George Lucas, having been rejected in efforts to build a museum with his own money first in San Francisco’s Presidio and then on the lakefront of Chicago, is back in the Paris of the West with a third proposal, but the same architect – MAD, a Japanese firm – that did him dirt in the Windy City.
Does the creator of Star Wars not learn? His plan for a classically designed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in the Presidio unravelled when the city’s culture leaders refused to accept the Beaux Arts as a legitimate museum style in the 21st century – that’s my interpretation, which relies on what I read between the lines in 2014, including a piece in Metropolis by the normally reliable critic of the San Francisco Chronicle, John King. Here’s my post, “SF rejects free museum.”
Then Lucas went to Chicago, where land in historic Burnham Park on the coast of Lake Michigan beckoned, but he hired MAD’s Ma Yansong to design what seemed like a set of aluminum mountains along the lakefront. The public was nonplussed, a friend-of-the-park group sued, Lucas dug in his heels, but this week he pulled the plug.
Before he oopses all over the place yet again, Lucas, who is now considering Treasure Island off the coast of San Francisco (plus an L.A. site in reserve), should check to see if the Force is with him. His Star Wars saga has always seemed to house evil in places like the modernist Death Star, headquarters of Darth Vader and his Dark Side, and the good guys (or at least the victims) in places like Tatooine. Get the drift? The saga’s human refugees live in Naboo, amid the adorable classical vernacular of its capital, Theed. Is this accidental or is it a deeply intuitive recapitulation of good vs. evil? That matters less than that its lessons be heeded by Lucas, as they have apparently long been subconsciously internalized.
Learn from your creation’s own narrative, George. Return to the Light Side.