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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
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George Lucas Interview (page: 9 / 9)

Creator of "Star Wars"

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  George Lucas

You've won three Oscars. Do you ever feel like you've made it and now you just want to relax and enjoy your success?

George Lucas Interview Photo
George Lucas: I look at it a little bit differently. I have a lot of ideas and I want to be able to work. To me, it's like one of these contests where you get five minutes in a supermarket to take anything off the shelves you want and try to fill your cart up as much as you can. That's the way I look at my work. I have a supermarket full of ideas and the challenge is how many ideas can I get in my cart before I'm gone. When you're doing it, you're not focused on success. It's not a matter of modesty. You're simply trying to get all the things done that you want to get done in your life.

Are there obligations that go along with the kind of success you've had?

George Lucas: I think as you grow up, you realize you have obligations just in your life -- being a citizen, being part of humanity -- to help other people, to help your country, to help the world. When I started out and I wasn't successful, I taught and I did other things, and got into several programs, charities and that sort of thing.

When I got very, very successful, I didn't have the time for that level of participation anymore. I got into a loop where I said, "When I get old, I'll give all this money to all these institutions." I was still in my 20s. And as things came along, people in trouble, schools and institutions in trouble, I said, "Oh, I can't. Wait until I'm 50. I can't do this when I'm 20."

After a lot of struggling and sort of reflection I realized that the time you have to give is now, regardless of how old you are. It's kind of a realization because one is kind of -- "You mean I'm in that position already?" It's sort of a way of saying, "Oh my gosh, I'm one of them! I'm one of those old guys that gives libraries to schools and things, and here I am, only 20 or 27." And I think I've seen again a lot of people go through this, who are working so hard, they wake up one day and realize that those things that they said, "I'll do that someday, I'll do that someday." Well, that someday is today. And if you have the means to do it, then this is the time to do it. And it's a little hard to do when you're building up your nest egg so to speak, your security blanket, to give it away. You know, my feeling is if you can't give the time away, you should give part of your resources away.

[ Key to Success ] Integrity

I think that's an obligation you have, to give back no matter what happens. It actually ends up being easier when you're young than when you become successful. Suddenly you realize you've gone into a whole other realm of philanthropy, from just being a volunteer to being this person that dedicates buildings and saves lots of children in some faraway place.

What do you see as your contributions to your profession and to film?

George Lucas: In the end the most important thing to me is that I've raised three kids. I know that'll be the most important accomplishment of my life and it is the most easily obtainable, because all you have to do is pay attention. It is hard work and most people don't realize that's the real gift they are getting in terms of goals and success and accomplishments.

George Lucas Interview Photo
On the professional side, I've helped move cinema from a chemical-based medium to a digital-based medium. That'll be one of the landmarks. And I've left these stories, these little tales that have been imprinted on the media, which will or will not be of interest to people in the future. I've done the best I can. They've obviously made a big mark while I'm here, but if you study history, you know you can make a huge mark during your lifetime, and a lifetime later it's forgotten.

You may make something you don't think is very important during your lifetime and it'll last for a thousand years. You can't really focus too much on that part of it, because you don't know what history is going to throw at you in terms of what's important and what's not important.

You simply have to do the best you can with what you're actually doing. I'm hoping I can make some change in the way the educational system works. I think I've made some changes in the way the film industry works, and I think there will be more dramatic changes to come. I'm enthusiastic about that and I have a feeling that will be part of my legacy.

Terrific. Is there anything we haven't talked about that you want to talk about?

George Lucas: I can't think of anything. We've certainly talked about a lot.

That's great. Thank you very much.

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