The Chicago geek scene has been blowing up about The George Lucas Cultural Arts Museum. People keep getting my attention on social media, gushing about how much "we" want it. The city of San Francisco supposedly just made an offer for the attraction. In response, many readers have been asking Geek Girl Chicago to join the battle cry. I'm sorry, guys. I can't get behind it.
I don't want The Lucas Cultural Arts Museum in Chicago. There, I said it. Call me a Sith Lord if you must. Just know that I have three reasons:
1. The Museum isn't about Star Wars. This place isn't going to be The George Lucas Star Wars Museum. However, many geeks are pushing for it as if the Millennium Falcon is going to land in Soldier Field. I wish! Frankly, the community wouldn't care this much if someone else's name was on the building. That's a huge problem.
According to the official website, George Lucas has a large collection of paintings, movie props, children's illustrations, and comic art. I find the language on the site lackluster. It cites traveling exhibits, educational programs, and interactive experiences in vague terms- no specifics, just big-sounding fluff.
If I'm reading the literature correctly, this museum wouldn't focus on items of utmost historical or scientific significance. Instead, its contents would be whatever George Lucas happens to own or find interesting. At best, the concept could be eccentric. At worst, this could turn into a bizarre monument of wealth and ego.
2. George Lucas wants it somewhere else. The George Lucas Cultural Arts Museum website doesn't even MENTION Chicago. It still cites the California Bay Area as its home. San Francisco was (and still is) Lucas's first choice. With a Cali bid on the table, it's starting to look like Chicago was just a bargaining chip all along.
He may have gotten married here, but George Lucas certainly left his heart in San Francisco.
3. Chicago's museums already rule! Not only are Chicago's institutions top-notch, they're also specialized. We have MSI, the biggest science museum in the hemisphere. We have glorious dinosaurs and artifacts at the Field. The Windy City has a planetarium, an aquarium, and a lovely batch of cultural centers. We don't need to add something mediocre just because we can.
Our greatness doesn't end with museums, either. We are a sports hub, a business giant, and MAN do we know food! Why do we need George Lucas's collection of stuff? Just because he made Star Wars? Pffff... Chicago is going to be fine.
Thank you, George Lucas. Thank you for creating Star Wars, the film franchise that built my childhood. I need to be honest, though. I'm more than a little freaked out by you these days. Maybe it's because I read this article about how you came up with "Darth Icky" and "Darth Insanius," but I'm just not feeling your judgment. Best wishes with the Museum, though... somewhere else.
Before I sign off, let the following go on record. If there ever are plans for an ACTUAL Star Wars Museum, I'll be way, way, WAY on board. When that day comes, may The Force be with Chicago.
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