George Lucas chooses Chicago for his planned museum

George Lucas chooses Chicago for his planned museum
George Lucas at the Apollo Spring Gala and 80th Anniversary Celebration in New York earlier this month. (Dave Kotinsky / Getty Images)

The Force is officially with the city of Chicago.

After months of deliberation, George Lucas has chosen the Windy City for his planned museum that will feature his personal art collection as well as exhibitions devoted to the digital arts and the movies. The choice was confirmed Tuesday by a Lucas spokesman as well as a spokeswoman for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"We are honored to be partnering with the city of Chicago and the many cultural, educational and community groups that have come forward with ideas about how the LMNA [Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts] will add to their vibrant work," Lucas said in an announcement Tuesday. "I am humbled to be joining such an extraordinary museum community and to be creating the museum in a city that has a long tradition of embracing the arts."

The "Star Wars" director was considering San Francisco as a possible location for his museum. This month Los Angeles also threw its hat into the ring with a social media campaign spearheaded by Mayor Eric Garcetti. It remains unclear if Lucas ever considered L.A.

The official name of the museum will be the Lucas Museum of Narrative Arts, changed from the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum.

The museum, which Lucas said he hopes will open in 2018, will be built on a site proposed by Chicago officials -- the city's lakefront museum campus that also serves as home to the Shedd Aquarium and Field Museum.

Lucas is married to Chicago native Mellody Hobson, who is president of Chicago-based Ariel Investments.

The director had expressed interest in a San Francisco site across from Crissy Field. But earlier this year, the Presidio Trust rejected that site and instead offered the filmmaker a location near his Letterman Digital Arts Center. San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee later proposed a 2.3-acre lot across from the city's Embarcadero.

L.A. had proposed a location near the University of Southern California, where Lucas studied filmmaking. The site was the Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena, which has served as a venue for sporting and music events.

Lucas' museum is expected to cost hundreds of millions of dollars to construct, with some published reports putting the price tag as high as $700 million.

Twitter: @DavidNgLAT