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Well I'm tempted to ask you the obvious question as an artist, I'm not even gonna make my first question be about Star Wars, how's that for self-restraint? That's different... (laughter) I'm wondering as an artist and as an innovator, what San Francisco, what the Bay Area means to you. You chose Northern California instead of Hollywood, tell us why. Well, it was very easy. Actually, I was born and raised here, I was born and raised in Modesto, California, went to the University of Southern California for a few years, and then moved right back here. This is my home, this is where my family is. Everybody said, you know, you can't make movies in San Francisco, you have to move to Los Angeles, and I said, "I don't see why. Why can't I just do it here?" And so I did. Isn't it true. (applause)pparently that was a popular choice. Am I right that Leland Stanford came up with the first series of photographs of a horse running, giving a sense of still photos that you could flip, giving a sense of animation, of movement? Well, Stanford was actually responsible for hiring Edward Muybridge, who was the one who actually did it. And Muybridge was a photographer, and he developed a system of using several cameras to photograph a horse in motion because Stanford had made a bet with another gentleman about whether a horse actually leaves the ground when he's running. And so he did this photographic study of a horse running, and a horse does leave the ground, and Muybridge then turned that into a series of photos that you'd spin and then project on a screen and that basically was the beginning of motion pictures, the first photographic use we'd have Zoetropes and things like that before with drawings, but this was the first time anybody had ever done it with photographs. We all associate the Bay Area, of course, with technology and innovation, but also with the arts. I'm not sure if anything we produce in San Francisco can quite match the opera Das Squid, or that you had in Star Wars III, or the modern Calamari dancers that were doing Squid Lake. But we'll do our best. Okay. I wanna take you to another question and that is to a set of issues, and that is... basically the globalization of culture. Just at the end of the Cold War what we did, what our government did was cut back on its funding for public diplomacy. At the very same time, exports in the entertainment industry was growing by some, between 400 and 500 percent. And one wonders, what kinds of image, what kind of self-portrait is that industry portraying to the rest of the world? Well, as long as there's been a Hollywood, or at least a talking Hollywood, since the 1930s, Hollywood has had a huge impact on the rest of the world, and its shows our lifestyle, shows all kinds of morality that we espouse in this country, both good and bad, and the French were the first to start yelling, "Cultural imperialism!" but we (word unclear around 4:45) wherever I go in the world. American movies are the main source of how people see the United States, how they see what they want, it causes a lot of problems in the world on a lot of different levels. Some people don't like the intrusion of the American culture into their societies, and there's nothing more pervasive than the motion picture industry, especially when it turned into the television industry, because now television, I hate to say it, but you know, one of our most popular exports, and the show by which most of the world judges us, is Dallas. What does that tell you? It tells that there's absolutely no purpose, no vision about the message we're sending to the rest of the world, but that's the vision that people see, people look and they say, "That's what I want to be, I want to go live on a giant ranch like that." And obviously that destabilizes a lot of countries, because they don't want people to realize that there's this other part of the world that they could aspire to and it makes a lot of people angry because obviously there's this conflict that's been going on for thousands of years between those who have and those who have not, and basically now we're in a position for the first time to really show everybody who has not, what they not have. And that makes them very angry, and obviously we're pushing our values and our morals to the rest of the world. A lot of people find that extremely offensive. And now there's some people who just don't... you know, wanna have their own art world, their own culture succeed and they see us as squashing that through movies. So it's a huge influence on the rest of the world, a bigger influence than any other thing that America does, and it always has been that way. I noticed that, I think that many Americans worry about the level of violence that's portrayed in both our television shows and our films and I noticed, of course my research for tonight was to have to watch some wonderful Star Wars films, my staff couldn't get over the fact that this was how I was spending my evenings, it was wonderful. Great release from doing research on nuclear weapons, or Iraq, but what was striking to me was that although they are about epic battles, you don't have violence in the sense of blood and guts. You've got traditional, the traditional art of sword fighting instead. How important was it to you to avoid that kind of...aimless violence as a filmmaker and as a father? Well when you're an artist, you're conflicted, especially when you're story telling. You're conflicted by the fact that if you have drama, drama is conflict. Conflict usually involves violence, either emotional/intellectual violence, or physical violence. So I sort of made a very conscious effort to have the people that are getting shot sort of nameless, faceless, you don't quite know whether they're real humans or not and your robots and the real emotionally violent conflict is between a father and his son, which is very traditional in mythological motifs. Violence really depends on context more than anything else, and it also depends on consequence. Violence without consequence is definitely evil. Violence which is just for its own sake, for its own entertainment value is evil. If you're trying to tell a story, you inevitably get to a point where you're using some sort of conflict, some sort of violence to tell your story, because for better or for worse, that is the nature of the human animal. We all hope it would be otherwise, but for the time being and probably for a while to come, that is the way we solve conflicts. The idea is to use the context to make a point about what you're doing and then the consequence of what happens when you do that. And in Star Wars, there's ultimately the grand story of all six of them is how a good person turns into a bad person, and then on the other side of how a democracy turns into a dictatorship. And it's usually through the evoking of violence, in this case and in most cases meaningless violence, in Star Wars it's creating a war to distract the people so that they can have their freedoms taken away from them. Are your films parables? My films are, well. Just between you and me. My films are based on mythological motifs in terms of the psychology, and the politics, if you will, it's based really on history. It's based on, specifically, Caesar, Napoleon, and Hitler. You and I actually studied under the same great scholar, Joseph Campbell, who's a great scholar on mythology, and he said that myths need to be recreated and regenerated and that you were doing just that. So my question to you is, was that a conscious effort on your part, to regenerate it for us and for your children? Well, yes it was very conscious, I mean, I started out as an anthropology major and that's where I first came in contact with Joe and his writings and I became very fascinated with storytelling and myth and what that means for society. What is the purpose, the sociological purpose of storytelling, and came to the conclusion that really has to do with taking certain moral values, certain lessons, certain realities that a particular society believes in, their belief system, and passing it along to the next generation, and also passing it along to the poor farmers that live outside the walls of the city so that they can also understand the culture they're a part of. And I believe you need to have that mythology passed down from one generation to the next, it's extremely important for our society. And the last mythology we had as a society was the Western. John Wayne was our great Hercules, and what happened is there was a period there where it just dropped off the face of the earth. There was no mythology. It was just sort of again, people make movies for the sake of making movies, but nobody thought to say, "Well, maybe we should be teaching something." Because, in the end, they're teaching something anyway, whether they are consciously doing it or not, but to actually consciously say "Well, maybe I'll try to put forth some wisdom here, but not new wisdom, but old wisdom." Partially what I was interested in experimentally was to see if the psychology of thirteen--1400 years ago, or 3000 years ago, is the same as it is today, if the emotional maturity is the same. So I took the motifs and put them into a modern context to see if people still felt the same way about things, and lo and behold, I think I found out that they did. We haven't changed much emotionally in the last 3000 years. You're looking back and forward in terms of the human emotion, you're also looking... what's striking about your films is you're looking across cultures. You draw from Christianity, you draw from Hindi, you draw from Greek mythology, you draw from Buddhism. And there's kind of a fusion about these films. I'm wondering if that isn't part of the reason that they are so attractive, so appealing around the world. Not only are they basic struggles that every culture and every generation deals with, but also you're picking up elements of multiple cultures. Well, that's where the influence of Joe comes in because he was a great surveyor of all mythology around the world and finding the similarities in these mythology. Mostly I think what he taught was comparative mythology, but basically it was a way of saying, everybody in all periods of history in every society, basically these are the motifs that they all believe in, and they all come up with the same idea whether it's the creation myth or what happens when you die, what the deity is, there's a similarity going on there, and that's the human factor. And there's a... as time goes on I think more people are gonna spend more time trying to figure out what it is they call it 'the god gene', but there is certain psychological realities that cause people to think in a particular way about the unknown, and about their fears and about their conflicts with the family, and just the normal thing about being a human being. And it is... goes all around the world, it was always the same. And I wanted to make a film that was basically doesn't take place in any part of this planet but, at the same time, is sorta made up of the hearts of everybody that's on this planet. And do you find it's more effective to put forth a given lesson if it is outside of any one single context, or, in fact, the current context? It's always, that's always the way stories have been told in terms of ancient storytelling, mythology always takes place in some other place, some mysterious place that isn't where we are. It's always over or above or below or someplace that you can't see, but we kinda know its there, it's over the horizon. And so when I did this I purposefully picked space as the one place where there is mystery left, where we don't know what's out there, just as the Greeks would say, if you cross the ocean, you'll get to this mysterious place. And where the island of the Harpies and stuff are and that's part of the storytelling, to get it out of the context and put it in a place where you're not moved by your personal prejudices of what's going on specifically, generally. And do you, yourself believe that there is good and evil in all of us and it's a matter of circumstances and will as to which one dominates at any given time? Yeah, well, the film professes to push this as a world in where good and evil coexist, that they're in balance. You can never get rid of one or the other. So when you get out of balance, that's when trouble happens. I don't really discuss the fact of what happens when good takes over, my feeling is it would be just as destructive as if bad took over. Well in the educational foundation that I started many years ago, that was one of the main motivating factors. When I was in school, I did terribly, because I was bored, I didn't like it, I didn't understand why I was doing this, and I'd much rather daydream. So when I got to a point after Star Wars where I had a large computer division and I knew how to make movies, I said, "Wouldn't it be great if we could take the computers, take the movies, put them together and build a learning tool that would be interactive and would engage them in the process of learning rather than having it forced on them?" And that then took me to working with a lot of educators, a lot of experts in various fields who said, "Look, we don't need you to make the ultimate multimedia project for us. What we need is to have somebody who will tell the story of what the future of education is and how to achieve it. WE do this at conferences all the time, people write books about it, but it doesn't seem to have any impact, and maybe you could make movies or something that would make people realize that these things actually work." And that was really the beginning of the foundation as it now exists. What we do is we go into schools where they're using what seem to be very good techniques of using computers and cameras and other technology and then photograph that, make a movie about that, and put it on the internet so that we have this resource where you can actually go and watch a classroom, watch these techniques being used and see that project-based learning, cooperative learning, interdisciplinary studies, and these other techniques that are made very, very user-friendly by technology, by computers, actually work, and they work with students. So we've spent the last... I don't know how many years, but a long time, putting this message out and getting people to come to the Web site. I like to think that we're giving people the blueprints on how to build a sword so that you can go and fight the fight in your neighborhood or your school, or in your school system or in your state, wherever you feel that you can have the power, 'cause we're hoping to reach legislators, school superintendents, school boards, teachers, principals, parents, and even students. What about international content? It would be hard for a young person to succeed in the global economy without a comfort with other cultures and other languages? What about that kind of exposure, are we serving our kids well? Well, the great thing about the internet, which wasn't there when we started this but it exists now, and we use it extensively as one of the main tools of modern technology for education is that you can do so much with it. When I was on the board of the National Geographic Society, they had a setup for schools where you could be like a pen pal to another school, they had classrooms, not only classrooms in New York talking to classrooms in Moscow, things like that, but they had classrooms like in Connecticut talking to classrooms in East LA, which was even more of a cultural shock for the kids, but they could talk to the kids and they would talk every day and they were doing projects about weather, and different kinds of projects, but ultimately they were talking to each other a lot and finding out what their culture was like and what's going on at their school, and the kinds of things they were having to deal with in their lives. That's a huge education for kids, just to realize that a world exists outside of their own little cocoon that they usually live in and it was interesting to even see, hear, the story of the little girl in India who did the reverse of that. Kids have a tendency to be trapped in their little cocoons. It's very hard for a kid to you know, get out in the world, see what's going on and whether it's a little tiny village in the middle of India, or it's in a high rise in New York City, or in suburbia in Utah. You don't really get a chance to, on a one to one level, get a real contact with the rest of the world and technology does that in a very wonderful way. We've been working with various educational systems around the world, most notably Japan's very concerned about the way they teach, which is a very memorize, drill then kill sort of way of doing it, they're extremely effective at it. But they're worried that their students aren't learning creativity. They aren't learning to think on their own, they aren't learning critical thinking skills and so they're attracted to the kinds of things we're doing to try and see if they can change the paradigm that they're using, which is really especially in some of these up-and-coming countries, they're very diligent about, basically doing the kind of education that we had in this country, and making it actually work in getting the students to really learn this stuff. But ultimately what it really comes down to in our view, is education is about teaching somebody how to find information and teaching them how to assess that information and find out how true it is, and then use that information to do something creative and something interesting, whether it's build a rocket to the moon, build a house do a report on something, but it's... you have a job, there's a reason why you're doing it, and that answer is the biggest question that most students have, which is, "Why am I learning this?" But if you're building a house, then you have to learn science and math and all kinds of colored, just all kinds of, array of lots of different things that you can teach them in class with one project. And one of the reasons for doing it, you were talking earlier, we were talking earlier about problem solving in groups as young people. One of the reasons for doing it was for the team, in essence, for the group. Well there's one thing that's not taught in schools, which is probably the most important thing that should be taught, is emotional intelligence. And by having cooperative learning, you can have two students, four students, whatever, working on a project together and having to deal with the problems that adults deal with every day, which is working with people who aren't pulling their weight, or working with people who are really obnoxious, but you've gotta somehow get the job done and you can't do it by just punching them in the nose. That lesson, we teach out during P.E., but now they're talking about getting rid of P.E., which is the only place you learn about don't punch him in the nose, because if you do, he's bigger than you, and he'll punch you back, which, something we haven't really learned too much in this country. So by having cooperative learning you teach them the really most important thing, which is how to get along with other people. I'd say, you can have a great IQ, you can have great grades, you can graduate from Harvard, and you can get that job, but unless you have a good emotional intelligence, you won't keep it. If you're valuable enough, they'll stick you in a little room in the corner send you a dish of food every day, and you can save the world with some new invention or something. But if you're in a real job working with real people, if you can't get along with anybody, you're not going to be there very long. You're going to find yourself out of work. And so if you're going to succeed in this world, you have to learn how to work with people. One of the things that I guess should take us back to the theme of diplomacy and the public diplomacy is one of the ways in which we have pursued public diplomacy is through citizen exchange. And in part you can do this over the internet, in part you can do this in person, but we've attracted students, we've attracted extraordinary talent from all over the world to come to our best graduate schools. But less than one percent of American college students study abroad. Do you have thoughts about the value of study abroad, about the actual experience abroad, if that's possible for someone? Oh yeah, well I think that study abroad is extremely important and just for kids to get outside this country and to experience the fact that there's a big world out there is extremely important, and we're a relatively provincial country, and... we don't go anywhere, and as you know, very few people in this country even have a passport. Our president had barely been out of the country except for Mexico before he became president. I mean, that's insane. Really. He's certainly getting a lesson pretty fast, but it would be nicer to have in ten years rather than three or four. I'm still trying to picture the image of George W. Bush and George W. Lucas a month ago as you received that award, but I think we should all applaud you for that award, because the National Medal of Technology is really something of tremendous consequence, and we're awfully proud as Northern Californians that you received that award, and even if it does. I must say that I actually didn't receive the award, I accepted it along with the president of ILM, but it was really given to ILM for their work, all I did was cause it to happen, I'm the brawn behind it, I'm not the brain. ILM being Industrial Light and Magic. I just have one last question. As a filmmaker do you see yourself primarily as a storyteller, as a teacher, or as both? Well, we're all teachers. Every single person. And so it's important to think about what you're teaching. And most of us teach by what we do which means its harder for us to pay attention to it, but you know, our kids learn, or if you have kids, you learn very fast. They do what you do, they don't do what you say and so you've gotta be careful, and when you make movies, it's the same thing. No matter what you do with movies, you're teaching people and in the case of movies or television or any work of art, books, you speak with a very loud voice. It's amplified many many many many times and so you have to be especially careful about what you're saying, and so I love to tell stories, my stories are designed as all stories are, to give you a little insight about the way the world works and to entertain you at the same time. But mostly the result of it is that you teach. Well I've got a good feeling about this. We've got someone very special; one of your biggest fans wants to give you the award, so I'll ask Nancy Pelosi on stage... I'm gonna assist our great Congresswoman, Nancy Pelosi. I just wanna remind all of use that Mr. Lucas might not be in the Presidio if it weren't for Nancy's great work in saving the Presidio for the City of San Francisco. Thank you very much, George, thank you Jane, thank you the World Affairs Council for your tremendous leadership in global education. Thanks to Judy and Richard Guggenheim for their series, I want to... I'm so honored to be able to join Jane, George, and the rest of the World Affairs Council in presenting this award. Before I do, I want to congratulate Lata Krishnan for her great work in America/India Foundation for their leadership. Lata asked the question, Is India important? Yes, indeed, it is, and so is very important the U.S.-India relationship so congratulations to again Lata. Like (name unclear?) about George Lucas, that we haven't seen in film, the visuals of it all, and what Iris said in making the proclamation of the award. When I was asked to do this I immediately thought of something I read, George, about Mozart, you know it's 250th, the anniversary of his 250th birth...birthday. And I thought about you because I read this thing about Mozart, and it said, "He was not an ordinary genius. An ordinary genius is a person whom, if we were many many many times better, we could be like. And if ever we understood what that genius did, there would be no mystery to it. We would think that we could do it ourselves. Mozart was no ordinary genius. He was said to be a magician. Once people understood what he did, they were still in the dark as to doing it themselves." Like Mozart, George Lucas is no ordinary genius. He is a magician. Like Mozart, he produced a series of lightning strokes, it is said, lightning strokes producing a series of unimprovable masterpieces. Like Mozart, 250 years after his birth, he will be remembered as a legend, as Iris said, a legend. A legend today, a legend for the future. So come on up here, George. Jane? (applause) I'm very honored to join all of you, the World Affairs Council, Jane and George up here, in presenting George Lucas this Global Vision Award, it's in two pieces, for his imagination, his innovation, and the inspiration that he is to all of us. Thank you George, and congratulations.