“There is No Such Thing as a Lost Cause… Unless You Give Up”

George Lucas, the filmwriter, producer, and director known best for his Star Wars and Indiana Jones series, was interviewed at the World Business Forum in Radio City Music Hall yesterday.

George Lucas, the filmwriter, producer, and director known best for his Star Wars and Indiana Jones series, was interviewed at the World Business Forum in Radio City Music Hall yesterday.


Most striking was the number of inventions he generated to support his films, including multitudes of breakthroughs in technology.

We started making movies in San Francisco where there were no film resources. We had to create everything from scratch: cheaper, better, faster. We invented it ourselves. For example, in Star Wars, we needed a way to pan across star ships while they were moving through space. We invented a whole new way of doing it – we got involved with Silcon Valley.

The circumstances are impossible, the resources are completely limited, and you have to really get yourself out there to get things done.

Lucas revolutionized the film industry with technological inventions that were enormous in their impact and bold in their execution.

Movies are an artform. My definition of art is a way of communicating emotions from one human being to another. For the most part that includes technology.

Once you get beyond the spoken word and dance, you’re into technology. You can see even on the walls of the French caves where they paint antelope. They aren’t doing antelopes. They’re doing emotional-spiritual depictions of antelopes.


Mostly art has been a popular medium. It’s a way of telling stories to the populous in an emotional way. If you’re trying to convert people to religion, you can’t write it out – you do the Sistine Chapel. In order to do the Sistine Chapel, there is a huge amount of technology involved.


When the interviewer asked him if public education is a lost cause, Lucas responded, There is no such thing as a lost cause… unless you give up. We’re drowning. Humanity is drowning. We have to continue. The single most important thing we have as a species is our capacity to create knowledge and pass it along to next generation. That’s what we do. That’s our thing. We don’t have claws. We have these brains.

The conversation turned to the George Lucas Education Foundation: What I am trying to do is go into schools and find the best practices – nobody was actually recording the best practices. Teachers move on and those ideas get lost. We wanted to categorize them and put them on line, so that anyone wants to know, here they are. The focus is not on schools and education, but on learning, what is the best way to learn.




Stay tuned today as I continue to cover the World Business Forum live from Radio City Music Hall. 

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– Seth Kahan,

Kahan is a Change Leadership specialist. He has consulted with CEOs and
executives in over 50 world-class organizations that include Shell,
World Bank, Peace Corps, Marriott, Prudential, American Society of
Association Executives, International Bridge Tunnel and Turnpike
Association, Project Management Institute, and NASA. He is the founder
of Seth Kahan’s CEO Leaders Forum, a community of CEOs working together
to innovate through the current economy. His next book, Getting Change Right: Guaranteeing Buy-In from Your Most Valuable Players, will be published in spring 2010 by Jossey-Bass. Visit his other blog, for more info on the book.  





About the author

I help leaders with change, innovation, and growth. My latest book is "Getting Innovation Right." My first book, "Getting Change Right," was a business bestseller. home office: (301) 229-2221, USA - email: