Sadder Than Anakin’s Fall: George Lucas Drops Plans for His Chicago Art Museum

Photo: Jason LaVeris/2016 Jason LaVeris

Star Wars auteur George Lucas's dream of building an art museum in Chicago, like Alderaan, has been destroyed. Following months of debates and lawsuits brought on by Friends of the Parks, a small local preservation group, Lucas has been forced to move the museum's proposed lakefront location to California instead. The group argued that the land which is currently a parking lot adjacent to Soldier Field should only be used for parkland alongside Lake Michigan, and that the addition of the museum would permanently tarnish the lakefront. "No one benefits from continuing their seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot," Lucas said in a statement. "The actions initiated by Friends of Parks and their recent attempts to extract concessions from the city have effectively overridden approvals received from numerous democratically elected bodies of government."

The Lucas Museum, which was announced in November 2014, would've showcased vast narrative art exhibitions and drawn extensively from Lucas's personal collection. In an additional statement, Chicago's mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city lost a "once-in-a-generation opportunity," and "Chicago’s loss will be another city’s gain."