The upcoming J.J. Abrams “Star Wars” films aren’t the only massively expensive things to look forward to in the not-so-far-far-away future. Well into its planning phase, the George Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will be a destination for fans of Han Solo, Indiana Jones, and plain old storytelling as early as 2018.
The MacGuffin: Story Doesn’t Belong in a Warehouse
Remember the scene at the end of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” that shows the ark being tucked away into a shadowy government warehouse? Indiana would much prefer it ended up in a museum—and the inspiration behind the George Lucas Museum isn’t all that different.
The history of storytelling, from cave paintings all the way to lightsaber effects, should be forever accessible to the public, believes Lucas. And it happens he has the money to make his beliefs a reality. Lucas is paying the tab for the $300 million project himself—and that doesn’t include the estimated $600 million in exhibits he’s donating from Skywalker Ranch.
What the figure does include are seventeen acres of lakefront Chicago property and some gorgeous, Cloud-City-inspired buildings brought to life by international design firm MAD Architects. It’s going to be a beautiful plan when it comes together.
The Exhibits: From R2-D2 to Norman Rockwell
“No other museum like this exists in the world, making it a tremendous educational, cultural and job creation asset for all Chicagoans,” says Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel.
These “assets,” of course, don’t revolve exclusively around Lucas. Sure, there are plans in place for featured works like Millennium Falcon models and R2-D2 sketches, but the museum will also house early comic book art, classical paintings, and exhibits covering the makeup and costume design of characters from “Frankenstein” all the way to “Jurassic Park.”
Exhibits will be broken down across three categories, each spanning many cultures and art periods: narrative art, the art of cinema, and digital art. In addition, the museum will feature traveling exhibitions, topical lecture series, screenings of cultural and independent films, and programs to support schools and students.
Plans are in place to document the construction phase by way of a live webcam and time-lapse video footage—which we fully plan on watching while listening to John Williams score on headphones.
[Image: MAD Architects]
Matt Siegel writes about stock video, rebel princesses, and George Lucas museums for VideoBlocks.