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When he's not busy with his day job of making films that people either love or hate, George Lucas is passionate about two things: education and the arts. Since 1991, the George Lucas Educational Foundation has dedicated itself to the continuing improvement of how students are taught in the classroom, and recently the director/writer has been trying to get the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum off of the ground. A place for Lucas to not only display his own private art collection, the museum would also be the home of authentic Star Wars costumes, props, and other pieces from the long history of the franchise. There's just one problem: picking a location to build the museum.
NPR sent reporters to the two main locations that are being considered for the museum, both of which hold a big connection to George Lucas' history. San Francisco is close to his current home in Marin County, and is offering the filmmaker a prime spot on the waterfront of the Embarcadero, but Chicago is "Lucas' second home" and home to his wife, Mellody Hobson. Chicago plans to lease a 17 acre lot to Lucas for $1 in order to build the museum behind Soldier Field – which would keep this museum in the vicinity of the other museums and educational institutions Chicago has to call its own. Institutions like the Field Museum of Natural History or the Adler Planetarium. There's a really good case for both sites, but this matter is being depicted as an "all or nothing" battle between two houses. Personally, I don't think it has to be that way.
George Lucas is all about sharing the magic of Star Wars with the world, so much so that he's even putting these pieces of memorabilia into a public display to begin with. With the money he has (and the lease being only $1 in Chicago), there's no reason he shouldn't be able to build on both locations. As it was said earlier, both places are like home to him and his wife, so why should he have to choose? The man has enough money that he could do both in a heartbeat, and make twice as much money as he would stand to make with just one location.
Furthermore, the San Francisco museum should be moved on campus to Skywalker Ranch in Marin County. It's true that San Francisco is a tourist spot that's too good to pass up, but if he kept this facility in his backyard, it would probably be a lot cheaper and a lot more convenient. Also, Marin County would have a hell of an influx of cash, seeing as Star Wars fans would make pilgrimages to catch a glimpse of where the modern age of movie magic was born, for both Lucas' films and the films of countless others. Local tourism could receive a huge boom from such a decision, and Lucas has always been about giving back. Last, but not least, in an effort to maximize his reach, George Lucas should have permanent installations of the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum in any Disney Park that houses his Star Tours, or at the very least he should have one in Anaheim's Disneyland park. After all, if anyone knows the value of a good teaser trailer, it's definitely George Lucas.
The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum is the perfect opportunity for George Lucas to show the world a thing or two about his personal tastes in art, as well as the blood, sweat, and tears that went into the Star Wars saga. It's time for him to open up the gates to the factory, and start running guided tours with Ewoks that sing rhyming life lessons. Because we all remember what happened to the man who had everything: he shared it with the world.
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