Updated: George Lucas Speaks at Chicago Ideas Week; Updates on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art

Updated: George Lucas Speaks at Chicago Ideas Week; Updates on the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art


We here at Coffee With Kenobi have been following the developments surrounding the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts for some time now, as you can see from our archives, and today we have a few updates for you.

George Lucas participated in Chicago Ideas Week, and he was questioned by CBS This Morning co-host Charlie Rose about the planned Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. When asked why Chicago was chosen, Lucas gave an answer that really shouldn’t surprise anyone in the know:

“I happen to be married to a woman who was born and raised in Chicago,” Lucas said, referring to businesswoman Mellody Hobson.

Lucas’ first choice was his home town of San Francisco, but his proposal for the museum was rejected. The museum will be built on Chicago’s lakefront, and the $300 million project will be fully funded by Lucas himself.

“I pay for the whole thing – and the endowment, and everything,” Lucas said as audience members applauded.

“You can afford a museum?” Rose asked.

“Yeah, I can,” the filmmaker said.

When Rose pressed Lucas on what the building will look like, this was the entertaining exchange that transpired:

“The first thing I said to (Chicago Mayor) Rahm (Emanuel), they offered me this site … I said, ‘That looks great.’ It’s in a museum community, which I love,” Lucas said. “The fact that we can relate to all of the other museums, and you can walk from one to the other.

“But I said, ‘I have to warn you. I want to build an iconic museum. I want to build something no one’s ever seen before, something that’s avant-garde and leading edge in the architectural world.

“And that went over” — long pause — “OK.”

The audience laughed.

Rose pushed him to give more specifics.

Will it be like something out of “Star Wars”?

“No,” Lucas said. “Again, it’s not really a ‘Star Wars’ museum.”

Rose replied, “No, I mean, in the look. Will it be a spacey look?”

Everyone laughed. Rose continued to press: “Give us a hint of what’s in your head.”

“It’s going to be organic architecture,” Lucas said.

“It’s going to connect to the ground,” Lucas replied. “It going to look like it’s a living thing. Well, not like a living thing, maybe a living thing like a sponge.”

(A sponge could be interesting, considering the Shedd Aquarium is located nearby. 😉 )

“It’s not a square box,” Lucas said. “It conforms to the land in a kind of way. It feels like an organic thing. We decided on that because that’s my taste, and I wanted to do something that hadn’t been done. I think organic architecture is the wave of the future.”

The museum will be a way for Lucas to express his love for art, and to share the collection he’s been building since he was in college with the public. The facility will include a theater, and it will host foreign films, lectures, and workshops.

You can see video of the exchange between George Lucas and Charlie Rose by following this link: http://chicago.cbslocal.com

There are also more videos of Lucas at http://www.chicagotribune.com.


The official website for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art has recently been updated in order to give a clearer idea of what visitors can expect when the facility opens in 2018.

The museum will feature three main categories:

Narrative Art – “Narrative Art tells a story. It uses the power of the visual image to ignite imaginations, evoke emotions and capture universal cultural truths and aspirations. What distinguishes Narrative Art from other genres is its ability to narrate a story across diverse cultures, preserving it for future generations.”

This category will include illustrations, photography, comic, pin-up, and children’s art.

Art of Cinema – “Cinema is a visual language that tells stories in moving images. Pictures put in motion have a completely different effect than when they are static. Cinematic Art is a merging of many disciplines and crafts to create a powerful emotional experience.”

Cinematic, prop, set, costume, make-up, and creature design will be featured in this category, along with animation and visual effects.

The Digital Art – “The Digital Art medium uses computer technology in its creation. Digital Art has revolutionized more traditional art forms like painting, sculpture and cinema. Artists have always encountered technological barriers in their work. Digital is simply the newest medium artists have discovered in their quest to tell their stories constrained only by the limits of their imagination.”

This category will highlight all things digital – cinema, fine art, illustration, sculpture, and architecture.

While not exclusively a “Star Wars” museum, one look at the categories focusing on cinema and digital art make it clear that Star Wars – and other notable films such as Jurassic Park, Pirates of the Caribbean, Blade Runner, and Raiders of the Lost Ark (to name but a few) – will be well-represented.

For more information on the museum project, please visit LucasMuseum.org.

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