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'Star Wars' creator selects Chicago for museum

By Don Babwin

CHICAGO (AP) - "Star Wars" creator George Lucas has selected Chicago to house his much anticipated museum of art and movie memorabilia, a spokesman for the mayor's office said Tuesday.

The decision is a major victory for the nation's third-largest city, which was locked in a battle for the museum with San Francisco. Bill McCaffrey, a spokesman for Mayor Rahm Emanuel, confirmed that Lucas had selected Chicago but did not immediately have any details.

A spokesman for Lucas did not immediately return a call seeking comment. A message was also left with the San Francisco mayor's office.

George Lucas Picks Chicago For Museum, 'Star Wars' Included

The selection was somewhat of a surprise, given Lucas' close ties to San Francisco and California: He is a native of the state, Lucasfilm's visual effects division is based in the city and the headquarters for LucasFilm and Skywalker Sound is across the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin County. Los Angeles had also bid for the museum.

But Emanuel, President Barack Obama's former chief of staff, pushed hard for Chicago, just as he is pushing hard to persuade his former boss to build his presidential museum in the city. Chicago was always given a good chance, in large part because Lucas' wife, Mellody Hobson, a prominent businesswoman, is from Chicago and Chicago closed down Promontory Point on the lakefront so the couple could host a star-studded party to celebrate after Lucas' California wedding.

And even Lucas called Chicago his "second home."

The city offered up a slice of real estate along the Lake Michigan shore that is near other attractions, including the Shedd Aquarium and the Field Museum of Natural History. At the same time, San Francisco suffered a setback when the city rejected Lucas' first choice of a location near the Golden Gate Bridge.

Emanuel has long been trying to portray Chicago as a global destination, and throughout the decision process, a spokesman for Lucas praised Chicago for the attention it heaps on culture, architecture, innovations and education - some of which are the themes Lucas' museum will seek to promote.

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momsname17 June 24 2014 at 9:50 PM

Lucas bad choice,few will visit

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3 replies
tornekrayville June 24 2014 at 10:46 PM

I was pulling for Detroit.

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darkcloudstonite June 24 2014 at 9:09 PM

Another wimp move by Lucas, choosing Chitcago just because his wife was from there. He might as well have worn a dress when he made the announcement.

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1 reply
hellyon3too darkcloudstonite June 25 2014 at 12:30 PM

What's the matter? Was his dress prettier than yours?

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laura June 24 2014 at 8:22 PM

Great the city where 800 homicides happen a year. Great

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1 reply
ERIC laura June 25 2014 at 4:27 AM

edit: "isn't exactly low".

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liondog96 June 24 2014 at 8:06 PM

Just ask the National Guard for directions to the museum if you get lost.

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3 replies
alangwell June 24 2014 at 9:18 PM

a total waste of the city's assets and taxpayers money. grand opening, pols & influence peddelers will see & b seen, 2 years later 30 people a day will show up & pay $ 20 entry fee to get in.
another ploy by brain dead politicions to get their faces in front of the voters.( i.e. sheep)

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JohnBoydStrother June 24 2014 at 10:55 PM

Oh great, now I will write it off of my list of places to see, The crime rate there will keep me away thank you. It will, of course be a big attraction at first, but that will fade fast when the crime takes away the pleasures.

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2 replies
Suzycremcheese1 JohnBoydStrother June 25 2014 at 8:45 AM

I wish they brought it to NYC!! BTW Sometimes these attractions can help to rid area's of crime because they are forced to add to the police force and clean up the streets to protect the tourists and prevent bad publicity... just sayin

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davidcpasq JohnBoydStrother June 25 2014 at 10:05 AM

crime rate is centered in the south of the city due to gang related violence. don't post if you don't know the facts

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1 reply
hellyon3too davidcpasq June 25 2014 at 12:32 PM

Thank you. Saved me from having to write that.

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t.tirey June 24 2014 at 11:26 PM

Good choice George ! Chances of getting shot in Chicago are not worth the drive.

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HIGHPOWER June 24 2014 at 11:05 PM

Not me.

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glasstiquedan June 24 2014 at 10:46 PM

No-one seems to understand why Lucas may have chosen Chicago. It's smack dab in the center of the country and more people will therefore be able to visit it. When I saw the teaser for this page I immediately guessed "Chicago" for that reason. Also, for those who berate Chicago and Lucas for homosexual reasons and/or his wife's influence all I can say is that I can't think of more queer or fatuous cities than San Fran or L.A.!

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1 reply
JohnBoydStrother glasstiquedan June 24 2014 at 11:01 PM

If it is not near the airport, no one will want to see it. If by your logic, he should had built it in Kansas. Both have cheap land, however Kansas isn't as bad in crime. Oh it will kick start the tourist trade there, but only for a short while.

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