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.
A film is sort of binary - it either works or it doesn't work. It has nothing to do with how good a job you do. If you bring it up to an adequate level where the audience goes with the movie, then it works, that is all.
I have a strong feeling about interesting people in space exploration. . . . And the only way it's going to happen is to have some kid fantasize about getting his ray gun, jumping into his spaceship, and flying into outer space.
I think one of the reasons that Steven (Spielberg) and I have been as successful as we have is because we like the movies. We like to go to the movies. We enjoy movies and we want to make movies like the ones we enjoy.
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.
There are a lot of movies that are badly made that I love, and there are a lot of movies that are just beautifully made but I don't like them. And critics have a tendency - that's all they focus on, which is, "I like it. I don't like it. It's good. It's bad."
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.
My first six years in the business were hopeless. There are a lot of times when you sit and you say "Why am I doing this? I'll never make it. It's just not going to happen. I should go out and get a real job, and try to survive."
Everybody has talent and it's just a matter of moving around until you've discovered what it is. A talent is a combination of something you love a great deal and something you can lose yourself in - something that you can start at 9 o'clock, look up from your work and it's 10 o'clock at night - and also something that you have a talent, not a talent for, but skills that you have a natural ability to do very well. And usually those two things go together.
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.
A lot of great thinkers- like Einstein and Newton- come up with their best ideas when they're young because they don't yet think in the way that the establishment teaches them. Sometimes your lack of knowledge frees your mind to be creative and think in a different way. But you still have to be logical and figure out a practical way to get things done, even though you're looking at things differently.
Over time I began to realize that the level of cinema criticism in the last part of XX century in the United States was pretty low. The institution itself is not what it's supposed to be, and I realized that I didn't need to take that seriously.
The Force is really a way of feeling; it's a way of being with life. It really has nothing to do with weapons. The Force gives you the power to have extrasensory perception and to be able to see things and hear things, read minds and levitate things. It is said that certain creatures are born with a higher awareness of the Force than humans. Their brains are different; they have more midi-chlorians in their cells.
You have to understand that it's a very cooperative world, not only with the environment, with but our fellow human beings. If you do not cooperate, if you do not work together to keep the entire organism going, the whole thing dies, and everybody dies with it. That's a law of nature, and it's existed forever. We're one of the very few creatures that has a choice, and can intellectualize the process.