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The Los Angeles City Council approved plans on Tuesday for George Lucas’s $1.5 billion Museum of Narrative Art.
USA TODAY

LOS ANGELES  — The Force was with George Lucas on Tuesday as the Los Angeles City Council moved with lightsaber speed to clear the way for a $1.5 billion Museum of Narrative Art the Star Wars” creator plans to build down the road from his alma mater.

After hearing from Lucas himself, the council voted 14-0 to approve an environmental impact report and other requirements for the museum’s construction adjacent to the University of Southern California.

“For a very brief time I actually grew up here,” said Lucas, who earned a degree in film from USC. “That’s where I learned movies. That’s where I learned my craft. Basically where I started my career was in school here.”

Lucas said his museum won’t just focus on movies, however, but on the entire history of narrative storytelling, from the days of cave painting to digital film.

“I realized that the whole concept of narrative art has been forgotten,” he told the council.

With Tuesday’s approval, plans are to break ground in Exposition Park, south of downtown, as early as this year and open the museum to the public in 2021. The city says the project will cost taxpayers nothing because Lucas and his wife, Mellody Hobson, are footing the bill.

“It is the largest private gift in our city, in our state or in our nation’s history,” said Councilman Curren D. Price Jr., whose district takes in the park.

It will feature all forms of narrative storytelling, said the museum’s president, Don Bacigalupi. He said its exhibits will include…