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 wanted to race cars. I didn't like school, and all I wanted to do was work on cars. But right before I graduated, I got into a really bad car accident, and I spent that summer in the hospital thinking about where I was heading. I decided to take education more seriously and go to a community college.
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.
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You have to find something that you love enough to be able to take risks, jump over the hurdles and break through the brick walls that are always going to be placed in front of you. If you don't have that kind of feeling for what it is you are doing, you'll stop at the first giant hurdle.
As the workplace becomes more specialized, from offices to medical centers to factories, teams of people must accomplish their work by collaborating with each other. In my work in filmmaking, we need talented individuals with technical skills, but their abilities to communicate and work with others are just as valuable.
That's the issue that I've been exploring: How did the Republic turn into the Empire? That's paralleled with: How did Anakin turn into Darth Vader? How does a good person go bad, and how does a democracy become a dictatorship? It isn't that the Empire conquered the Republic, it's that the Empire is the Republic.
We tried to do Yoda in CGI in Episode I, but we just couldn't get it done in time. We couldn't get the technology to work, so we had to use the puppet, but the puppet really wasn't as good as the CGI. So when we did the reissue, we had to put the CGI back in, which was what it was meant to be.
I was going to go to a four-year college and be an anthropologist or to an art school and be an illustrator when a friend convinced me to learn photography at the University of Southern California. Little did I know it was a school that taught you how to make movies! It had never occurred to me that I'd ever have any interest in filmmaking.
I never had a story for the sequels, for the last trilogy. That's not really part of the plan at this point, and I'll be at the age where to do another trilogy would take 10 years. I'd always envisioned it as six movies. When you see it in six parts you'll understand that it really ends at part six.
Each time I do a trilogy it's ten years out of my life. I'll finish Episode III and I'll be 60. And the next 20 years after that I want to spend doing something other than Star Wars. If at 80 I'm still lively and having a good time and think I can work for another 10 years between 80 and 90, I might consider it. But don't count on it. There's nothing written, and it's not like I'm completing something. I'd have to start from scratch. The idea of a third trilogy was more of a media thing than it was me.
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It took me three, four years, to get from my first film to my second film, banging on doors, trying to get people to give me a chance. Writing, struggling, with no money in the bank, working as an editor on the side. Working as a cameraman on the side. Getting little jobs, eking out a living. Trying to stay alive, and pushing a script that nobody wanted.
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You want people to think. You want people to be emotionally moved. And there's a theory behind that in terms of storytelling. It has been around for thousands of years. And that's where something like live theater or a live performance is something that is very valuable because you get instant feedback from your audience and you kind of know the things that work and the things that don't work.
One of the basic motifs in fairy tales is that you find the poor and unfortunate along the side of the road, and when they beg for help, if you give it to them, you end up succeeding. If you don't give it to them, you end up being turned into a frog or something. It's something that's been around for thousands of years, a concept that's been around for thousands of years.
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 wanted Yoda to be the traditional kind of character you find in fairy tales and mythology. And that character is usually a frog or a wizened old man on the side of the road. The hero is going down the road and meets this poor and insignificant person. The goal or lesson is for the hero to learn to respect everybody and to pay attention to the poorest person because that's where the key to his success will be.
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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.
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The secret to the movie business, or any business, is to get a good education in a subject besides film - whether it's history, psychology, economics, or architecture - so you have something to make a movie about. All the skill in the world isn't going to help you unless you have something to say.
Heroes come in all sizes, and you don't have to be a giant hero. You can be a very small hero. It's just as important to understand that accepting self-responsibi lity for the things you do, having good manners, caring about other people-these are heroic acts. Everybody has the choice of being a hero or not being a hero every day of their lives.
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.
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When a movie comes out, I always go off on a beach so I miss all the craziness that goes on, all the hoopla, and the hype and the success, and how much it's making, or whether it's doing good or whether it's doing bad. I just miss it all. I don't talk to anybody, and a couple weeks later I come back and it's all over with.
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.
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.
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The thing about science-fiction fans and "Star Wars" fans is they're very independent-thinking people. They all think outside the box, but they all have very strong ideas about what should happen, and they think it should be their way. Which is fine, except I'm making the movies, so I should have it my way.
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.
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.
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There's nothing worse than the frustration of having somebody who you feel doesn't get what you're doing, trying to turn it into something else. It's a very, very annoying and sort of frustrating thing and I just never wanted to go through it. I was very fortunate as I came up through the film business that I was able to insulate myself from that.