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Editorials

1997-1998 - 1999 - 2000 - 2001 - 2002+



Is George Lucas Really a Genius?

Sometimes, when people talk about the man and the mind behind Star Wars, they talk in hushed tones. Sometimes they are barely able to articulate words to describe the wonder of this man's persona and intellectual capability.

Is George this super-human with ideas and creativity coming out of his ears? Is he a never-ending flow of smart commentary on life and society? No, he's a normal guy who lives on a Ranch in Marin County, California who takes his children to school each day.

We see only a part of him on Entertainment Tonight, and a glimpse of his visions and creativity in the Star Wars films. People laud his creations and admire his sense of vision and dedication. But probably only a few people know the real George Lucas, and someday I would like to be one of those people. Not a worker drone in his vast empire necessarily, but someone that got to know the real George.

He puts his pants on one leg at a time, and still drives his own car. He takes his kids to school and buys them the occasional gift like any good father would. He wants less articles written about him and less of the focus on his personal life than the camera usually finds. Society is driven to know the intimate details of a celebrity's life, like the attention on George W. Bush's next meal or Madonna's latest boyfriend. It's insane!

And while I do respect Mr. Lucas' ideas and creativity in making Star Wars, he's still just a normal guy. In fact, think about it like this: has he ever once posted something on Starwars.com? No, although he is credited with a few Select pictures. Has he ever drawn concept art himself? No, he's enlisted a crack team of artists to put a pen to his mind. Has he ever built a set, been in a Star Wars movie or made a new sound effect for a scene? Chances are he's never nailed together two set pieces, acted, or been out hunting for sounds to insert into the film. Probably the distinguishing mark of his success is the fact that he's surrounded himself with a genius staff, one that will take his ideas and run with them. So perhaps Lucas is a genius for that.

Or perhaps you are the reason Lucas is a genius. Not because Star Wars is the most amazing movie around, but because something in it made you click. People have tried aliens and spaceships before, but not close to half of the return. Something about the movie resonated within you, and maybe you've never articulated it before, but it is special somewhere inside. So maybe Lucas is a genius for that.

Either way, we need not peer too closely into the world of George Lucas to see he leads a normal life with a normal family but with a particularly unique and envious job. And he would suggest it's probably not that envious, getting to make 2 more Star Wars films and tell a modern day myth that will never be forgotten. But I would say he is a genius, not for the fantastic images we see on screen or the legendary qualities people place on him, but more because he's a good business man and has made a series of movies accessible to everyone.

Joshua Griffin

December 21st, 2000

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