It wasn't long after I began writing Star Wars that I realized the story was more than a single film could hold. As the saga of the Skywalkers and Jedi Knights unfolded, I began to see it as a tale that could take at least nine films to tell - three trilogies - and I realized, in making my way through the back story and after story, that I was really setting out to make the middle story.
STAR WARS is really three trilogies, nine films. The first trilogy covers the fall of the Republic and the rise of the Empire, the middle trilogy the fall of the Empire, and the last trilogy involves the rebuilding of the Republic. It won't be finished for probably another 20 years.
I wanted to be a car mechanic and I wanted to race cars and the idea of trying to make something out of my life wasn't really a priority. But the accident allowed me to apply myself at school. I got great grades. Eventually I got very excited about anthropology and about social sciences and psychology, and I was able to push my photography even further and eventually discovered film and film schools.
I don't ever see movies by myself. I always see them with other people because I want to know what works. I want to know where they laugh. I want to know where they don't laugh. I want to know what they think about it afterwards because in the end that's what the art that I'm working with is.
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.
I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education. It is the key to the survival of the human race. We have to plan for our collective future -- and the first step begins with the social, emotional, and intellectual tools we provide to our children. As humans, our greatest tool for survival is our ability to think and to adapt - as educators, storytellers, and communicators our responsibility is to continue to do so.
I was a terrible student in high school and the thing that the auto accident did - and it happened just as I graduated, so I was at this sort of crossroads - but it made me apply myself more, because I realized more than anything else what a thin thread we hang on in life, and I really wanted to make something out of my life.
I think that God gave us a brain, and that it's the only thing we have to survive. All life forms have some advantage, some trick, some claw, some camouflage, some poison, some speed, something to help them survive. We've got a brain. Therefore it's our duty to use our brain.
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.
George Orwell was right. There's no greater genius as far as I'm concerned in terms of understanding human nature. I think that a lot of people just believe anything you tell them, and no matter what it is, they just go along with the program. They're perfectly happy to take their pill every day and do what they're told, and work and buy things, and work and buy things, and stay out of any complex emotional situations. And whatever the authorities tell them to do, they do, and whatever the authorities say is the truth, they believe is the truth.
I wanted to transfer to an art school, and ended up going to the University of Southern California. They had a cinematography school, and I said "Well, that's sort of like photography, maybe that will be interesting." And once I started in that department, I found what it was that I loved and was good at.