The Lucas Interview
I love George Lucas. There, I said it. Even though I have to give him a lot of awards these days, it's not so bad 'cause I get to make fun of him in a way that he seems to like. And even the endless commentaries and on-camera interviews for the upcoming DVD release of the Star Wars Trilogy - where they ask me the same questions they've asked me since the dawn of man - don't bother me too much because I think of Star Wars as sort of my alma mater, in the absence of any real college education.
And George is my class president. He's the main one out of the Star Wars group I've maintained a real, live friendship with - even if the nature of that friendship sometimes comes down to me doing the commentary thing for the Star Wars DVDs because he asks me to, and then him talking to me for this magazine because I ask him to. It's the public-figure way of saying, "You're a pal," while others say it with flowers or Christmas cards or by showing up at birthday parties.
Oh, we do that, too. George lets me interview him, and I give him awards. What better way to demonstrate our loyalty and undying affection than through the bizarre display afforded by public life? So here he is again, scratching my back in the open forum of Sound & Vision . And someday soon, I can only hope I'll be handing him a Lifetime Achievement Award from some highly respected outfit.
I don't think I've ever done a print interview of George before. On camera, yes; on paper, no. But to get him on paper, I first had to capture his voice on tape. Doing that, though, is like capturing a butterfly in a net - the rare butterfly of George Lucas, the über-geek when it comes to Sound & Vision types.
At least that's how I picture it. I see him as S&V's centerfold, with a little speaker in front of his private 1138 parts and a flat screen to cradle his teeming head.
For those of you who read this magazine - well, he's kind of your boy, no? I mean, the inventor of the THX program? C'mon. And who am I? Debbie Reynolds' daughter - barely. I don't even own a $5,000 clicker - excuse me: remote control. (Though George says these new things aren't clickers, they're computers. But I want to point out that my computer cost less than these clicker/computers, and at least I can make friends on it.)
What I am is George Lucas's little friend with the funny hairstyle and the occasionally light-saber-like pen. Who I am is the person delivering George - Mr. Lightspeed - to you today.
S&V gave me a list of questions, because Lord knows I wouldn't even know what to ask George for a magazine like this. So I asked him what movies he'd seen recently that impressed him, and he told me Lost in Translation. Then, because it's S&V, I asked him how he'd seen it
"I saw it at a screening that [director] Sofia [Coppola] had for us up at Skywalker Ranch with her family."
Then I asked how he usually watches movies: "I watch movies in a movie theater." I became indignant on behalf of the ma gazine: "You must have a home theater."
"I do have a home theater," George res ponded, "but it's a video theater, not film."
I'm lost. "What does that mean?"
George Lucas: That means I can't show films. I can only show videos - you know, DVDs and stuff. I can't show movies - film - because I don't have a movie projector.