Lucas Museum’s ‘Jabba the Hutt’ Design to Be Scrapped, Says Mayor Emanuel

The hotly disputed designs for the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago. (Photo:
The hotly disputed design for the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art in Chicago. (Photo: (Photo:

The proposed designs for Chicago’s Lucas Museum of Narrative Art have been likened to “a palace for Jabba the Hutt,” an “Egyptian pyramid reimagined for the year 2020,” an “amorphous, land-eating colossus,” and a “donut hovering over a volcano.” (The latter is simply this writer’s take.)

Now, the people of Chicago have spoken, as has Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and it looks as though Chinese architect Ma Yansong’s controversial design proposal will be scrapped, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

The mayor said, in a separate press event Monday at a local library, “They’re working through an interactive process with the community. But it will stay true to my goals for any cultural, educational or anything we’re working on in parks that it will be open, accessible and green.”

On the existing and controversial design by Mr. Ma and Beijing-based firm MAD Architects, Mr. Emanuel said, “It is bold. I think we can say that,” and “it’s a statement. It’s true to Chicago’s history on architecture of making bold statements.”

When the designs were first unveiled in November 2014, Mr. Ma told media that the undulating peaks of his lakeside museum represented a “new type of architecture,” while an official statement on MAD Architects’ website says the designs were inspired by the work of Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe.

The museum, which is slated to open 2018 on Chicago’s lakefront near the Field Museum and Shedd Aquarium, is the latest project by Star Wars creator George Lucas. It will feature works from his extensive personal collection, including paintings by Norman Rockwell and David Hockney iPad drawings, alongside movie memorabilia, fashion designs, and animated films. Lucas Museum’s ‘Jabba the Hutt’ Design to Be Scrapped, Says Mayor Emanuel