The Force is now with Los Angeles, as “Star Wars” creator George Lucas selected Exposition Park as the location for his new, $1-billion Lucas Museum of Narrative Art.
The museum promises to “tell a story through images” and will showcase “Star Wars” memorabilia, such as the black mask worn by Darth Vader, stage props from the film “The Ten Commandments” and numerous other narrative artifacts from the filmmaker’s roughly 40,000- piece personal collection.
Architect Ma Yansong and his Beijing-based MAD studio are designing the 275,000-sq-ft building. Yansong designed another concept for the museum for Treasure Island in San Francisco Bay, but the location was recently beat out by Los Angeles.
Lucas previously hoped to land the flying-saucer-shaped museum on a 17-acre lakefront park location in Chicago but pulled out after facing opposition and a lawsuit from a local group called Friends of the Parks, which did not want a private museum on public land.
“No one benefits from continuing [Friends of the Parks’] seemingly unending litigation to protect a parking lot,” Lucas said in a statement last June. “The actions initiated by Friends of the Parks and their recent attempts to extract concessions from the city have effectively overridden approvals received from numerous democratically elected bodies of government.”
While the project team is keeping a tight lip about much of the design and construction of the new museum, renderings of the sweeping structure show art galleries lifted off the ground, with bottom levels for pedestrian traffic, green space and subterranean parking.
The project is located near the University of Southern California, Lucas’ alma mater. Project officials estimate the museum will create thousands of new construction jobs, as well as approximately one thousand permanent positions. Lucas, 72, says he will self-fund the project.