The Force Awakens as Chicago Approves George Lucas’ Massive Space-Age Museum

That’s no moon—that’s a $400 million victory for the city.

Image via Lucas Museum / Facebook

Plans for a George Lucas’ massive “Museum of Narrative Art” moved ahead, as the Chicago City Council voted this week to approve the Star Wars filmmaker’s building proposal, reports Mashable. The museum is expected to cover 300,000 square feet, and will cost an estimated $400 million dollars to build along Chicago’s pricey Lake Michigan shoreline.

According to the Associated Press, the museum will not only feature Star Wars memorabilia—likely its biggest draw—but also items from Lucas’ various other films, such as the Indiana Jones franchise. As its website explains, “[t]he Lucas Museum of Narrative Art 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.” Accordingly, beyond exhibits consisting of film-related items, the museum will also feature items from Lucas’ personal art collection, reports the AP.

Located just south of Soldier Field, home to the Chicago Bears, the Lucas Museum is not only expected to become a major attraction for Chicago, but will make a striking addition to the city’s already iconic skyline. As befitting a building bearing the name of a science fiction icon, museum designs show a structure that would look right at home in one of Lucas’ many sci-fi films:

Image via Lucas Museum / Facebook

Initial plans for the museum ran into trouble over disagreements between the Bears and the Chicago Park District regarding parking and tailgating space. After that dispute was resolved earlier this month, the City Council took up the vote to move ahead with the museum’s construction. The plan is heavily supported by Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, who leapt at the opportunity to host the museum in his city while Lucas’ hometown of San Francisco tarried to snatch the project up, the AP explains. As Emanuel said in a statement on the museum’s website:

“George Lucas has revolutionized the art of storytelling over the last four decades and we are honored to be the recipient of this incredible legacy investment that will allow everyone to learn about and experience narrative arts. Like Marshall Field, John G. Shedd and Max Adler before him, George’s philanthropy will inspire and educate for generations. No other museum like this exists in the world, making it a tremendous educational, cultural and job creation asset for all Chicagoans, as well as an unparalleled draw for international tourists.”

The Chicago Tribune, citing museum officials, reports that construction could begin as early as this coming spring, with doors opening (hopefully with a fancy space-age “whooshing” sound?) by 2019. There is, however, a pending lawsuit from nonprofit organization Friends of the Parks, which challenges the city’s right to have allotted the land to the museum in the first place. The group is due back in court, reports the Tribune, on November 10.

[via mashable]

via Michael Belanger / Flickr

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