Published on Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Star Wars museum: The force is with Chicago

In a hotly contested bidding race between San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago to become the home of the George Lucas museum, the Windy City is the winner in a surprising decision by the movie mogul.

Lucas has strong ties in California having worked mostly in the Bay Area and went to college near LA, but Lucas' wife Mellody Hobson is a Chicago native.

It is also a coup for Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel who has been very vocal in his support for the museum project.

 Emanuel called it a "milestone for the city that will bring hundreds of jobs and economic opportunity."

Slated to open in 2018, the museum will be called 'The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art' and will be sited on land between Soldier Field and McCormick Place.

Lucas had originally wanted to build the museum on the San Francisco waterfront but planning was denied by city officials.

"Choosing Chicago is the right decision for the museum but a difficult decision for me personally because of my strong personal and professional roots in the Bay Area," Lucas said in a statement.

While the attraction for many will be the artifacts and memorabilia from the Star Wars movie franchise and his other Hollywood projects, and will include a scale model of the Millennium Falcon, Lucas has also amassed a large private art collection.

He has reputedly one of the world's largest collections of movie posters.

Lucas has personally pledged at least $700 million toward the estimated $1 billion cost of the project.

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