Not many people can claim they’ve truly shaped popular culture, but George Lucas can. His creation, Star Wars, didn’t just render an entire fictional universe, but also a full-fledged cultural phenomenon. Total ticket sales alone are in the billions, and the franchise has brought more than $32 billion to retailers through related novels, video games and fan projects galore. (One recent project merged Star Wars with the iconic Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album by The Beatles.)
Denis Makarenko | Shutterstock.com
Related: New Star Wars Film Is a Marketing Force Brands Should Study
Meanwhile, Lucas is also a successful entrepreneur, founding Lucasfilm, which he sold to Disney in 2012 for more than $4 billion, and Industrial Light & Magic, a visual effects company that was also acquired by Disney.
Star Wars fans have unofficially celebrated May 4 for years, but formal events started popping up in 2011. The pun that sparked the event — “May the Fourth Be With You” — has been a classic for decades, first used in 1979.
In honor of Star Wars, we’ve collected 10 quotes from the franchise’s creator, George Lucas. Let them give you some insight on how this innovator approaches his work — and inspire your next success.
“I am simply trying to struggle through life; trying to do God’s bidding.”
“It’s hard work making movies. It’s like being a doctor: you work long hours, very hard hours, and it’s emotional, tense work. If you don’t really love it, then it ain’t worth it.”
On the struggle to build something
“Making a film is like putting out a fire with sieve. There are so many elements, and it gets so complicated.”
On the power of success
“The object is to try to get the system to work for you, instead of against you. And the only way you can do it is through success, I’m afraid.”
On the drawbacks of success
“From being a struggling, starving filmmaker to being incredibly successful in a period of a couple of years is quite a powerful experience, and not necessarily a good one.”
On the irony of success
“I hate corporations and I’m not happy that they have taken over the film business but on the same hand I find myself being the head of a corporation. There’s a certain irony there.”
On taking control
“I took over control of the merchandising not because I thought it was going to make me rich, but because I wanted to control it. I wanted to make a stand for social, safety and quality reasons. I didn’t want someone using the name Star Wars on a piece of junk.”
Related: 3 Lessons About Mental Toughness You Can Learn From Yoda
On believing in your vision
“Right or wrong, this is my movie, this is my decision, and this is my creative vision, and if people don’t like it, they don’t have to see it.”
On the privileges mega success gives you
“I’ve worked hard enough and earned enough to fail for the rest of my life. And I’m gonna do it!”