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If you like George Lucas's story, you might also like:
James Cameron,
Francis Ford Coppola,
Ron Howard,
Peter Jackson,
James Earl Jones,
James Rosenquist,
Julie Taymor,
Kent Weeks and
Robert Zemeckis

George Lucas can also be seen and heard in our Podcast Center

George Lucas also appears in the videos:
Education in the 21st Century
Passion, Creativity and the Arts: Writing for Motion Pictures
The Arts, Sciences & Creativity
The Power of Words
Media and Social Responsibility

Teachers can find prepared lesson plans featuring George Lucas in the Achievement Curriculum section:
The Power of Words
Talent and Vision

Related Links:
Lucas Museum
Star Wars
The Giving Pledge

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George Lucas
George Lucas
Profile of George Lucas Biography of George Lucas Interview with George Lucas George Lucas Photo Gallery

George Lucas Interview (page: 8 / 9)

Creator of "Star Wars"

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You mentioned the words "communal" and "connecting." Your generation of the top film makers all seem to be friends. How did you band together in a field that is so competitive?

George Lucas: I think that's the advantage that my generation has. When we were in film school and we were starting in the film business, the door was absolutely locked. It was a very, very high wall, and nobody got in. Therefore, all of us beggars and scroungers down at the front gate decided that if we didn't band together, we wouldn't survive. If one could make it, that one would help all the others make it. And we would continue to help each other. So we banded together. That's how cavemen figured it out. Any society starts that way. Any society begins by realizing that together, by helping each other, you can survive better than if you fight each other and compete with each other.

[ Key to Success ] Integrity

Farming cultures started this way, and the first hunting cultures started this way. Everything started in city-states. We have a tendency to lose it when we forget that, as a group, we are stronger than we are as individuals. We start to think we want everything for ourselves and we don't want to help anybody else. We want to succeed, but we don't want anybody else to succeed, because we want to be the winner. Once you get that mentality -- which is unfortunately the way a lot of the society operates -- you lose. You can't possibly win that way. Part of the reason my friends and I became successful is that we were always helping each other.

If I got a job, I would help somebody else get a job. If somebody got more successful than me, it was partly my success. My success wasn't based on how I could push down everybody that was around me. My success was based on how much I could push everybody up. And eventually their success was the same way. And in the process they pushed me up, and I pushed them up, and we kept doing that, and we still do that. Even though we all have, in essence, competing companies, we see it as, if everybody succeeds, if my friend succeeds then everybody succeeds. So that's the key to it, to have everybody succeed, not to gloat over somebody else's failure.

[ Key to Success ] Integrity

We continue to do that, and we do it with younger filmmakers. There's no way of getting through any kind of endeavor without help from friends. And trying to be the number one person, ultimately, is a losing proposition. You need peers; you need people who are at the same level you are. You never know in life when you're going to need help, and you never know who you're going to need it from.

One of the basic motifs in fairy tales is that you find the poor and unfortunate along the side of the road, and when they beg for help, if you give it to them, you end up succeeding. If you don't give it to them, you end up being turned into a frog or something. It's something that's been around for thousands of years, a concept that's been around for thousands of years. It is even more necessary today, when people are much more into their own aggrandizement than they are in helping other people. One thing you hear at the Academy here is constantly about public service, about helping others. I don't think there's anybody who's become successful who doesn't understand how important it is to be part of a larger community, to help other people in a larger community, to give back to the community. And it's not something you start doing when you've made it. Now I'm on the top. I can enhance my joy and self-esteem by helping the poor underlings. It's when you're at the very lowest level and you're struggling. When we were in film school, we were all very, very poor. We were all very, very struggling. We all needed jobs very desperately. And if one of us couldn't get a particular job, we'd send another friend in on the interview because we were hoping that one of us would get the job. So you do it right from the very beginning. You can start every single day. Whether it's helping your brother or sister, or helping your peers at school, or helping in the community. But it's not just a kind of public service thing. It's a way of life.

George Lucas Interview Photo

Then you realize how great it is, and that, by helping others, you'll achieve more. It's much more logical and intelligent to help others get to the level where everyone else is, rather than criticizing, or making fun, so that everybody can move on. And if you do that all the time, it helps you personally. But it's a good business decision -- let's put it that way. The ultimate thing is that you feel better about yourself, and you're a happier person.

If America is the pursuit of happiness, the best way to pursue happiness is to help other people. Because there's nothing else that will make you happy. You can be as rich, and famous, and powerful as you want to be, and it will not bring you happiness. That's said over and over and over, again. It's such a cliché that it hardly needs to be said, but people don't understand that it's actually true. You can find people rich, powerful and famous, and they aren't happy. And you can find people who have discovered the fact that it's really helping people, it's really being compassionate toward other human beings that makes you happy, that gives you a spiritual fulfillment -- a kind of fulfillment that goes way beyond anything you can buy. This is a 5,000 year old idea, and every prophet, every intelligent, rational, successful person has said it. It's a very, very simple idea and the most important part of it is, true.

[ Key to Success ] The American Dream

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This page last revised on Dec 10, 2013 01:03 EST
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