American film director, producer, screenwriter, and entrepreneur
- My primary concept in approaching the production of THX 1138 was to make a kind of cinema verité film of the future — something that would look like a documentary crew had made a film about some character in a time yet to come.
No film ever ends up exactly as you would like it to, but with minor exceptions, THX came out pretty much as I had visualized it, thanks to some excellent assistance — and a whole lot of luck.
- American Cinematographer (October 1971)
- He could have known this little girl when she was just a kid. Had an affair with her when she was eleven. … He hasn’t seen her in twelve years. Now she’s twenty-two. It’s a real strange relationship. …This is a resource that you can either mine or not. It's not as blatant as we're talking about. You don't think about it that much. You don't immediately realize how old she was at the time. It would be subtle. She could talk about it. "I was jail bait the last time we were together." She can flaunt it at him, but at the same time she never says, "I was fifteen years old." Even if we don't mention it, when we go to cast the part we're going to end up with a woman who's about twenty-three and a hero who's about thirty- five.
- Comments while developing the character Indiana Jones, in "Raiders of the Lost Ark Story Conference Transcript" (23 January 1978 - 27 January 1978); also quoted in "Spitballing Indy" by Patrick Radden Keefe in The New Yorker (25 March 2013)
Interview with Judy Stone (1971)Edit
- Interview with Judy Stone in The San Francisco Chronicle (23 May 1971), later published in Eye on the World : Conversations with International Filmmakers (1997), and George Lucas: Interviews (1999) edited by Sally Kline
- It was insane, I wish I had filmed it. It was like bringing an audience to the Mona Lisa and asking, 'Do you know why she is smiling?' 'Sorry Leonardo, you'll have to make some changes.' At least the audience understood that THX was not a love story set in the 25th century, which was the way Warners had planned to advertise it. Instead the company settled for 'Visit the future, where love is the ultimate crime.'
- On a test audience screening of THX 1138
- The Johnson film wasn't terrible. I just didn't agree with the politics. I'm not a fan of big government and propaganda films are distasteful.
- On a United States Information Agency Film about President Lyndon Johnson's trip to Asia, which he worked on as an editor
- We say, 'We think you are a talented, functioning person, and we are hiring you because of your abilities, and whatever you come up with, we're going to take.' If we make a mistake, it will be in picking the wrong person. What we're striving for is total freedom, where we can finance our pictures, make them our way, release them where we want them released and be completely free to express ourselves. That's very hard to do in the world of business. In this country, the only thing that speaks is money and you have to have the money in order to have the power to be free. So the danger is — in being as oppressive as the next guy to the people below you. We're going to do everything possible to avoid that pitfall. But if we fail, it's another saga in the history of man...
- On how American Zoetrope functions
- One of the fatal mistakes that almost every science-fiction film makes is that they spend so much time on the settings — you know, creating the environment — that they spend film time on it. And you don't have to spend too much film time to create an environment. What they're doing is showing off the amount of work that they generated, and it slows the pace of the film down. And the story is not the settings. The story is the stories, plot. You're always surprised with characters, I mean in film it's even more dramatic than it is in writing, because eventually you actually take a real person and stick them into that character. And that real person brings with him, or her, an enormous package of reality. I mean, Threepio is just a hunk of plastic, and without Tony Daniels in there it just isn't anything at all. In the first film we had maybe 20 colors to paint with, and this time we've had 40 colors to paint with. Well, that doesn't mean it's going to be a better painting. Special effects are just a tool, a means of telling a story. People have a tendency to confuse them as an end to themselves. A special effect without a story is a pretty boring thing.
- Don't avoid the cliches — they are cliches because they work!
- Comment at the Imagineering offices of Disney, on Star Tours simulators (1985), quoted in "The Imagineering Way: Ideas to Ignite your Creativity" (2003) by Marty Sklar
- Sound is half the experience in seeing a film. That's why I have been bothered by the poor sound reproduction in many theaters and most homes.
- Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives … and you can either help somebody, you can be compassionate toward people, you can treat some people with dignity — or not. And … one way you become a hero, and the other way … you’re part of the problem. And … it’s not a grand thing, you know; you don’t have to get into a giant laser-sword fight and blow up three spaceships to become a hero. I mean — it’s a very small thing that happens every day of your life.
- There is no Episode VII...Not about Luke Skywalker, not about, you know, that group of people and that struggle to bring democracy back to the galaxy.
- As you go through history, I didn't think it was going to get quite this close. So it's just one of those recurring things… I hope this doesn't come true in our country. Maybe the film will waken people to the situation. … When I wrote it [Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith], Iraq didn't exist… We were just funding Saddam Hussein and giving him weapons of mass destruction. We didn't think of him as an enemy at that time. We were going after Iran and using him as our surrogate, just as we were doing in Vietnam… The parallels between what we did in Vietnam and what we're doing in Iraq now are unbelievable…
[In ancient Rome,] why did the senate after killing Caesar turn around and give the government to his nephew? Why did France after they got rid of the king and that whole system turn around and give it to Napoleon? It's the same thing with Germany and Hitler. … You sort of see these recurring themes where a democracy turns itself into a dictatorship, and it always seems to happen kind of in the same way, with the same kinds of issues, and threats from the outside, needing more control. A democratic body, a senate, not being able to function properly because everybody's squabbling, there's corruption.
- "Star Wars Raises Questions On U.S. Policy" WBZTV CBS 4 Boston (2005)
- One of the amazing things about 'Seven Samurai' is that there are a lot of characters. And considering you have so many, and they all have shaved heads, and you've got good guys and bad guys and peasants, you get to understand a lot of them without too much being said.
- The truth is, the only thing I was inspired by was the fact that it's told from the point of view of two peasants, who get mixed up with a samurai and princess and a lot of very high-level people.
- George Lucas, in Marc Lee "Film-makers on film: George Lucas"
- Being in Washington is more fictional than being in Hollywood.
- The fans are all upset. They’re always going to be upset. Why did he do it like this? And why didn’t he do it like this? They write their own movie, and then, if you don’t do their movie, they get upset about it.
- No, I like my own characters. I want to get Anakin and Obi-Wan in. I want to give Anakin a padawan
Let's take that girl there.
- early 2008 development of Clone Wars, per page 275 of How Star Wars Conquered the Universe by Chris Taylor
- Anakin Skywalker has a Padawan.
Anakin has a Padawan.
- It's Star Wars starring an eleven-year-old girl
- 3 April 2008 at Cartoon Network's Upfront
- Pleasure's fun. It's great, but you can't keep it going forever; just accept the fact that it's here and it's gone, and maybe then again, it will come back, and you'll get to do it again. Joy lasts forever. Pleasure is purely self-centered. It's all about your pleasure: it's about you. It's a selfish, self-centered emotion, that is created by a self-centered motive of greed. Joy is compassion. Joy is giving yourself to somebody else, or something else. And it's a kind of thing that is, in its subtlety and lowness, much more powerful than pleasure. You get hung up on pleasure; you're doomed. If you pursue joy; you will find everlasting happiness.
- In the world we live in - and the system we've created for ourselves, in terms of it's a big industry - you cannot lose money. So the point is that you're forced to make a particular kind of movie. And I used to say this all the time, with people, you know, back when Russia was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and they'd say: "Oh, but aren’t you so glad that you're in America?" And I'd say: "Well, I know a lot of Russian filmmakers and they have a lot more freedom than I have. All they have to do is be careful about criticizing the government. Otherwise, they can do anything they want".