Over the past several years, now retired filmmaker George Lucas has been trying to build a museum for his extensive art collection, which not only includes about 10,000 paintings and illustrations, but also memorabilia from films - including Star Wars. As far back as 2009, he was trying to get the project approved for his hometown of San Francisco, but received pushback for wanting to construct it in the city's historic park. Lucas also eyed Chicago as a possible destination, but his site selection drew the ire of Friends of the Parks, and the plans were scrapped.
Despite this, Lucas has continued to persist and never gave up on his dream. Recently, he's made some headway and narrowed the destination to two potential sites: Exposition Park in Los Angeles and Treasure Island in San Francisco. After months of debate, Lucas has now made his choice. His museum is headed to Los Angeles.
According to THR, Lucas selected the City of Angels for his $1 billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. It will display vintage photographs, a collection of paintings, as well as materials from various movies. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti hopes the facility will be open on May 4, 2020 - which will fittingly be the annual "May the Fourth" holiday that the Star Wars community celebrates. It's been reported that museum will bring about 1,500 construction jobs and 350 permanent positions. The institution will undoubtedly bring about even more tourists to the L.A. area, since many will be curious to see what Lucas owns. It's important to keep in mind that this will not be a Star Wars exclusive museum, but items from a galaxy far, far away can be seen. You can see a rendition of the futuristic design below:
The museum's official website mentions that it will be split up into three sections: The History of Narrative Art, The Art of Cinema, and Digital Art. Each collection has numerous subcategories, providing visitors with an extensive overview to explore. For instance, the Art of Cinema exhibit covers set design, prop design, costumes, makeup, and visual effects (among others). From the looks of it, there will be something for everyone here, no matter where your interests lie. There are already a bevy of pieces to be showcased when the museum is ready to open, but the collection is ever-growing and aims to tell stories from a plethora of time periods.
It will be interesting to see how the museum unfolds once it is ready for business. In the meantime, this has to come as a great relief to Lucas, as this was a passion of his for a long time and now it is becoming a reality. He certainly hasn't had the easiest time getting the museum off the ground, but now he can rest easy knowing that it's only a few years away. Lucas may be done directing and producing films, but he's found a great way to show his appreciation and love for the arts, sharing it with many others.