Star Wars creator George Lucas was finally able to break ground on the new Lucas Museum of Narrative Art with elected officials earlier this week in Los Angeles. The museum has been a dream of Lucas' for over a decade and now it's officially under construction with an opening date set for some time in 2021. The official ground-breaking ceremony was attended by over a hundred people, which also included Lucas' long-time friend and collaborator Steven Spielberg, who watched as trucks started to roll in to begin construction.
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art will attempt to explain the "myths, legends, stories, and portraits of people that shape societies and bring them together as one," According to George Lucas. The art contained in the massive museum will include everything from Peanuts creator Charles Schulz all the way to the work of Steven Spielberg and Lucas, including a pretty hefty presentation on Star Wars, which will include Luke Skywalker's original Lightsaber and Darth Vader's helmet to name a few. George Lucas had this to say about the museum.
"I think it's important to have a museum that, as I was joking and saying, supports all the orphan arts that nobody else wants to see, but that everybody loves."
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Art is being constructed in what was once a parking lot for the LA Memorial Coliseum, which is right near where George Lucas attended USC. Additionally, the museum is in Exposition Park, across the street from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, the California Science Center, and the California African American Museum. The location is perfect, but not where Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, wanted to build the museum. The couple originally wanted to build in her hometown of Chicago and Lucas' home of San Francisco but were unable to find a proper area.
Viewers of HBO's hit show Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, will notice something about the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art right away. When the plans for the museum were revealed last summer, Louis-Dreyfus took to Twitter to point out that it looks an awful lot like Selina's presidential library from the show. The fictional library and George Lucas' museum both share a striking resemblance to female genitalia.
The Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts will cost over a billion dollars, which is being paid for entirely by George Lucas and Mellody Hobson, which local officials say, "will make it the largest public gift ever given to a municipality." In addition to the museum, movie theaters and restaurants are being added as well, but perhaps the biggest component will be the multiple programs for local schools that are currently being planned. Star Wars fans will undoubtedly make it a destination as well when it finally opens in 2021. You can read more about the construction of the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts via USA Today.