Extremely rich men, as they age, inevitably decided to build monuments to themselves that they disguise as ‘giving something back.’ They endow orchestras, they start arts foundations, whatever will look good on the resume of a dead guy. And so it is with George Lucas, who has tricked Chicago into letting him build a glorified storage unit along the lakefront for the stuff in his garage.
OK, OK, so technically it’s the Lucas Museum Of Narrative Art, but let’s not pretend for a microsecond this isn’t Lucas trying desperately to secure some sort of legacy that doesn’t involve the prequels. Especially since he’s paying all the bills himself, according to the Chicago Sun-Times:
The museum is completely self-funded; will be built, funded and endowed by Lucas; and has been described as a “history of storytelling” project “dedicated to the power of the visual image” as well as the world’s largest interactive museum.
As you might guess, the proposed museum will have a lot of Star Wars stuff in it, including a model of the Millennium Falcon from the original movie, exhibits from ILM (i.e. they can finally get those Howard the Duck suits out of the basement), and… Norman Rockwell paintings, for no explicable reason other than George drunkenly bought a few in 1983 and he has no idea what to do with them.
In other words, it’s a Star Wars museum that Lucas doesn’t have the neck pouch to just call a Star Wars museum. Keep in mind Lucas tends towards the grandiose when it comes to Luke, Leia and company; he’s paid for books to be written claiming that Star Wars is the modern version of mythology. And he had a decent argument for it before he decided to milk the cow until every last dollar was squeezed, and then sold it to Disney to wring the teats for even more cash.
So, essentially, expect this to be a museum largely about Star Wars and to screen those tough, non-commercial independent movies George has totally been working on and will start showing us any day now. But, hey, the Star Wars stuff will be cool.