May the Fourth should be a celebration for all Star Wars fans, but in Chicago right now some of those fans are feeling the Sith-like revenge of a local non-profit. After a wild Tauntaun ride that saw efforts to thwart the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art’s proposed locations be unblocked, and then again blocked by the local group Friends of the Parks, a statement was made by George Lucas’ wife, Mellody Hobson. In it, she informed fans that other cities are being considered as a home for the museum.
In refusing to accept the extraordinary public benefits of the museum, the Friends of the Parks has proven itself to be no friend of Chicago. We are now seriously pursuing locations outside of Chicago. If the museum is forced to leave, it will be because of the Friends of the Parks and that is no victory for anyone. – Mellody Hobson
Let’s keep in mind that this is a museum of narrative arts, not a Star Wars museum, as some have referred to it. There is just as much a chance of an exhibit dedicated to Jar Jar Binks, as there could be a wing dedicated to Howard the Duck, since both were brought to the screen by George Lucas.
Still, we’re talking George Lucas. No matter where the museum lands, there’s going to be cool stuff for people to see in the spaceship-looking building that he’s hoping to curate, as well as use for education and movie screening purposes.
Just as San Francisco had not seen Chicago as a menace to its becoming home base for the museum in 2014, now Chicago must face phantom cities attempting to clone its effort. This is thanks to the watchdog group that’s been filing lawsuits in an attempt to photon torpedo use of land next to Lake Michigan. The first lawsuit was still being discussed in committee when the city proposed a second site that would reuse already developed land instead.
Yesterday, FOTP made a statement it would not continue its legal trench run against the site, making people feel the museum was ready to have a celebration ceremony, complete with medals for everyone except any Wookies who were involved. Later in the day the group casually released another statement saying no sites would be considered acceptable to FOTP. This morning on the Facebook page for the museum, a rally taking place at FOTP‘s headquarters was announced, offering a new hope to Chicago that the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art might still strike back.
Whether it claims Chicago as its spaceport or some other city, there are certainly going to be more episodes to come in this museum’s saga.
Images: Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts