The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has had a somewhat troubled history and constant hurdles have put the project behind; much like the construction of the second Death Star. The Lucas Museum is a dream from the inspiring creator of the Star Wars franchise, George Lucas, who aims to focus on narrative art to engage the public in his new venture. As a veteran storyteller, narrative art is something that Lucas is quite intimate with. Narrative art is the idea of using art to tell a story, either as a singular moment of an event, or a sequence that shows an ongoing story. Lucas has always had a passion for narrative art, and the Lucas Museum is the perfect outlet for him to share his passion with the world.

Unfortunately, the project has been met with many roadblocks (or blockades perhaps?) over the past year. Last summer, the city of Chicago won the bid to have the $300-million museum placed in it’s city, after Lucas was unable to obtain his desired city: San Francisco.  Lucas acquired 17-acres of property on Lake Michigan, a location currently occupied by two parking lots. The image below shows the planned museum location, which is projected to be opened in 2018.

Map of planned Lucas Museum in Chicago, IL, via www.LucasMuseum.org

Map of planned Lucas Museum in Chicago, IL, via www.LucasMuseum.org

In November of 2014, the official Lucas Museum Twitter page (@LucasMuseum) posted the first conceptual designs for the museum which were done by Chinese architect, Ma Yasong. The mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanual, publicly commented on the designs saying, “It’s bold, I think we can say that. It’s a bold piece. There’s a lot of architects that like it. Other people have expressed their view.” The designs are truly epic, a combination of innovation and timelessness that would definitely enhance the area. Not everyone agreed however, and the designs were met with some criticism, mostly that the museum would detract from the natural beauty of the lakefront property.d

Conceptual designs of the Lucas Museum, via www.LucasMuseum.org

Conceptual designs of the Lucas Museum, via www.LucasMuseum.org

 

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Conceptual designs of the Lucas Museum, via www.LucasMuseum.org

 

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Conceptual designs of the Lucas Museum, via www.LucasMuseum.org

Things began to look bleak when Friends of the Parks (FotP) filed a lawsuit against the Lucas Museum in federal court. According to their website, FotP are a “40-year old non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve, protect, improve and promote the use of parks and open spaces throughout the Chicago area for the enjoyment of all residents and visitors.” The group has made the claim that the site to be used for the Lucas Museum was a part of Lake Michigan until it was filled some 100 years ago. The argue that the area is therefore a protected waterway, meaning that the city would need state approval before allowing Lucas to continue construction of his museum.

While the court case is under way, Lucas has already begun to survey other cities to possibly host his museum. Lucas says he has several other cities in mind if Chicago falls through, including Los Angeles, California. “The advantage Los Angeles has is that it’s on the USC campus and I don’t have to go through all the rigmarole of years and years of trying to get past everything. That’s an advantage because I do want to get it done in my lifetime.”

While there have been several disputes regarding other construction projects in the Chicago area over the past year, the public it seems, doesn’t seem to care about the proposed location of the Lucas Museum. The Chicago Tribune conducted a poll last August that showed the majority of Chicago citizens aren’t bothered by the location chosen by Lucas (see poll results below).

Poll conducted via the Chicago Tribune in August of 2014

Poll conducted via the Chicago Tribune in August of 2014

On February 26th, the federal judge will make a ruling on the case and the future of the Lucas Museum will be more clear. For now, all we can do is wait. Luckily, Lucas seems well prepared and is setting up contingency plans in the event that Chicago falls through. At the time of this article, neither the Lucas Museum or Friends of the Parks were available for comment. You can however learn more about the Lucas Museum by visiting them here. Alternatively, Friends of the Park can be found here for more information.

What do you think about the debate surrounding the construction of the Lucas Museum? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and become a part of the discussion! You can find Alex Rybak at @arybak89 and the official Yoda’s News page at @yodasnews.

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