George Lucas Poster

Quotes (57)

  • A special effect is a tool, a means of telling a story. A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.
  • The sound and music are 50% of the entertainment in a movie.
  • The script is what you've dreamed up-this is what it should be. The film is what you end up with.
  • I am simply trying to struggle through life; trying to do God's bidding.
  • [on the making of Star Wars (1977)] When you're directing, you have to get up at four thirty [A.M], have breakfast at five, leave the hotel at six, drive an hour to location, start shooting at eight, and finish shooting around six. Then you wrap, go to your office, and set up the next day's work. You get back to the hotel about eight or nine, hopefully get a bite to eat, then you go to your room and figure out your homework, how you're going to shoot the next day's scenes, then you go to sleep. The next morning it starts all over again.
  • I took over control of the merchandising not because I thought it was going to make me rich, but because I wanted to control it. I wanted to make a stand for social, safety, and quality reasons. I didn't want someone using the name "Star Wars" on a piece of junk.
  • The object is to try to get the (movie) system to work for you, instead of against you. And the only way you can do it is through success, I'm afraid.
  • Making a film is like putting out a fire with sieve. There are so many elements, and it gets so complicated.
  • To be renewed is everything. What more could one ask for than to have one's youth back again?
  • [describing Luke Skywalker after his duel with Darth Vader in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)] He is his own man, he is not a son anymore, he is an equal.
  • I wanted to make abstract films that are emotional, and I still do.
  • [describing Han Solo] He is one of the best. He's outwitted the empire on numerous occasions, and he has made some very fast deals. One of his problems is that he gambles quite heavily and that's where he loses most of his money. He's tough and sharp, but never manages to scrape together enough to get any power...He's slightly self-destructive and he sort of enjoys being on the brink of disaster...You might meet him and he may be worth ten billion dollars and the next time you meet him he's in debt up to his ears.
  • It's hard work making movies. It's like being a doctor:you work long hours, very hard hours, and it's emotional, tense work. If you don't really love it, then it ain't worth it.
  • From being a struggling, starving filmmaker to being incredibly successful in a period of a couple of years is quite a powerful experience, and not necessarily a good one.
  • I've had a very volatile relationship with Francis (Francis Ford Coppola). It's on both sides, like we were married and we got divorced. It's as close a relationship as I've had with anybody.
  • If you can tune into the fantasy life of an 11-year-old girl, you can make a fortune in this business.
  • [regarding Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)] Right or wrong this is my movie, this is my decision, and this is my creative vision, and if people don't like it, they don't have to see it.
  • I am very concerned about our national heritage, and I am very concerned that films that I watched when I was young and the films that I watched throughout my life are preserved, so that my children can see them.
  • [on Gangs of New York (2002)] We showed a print of it at the Skywalker Ranch. I was amazed by what he (Scorsese) did with it and where he went. It was terrific.
  • The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable.
  • [about making art films that he admits no one will want to see] I've worked hard enough and earned enough to fail for the rest of my life. And I'm gonna do it!!
  • [when asked what it was like to watch Steven Spielberg direct] It's like watching Albert Einstein or Thomas A. Edison. It's like watching Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, any genius you can name.
  • Part of the reason I went back to tell the prequel, of how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, is that it's an interesting story and a fun one to tell. Because it is the story of how a good person turns bad.
  • [expressing concern over the colorization of black & white films] I am very concerned about our national heritage, and I am very concerned that the films that I watched when I was young and the films that I watched throughout my life are preserved, so that my children can see them.
  • [while receiving the Best Movie award for Revenge of the Sith at the Peoples Choice Awards] Thank you. Thank you all. This is a very, very important award for me. Star Wars, oddly enough, doesn't really get that many awards. I'm not a big favorite with the critics, but who listens to them? I'm not a big industry favorite either, but of course they are a bunch of studio executives. The most important people for any filmmaker, the reason that I make films, is for you! The audience rules! Thank you. Thank you very much!
  • With film, if you get a million people to see your movie on the first weekend, you've made about $5 million. That basically will not end up on the top-10 chart. You have to get 10 million people on the first weekend. And if you don't do it in two days, you're basically out of the theaters and into the DVD market. There's just an ecology there. If you're a mouse, don't expect to kill a lion, because it ain't gonna happen. If you want to have that kind of power, it's better to be a lion, because the mice are fine - you can have a life and everything - but the lions are the ones out there prowling and scaring the hell out of everybody.
  • Yeah, I have a few dollars, but when you're getting up to the point where the average movie costs $80 million, anything under $20 million is pretty cheap. Anything under $10 million is almost impossible. And anything under $5 million is Roger Corman.
  • [on film critics] There are a few critics overseas, and occasionally a critic will write an astute analysis of the movie. There is value in reading critics that actually have something intelligent to say, but the journalistic community lives in a world of sound bites and literary commerce: selling newspapers, selling books, and they do that simply by trashing things. They don't criticize or analyze them. They simply trash them for the sake of a headline, or to shock people to get them to buy whatever it is they're selling.
  • [on critics] You have to have a thick enough skin to cope with the criticism. I'm very self-critical and I have a lot of friends that I trust who are film directors and writers and people in my profession. I trust them to be extremely critical but I trust their opinion; their opinion is thoughtful, knowledgeable. I also know them personally so I know the psychological slant they are putting on it. I know what their tastes are and I can say, "Well that's great for them but that's not great for me." Technical criticism is extremely helpful but you are only going to get that from your peers.
  • None of the films I've done was designed for a mass audience, except for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) (aka Indiana Jones). Nobody in their right mind thought American Graffiti (1973) or Star Wars (1977) would work.
  • [about THX 1138 (1971)] My first film was a parable about the way we are living our lives today. I realize it was a rather depressing statement. People really weren't interested in a depressing statement. Being a pessimist doesn't seem to accomplish anything.
  • [about the origin of "Chewbacca"] There was a dog in American Graffiti (1973), but I didn't use "Indiana" for the part because it was a night scene and I wanted a white dog. My wife was very upset that I didn't put my own dog in the movie; so I said I'd put Indiana's spirit in the next one. And that's how the "Wookiee" came into being.
  • [about the upcoming film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)] When you do a movie like this, a sequel that's very, very anticipated, people anticipate ultimately that it's going to be the Second Coming. And it's not. It's just a movie. Just like the other movies. You probably have fond memories of the other movies. But if you went back and looked at them, they might not hold up the same way your memory holds up... You're not going to get a lot of accolades... All you can do is lose.
  • Honestly, everyone feels you have to talk about yourself all the time. They say I'm introverted because I don't give many interviews. But I don't give many interviews because I don't make many films.
  • [on the influence of Star Wars on Hollywood films] People say my movies are just like Hollywood movies. And I say, "I can't help it if Hollywood copies."
  • I am the father of our Star Wars (1977) movie world - the filmed entertainment, the features and now the animated film and television series. And I'm going to do a live-action television series. Those are all things I am very involved in: I set them up and I train the people and I go through them all. I'm the father; that's my work. Then we have the licensing group, which does the games, toys and books, and all that other stuff. I call that the son - and the son does pretty much what he wants. Then we have the third group, the holy ghost, which is the bloggers and fans. They have created their own world. I worry about the father's world. The son and holy ghost can go their own way.
  • My greatest regret in my career is that John [John Landis] was unable to direct Howard the Duck (1986). I feel the movie would have been far more successful and saved me the years of hardship following its release.
  • People think of me as a sort of pathological, Howard Hughes-type guy sitting in a hotel room, which is definitely not so.
  • [on why he waited so long to do the Star Wars (1977) prequels] Jurassic Park (1993) inspired me. I didn't have to use rubber masks. I could build digital characters that can act and perform and walk around and interact with actors. I can use digital sets. I can paint reality. In essence, it means that cinema has gone from being a photographic medium to a painterly one.
  • [on James Cameron's Avatar (2009)] Creating a universe is daunting. I'm glad Jim is doing it - there are only a few people in the world who are nuts enough to. I did it with Star Wars (1977), and now he's trying to challenge that. It's a lot of work. I do believe Jim will take this further out than anyone's ever conceived of.
  • [on Akira Kurosawa] Kurosawa was one of film's true greats. His ability to transform a vision into a powerful work of art is unparalleled.
  • [on the Imperial walkers in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)] The walkers, if anything, were inspired by the original novel of "War of the Worlds" where the Martians walked on giant spiders that walked on legs. I was trying to come up with a way of making this battle different and unusual without putting tanks and normal military stuff in there... They're tall because I wanted the speeders to fly under them to make a more dynamic kind of battle out of it. And again I was struggling with the fact that in the first film I had this big space battle at the end of the movie but in this movie there wasn't anything like that.
  • [on the death of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) director Irvin Kershner] The world has lost a great director and one of the most genuine people I've had the pleasure of knowing. Irvin Kershner was a true gentleman in every sense of the word. When I think of Kersh, I think of his warmth, his thoughtfulness and his talent. I knew him from USC - I attended his lectures and he was actually on the festival panel that gave the prize to my Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB (1967) short. I considered him a mentor. Following Star Wars (1977), I knew one thing for sure: I didn't want to direct the second movie myself. I needed someone I could trust, someone I really admired and whose work had maturity and humour. That was Kersh all over. I didn't want Empire to turn into just another sequel, another episode in a series of space adventures. I was trying to build something, and I knew Kersh was the guy to help me do it. He brought so much to the table. I am truly grateful to him. He was a friend as well as a colleague. He will be missed.
  • I hate corporations and I'm not happy that they have taken over the film business but on the same hand I find myself being the head of a corporation. There's a certain irony there.
  • [on his future plans] I'm moving away from all my businesses, I'm finishing all my obligations and I'm going to retire to my garage with my saw and hammer and build hobby movies. I've always wanted to make movies that were more experimental in nature, and not have to worry about them showing in movie theaters.
  • [In response to whether film is an art or a business] The problem is that making film is an art. Selling film is a business. The trouble is that they [studio executives] don't know how to sell films. As a result, they try to make you make films that people will go to without them having to be sold, which is the real key to the problem. And, if they weren't so backwards-- if they can't put a film in a theater and have people rush to the door, they're not interested.
  • I'm amazed and surprised that Star Wars [Star Wars (1977)] was picked as the number one film of the millennium. Little did I know when I started this film 20 years ago that I'd be making a film that achieved such an outpouring of enthusiastic raves and joy. It's after all the fans that have made this film what it is today.
  • I can't even begin to tell you how much of an influence Disney has had on me.
  • Well, Star Wars isn't sci-fi at all - it's space opera, which is a sub-genre; I mean, it's sort of halfway between sci-fi and fantasy. The motif I used to tell these stories was the Saturday night-day serial, which is a particular genre which was very popular in the thirties and forties. I wanted it to look just like that and those were - at least, the Flash Gordon/Buck Rogers kinds of things - were space operas. Some people like to call them comic-book stories, but they aren't comic-book under the superhero genre. They're kind of looking at the early part of the century, when adventure serials first started.
  • Phantom Menace is so popular you know it's people liking it and going back to see it again. For some it's like the Meaning of Life.
  • I was never interested in being powerful or famous. But once I got to film school and learned about movies, I just fell in love with it. I didn't care what kind of movies I made.
  • Although I write screenplays, I don't think I'm a very good writer.
  • It was the money from Star Wars (1977) and Jaws (1975) that allowed the theaters to build their multiplexes, which allowed an opening up of screens.
  • If you look at Blade Runner (1982), it's been cut sixteen ways from Sunday, and there are all kinds of different versions of it.
  • As a Western, The Magnificent Seven (1960) was a pretty good film. I don't think it was as interesting or as multi-faceted as Shichinin no samurai (1954).
  • Don't forget the basics. Don't get enamored with new technology, because it's not new. Just the medium we're working in is new, but that doesn't change anything. The art of what we do is exactly the same. It's beyond technology. It's the art of movies.
  • [describing scenes in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)] Again it's like poetry, it's sort of -- they rhyme. Every stanza kind of rhymes with the last one. Hopefully it'll work.