George Lucas has received a Kennedy Center Honor, a prestigious awards given to those who have achieved a lifetime of artistic endeavors which have inspired the world.
Lucas attended the event, which took place Sunday at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Mellody Hobson (via USA Today). He was among five honorees, which included singer/songwriter Carole King, actresses Rita Moreno and Cicely Tyson, and conductor Seiji Ozawa.
The event included a showing of the honorees speaking at different events in the past, in one of which George is shown to be saying, the “bright side of the force is love, the dark side is hate…stick to the bright side.” In another clip, President Obama called him “a vanguard of new Hollywood.”
Among the more heartwarming moments were the personal testaments from close family and friends who attended the event with the honorees. George’s wife Mellody spoke about how George is committed to family (via USA Today).
"Star Wars is “not a movie about spaceships…but about family,” she said, recalling how his long gaps between movies were because he wanted to spend time raising his children."
Carrie Fisher also had a few words to say to the creator of her most famous character, though not in person. Rather, she appeared in a hologram message projected by R2-D2.
"“I wanted to be there to help celebrate your Kennedy Center honor in person, but hey, since you invented video voicemail, I don’t have to be,” said Fisher. “Thank you for giving me one of my biggest roles…and most famous hairstyles.”"
Two more old friends, Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, appeared to congratulate and praise their long-time fellow director. Spielberg called him “a pathfinder and a pioneer like Edison and Bell and Tesla and Jobs,” while Scorsese proclaimed George was “a hero to young people all over the world…his audience is truly global.”
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The portion of the event honoring Lucas ended with an orchestral playing of themes from some of his most famous works, such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and The Goonies, with a light show as an accompaniment the music.
The Kennedy Center Honor is among the most prestigious awards which can be given to an artist. According to the History of the Kennedy Center Honors, the Honors have been compared to the knighthood of England.
No one deserves such unanimous recognition more than George Lucas. He has literally changed the film industry and how movies are made. More than that, though, he changed the world; there’s no doubt no one was the same after Star Wars debuted in theaters in 1977..