'Star Wars' creator selects Chicago for museum

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'Star Wars' creator selects Chicago for museum
David Prowse as Darth Vader in a scene from the film 'Star Wars', 1977. (Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images)
English actor David Prowse (L), who played the character of Darth Vader (Dark Vador in French) in the first Star Wars trilogy poses with a fan dressed up in a Darth Vader costume during a Star Wars convention on April 27, 2013 in Cusset. AFP PHOTO THIERRY ZOCCOLAN (Photo credit should read THIERRY ZOCCOLAN/AFP/Getty Images)
STAR WARS signed photo of David Prowse showing him in his classic role of Darth Vader
JUN 15 1977, MAY 30 1978, JUN 4 1978; 'Star Wars' has Given three Performers that 'All-Important Break'; Featured in the popular science fantasy movie are, from left, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford.; (Photo By Steve Larson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
In a scene from George Lucas' epic space opera Star Wars, the American actor Harrison Ford as rebel smuggler Han Solo draws a gun against enemies; behind him can be seen a fantastic space shuttle. USA, 1977. . (Photo by Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - MAY 29: Actor Harrison Ford's Han Solo character from 'Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi' is shown on screen while musicians perform during 'Star Wars: In Concert' at the Orleans Arena May 29, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The traveling production features a full symphony orchestra and choir playing music from all six of John Williams' Star Wars scores synchronized with footage from the films displayed on a three-story-tall, HD LED screen. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - MAY 29: The Star Wars prop of actor Harrison Ford's Han Solo character frozen in carbonite is displayed at the museum exhibit of 'Star Wars: In Concert' at the Orleans Arena May 29, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The traveling production features a full symphony orchestra and choir playing music from all six of John Williams' Star Wars scores synchronized with footage from the films displayed on a three-story-tall, HD LED screen. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has completed principal photography. #StarWarsVII #TheForceAwakens http://t.co/mFTP9YbKNN
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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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