campus, which also happens to be where the Shedd Aquarium, The Field Museum and the Adler Planetarium are. Architectural renderings of the site are going to be presented to the City of Chicago in the early fall, and the plan is to have the exhibition up and running in 2018.
Are you excited that George Lucas' museum is getting up and running? Do you think Chicago is a good location for the site? Let us know what you think in the comments below.