Mike Gold: The Force… In The Wind

George LucasSo, George Lucas is moving to my home town. Hmmmm.

Well, that’s not literally true. Yesterday, George decided the so-called Windy City will be home to the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art (LMNA), his so-called storytelling museum that will feature George’s massive collection of paintings, illustrations and digital art. Like everybody else, Lucas gets to visit it – although he probably won’t have to pay.

Chicago beat out Los Angeles and Lucas’ own San Francisco, so, on behalf of my fellow Chicagoans, those still in Cook County and those ex-pats who never really leave Chicago – not in our hearts – let me offer a hale and hearty “na-na-na-na, na-na-na-na, hey-hey!”

I’ll bet Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s brother Ari had something to do with this. Ari Emanuel is a top Hollywood dealmaker who was the model for Ari Gold (no relation) in Entourage. He’s been referred to as a living hurricane, but usually hurricanes are seen in a better light.

“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 will add to their vibrant work… Choosing Chicago is the right decision for the museum, but a difficult decision for me personally because of my strong personal and professional roots in San Francisco,” the director said. Then again, he does live in Chicago part-time and his wife Mellody (pictured above with her husband) is a Chicagoan. We Chicagoans can be stubborn.

This is great news for my fiends at ReedPop, as the museum will be a couple blocks from the massive McCormick Place convention center on Lake Michigan, home to their C2E2 pop culture convention each spring. It’s also near Soldier Field, the Field Natural History Museum, the planetarium and the aquarium. It’s within walking distance from Buddy Guy’s Legends and the sprawling Columbia College complexes, where young media freaks go to percolate. Ergo, it’s in the heartland of heartland culture.

From the reports I’ve seen, LMNA appears to be quite a sprawling place. The architectural plans will be submitted in early fall, so we’ll see. Moving George’s massive collection to his museum is going to be a monster job.

I respect Lucas for doing this museum thing. Not just because it’s in a place I tend to visit three or four times a year (but thank you for that!), not because if you’re flying somewhere you’re probably going to be inconvenienced by having to change planes at the dreaded O’Hare International so you might as well jump on the subway, but because he is, essentially, giving his astonishing collection to the public.

Good for you, George. And, again, thank you. I’m looking forward to visiting your home away from home.