CHICAGO — "Star Wars" fan Mark Franklin says it is a no-brainer why the epic series' director George Lucas chose to build his museum along the Chicago lakefront.
"It's extremely exciting. It's the perfect spot for it, and we can't brag enough that we have the best 'Star Wars' fans in the country," said Franklin, a River Forest resident.
The president of Chicago Force, which at 200 members is the largest 'Star Wars'-dedicated fan organization in the region, said the new museum will be a boon for the group and Chicago-area "Star Wars" fans, who are preparing for another batch of movies set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away."
"We'll definitely have a lot more people joining our group," Franklin said. "I see this being big for our group."
Tanveer Ali spoke with the president of "Chicago Force" about the group's reaction to the George Lucas Museum likely coming to Chicago:
The museum is expected to showcase Lucas' collection of art, including works by Norman Rockwell. Movie memorabilia and examples of the groundbreaking special-effects work from Lucas' company, Industrial Light & Magic, are also expected to be a big draw.
Franklin hopes costumes, as well as props and models, that were displayed in the traveling exhibit "'Star Wars': The Magic of Myth" will be prominent. That exhibit came to the Field Museum in late 2000.
"Chicago is the place for museums. All of our museums are top-notch," Franklin said. "I think this would be a perfect fit for museum."
The museum plan hasn't been universally praised, yielding opposition from the Friends of the Parks, which opposes the development based on an ordinance that states no new private development can be made east of Lake Shore Drive.
But Franklin said the location, between Soldier Field and McCormick Place, is ideal given that McCormick hosts C2E2, the annual Chicago Comic and Entertainment Expo.
"It will definitely bring more people" to C2E2, Franklin said. "We're hoping maybe even their annual 'Star Wars' convention might even" come to Chicago.