INNOVATOR Lucas with the digital camera used for   Clones

Dark Victory
How the young Darth Vader fell in love and George Lucas rediscovered the heart and soul of his epic series

 Q&A With Director George Lucas
 Meet Mr. and Mrs. Vader

 Gallery: Episode II
 The Evolution of Star Wars
 Aftereffects: The Influence Of Star Wars

Are the new Star Wars movies better than the originals?

Jedi or Not, The Phantom Menace Is Coming! 
The first new Star Wars episode in 16 years
TIME Movie Covers 
See all four TIME Star Wars covers
TIME Newsfile: Star Wars Phenomenon
Search the Archive: Coverage of Star Wars since 1985

 Star Wars: The Official Site

E-mail your letter to the editor

So, What's the Deal with Leia's Hair?

George Lucas never meant to become a filmmaker. As a teen, he dreamed of becoming an anthropologist and later an illustrator, which his father, the owner of a stationery store, called "not a proper occupation." But Lucas is sure that the Force was always with him. "I believe that even if I had become an anthropologist, I still would've started making movies and ended up right where I am now," he says. "This path has been too strongly etched, and it's too winding." While he has been wandering, we've been wondering:

Q: You're only now making the beginning of the Star Wars series. Why didn't you start with the beginning in 1977, instead of with Episode IV?

A: Originally when I wrote Star Wars, it was meant to be one episode of a Saturday-matinee serial and you came in in the middle of it. I wrote a couple of screenplays, and they got very big, so I took the first act and made a movie out of that, but I swore to make the rest of the movie in three parts. In order to do that, I had to write a back story, so I said maybe I'll do the prequels.

Q: You started out as an avant-garde director. How did you end up making movies for 12-year-olds?

A: American Graffiti got so successful, I thought, Gee, making films for younger people actually is not a bad thing. I've always been very curious about culture, how a society develops its own equilibrium. I realized we were out of equilibrium at some point. We had reached a period in terms of our society of not having a mythology, a code that you pass down to the next generation. Friendship is valuable, honor is valuable. There wasn't a movie genre like that aimed at younger people, the 12-year-olds coming of age.

Q: The morals we learn from Darth Vader's life—about letting go and making amends—are dominant themes in 12-step programs. Did you ever go through recovery for drugs or alcohol?

A: I never did drugs. Drinking was never a problem. But I've done a lot of research, and those [morals] are very valid. The interesting thing about the 12 steps is that they work, and not just for addictive people. I'm very interested in psychology. I dabble in that stuff with my friends. I spend most of my fun time arguing, pontificating, discussing those things.

Q: What religion are you?

A: I was raised Methodist. Now let's say I'm spiritual. It's Marin County. We're all Buddhists up here.

Q: Do you read reviews?

A: I gave up reading reviews a long time ago. It's become a medium that is more like gossip.

Q: Do you read about Star Wars on the Internet?

A: When I was working on Phantom Menace, I saw a lot of the Internet stuff. I lasted about six weeks.

Q: Why do the women in your movies have such crazy hairdos?

A: In the 1977 film, I was working very hard to create something different that wasn't fashion, so I went with a kind of Southwestern Pancho Villa woman revolutionary look, which is what that is. The buns are basically from turn-of-the-century Mexico. Then it took such hits and became such a thing. In the new trilogy, the same thing applies, to try and do something timeless. I'm just basically having a good time.

Get the Magazine - Try 4 Issues Risk-Free! | Search the Archive


QUICK LINKS: Cover Story | Gallery: Episode II | The Evolution of Star Wars | The Star Wars Influence | Q&A With George Lucas

Get the Magazine — Try 4 Issues Risk-Free! | Search the TIME Archive

 © 2002 Time Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
FAQ | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use