George Lucas reveals what he hopes his obituary says


George Lucas, creator of the Star Wars franchise, walked the red carpet Monday night for the new sequel's world premiere in Hollywood.

The latest film marks the first time Lucas was not in full control of a "Star Wars" saga, which became part of our culture nearly 40 years ago.

Lucas's impact on cinema earned him one of this year's Kennedy Center Honors. He spoke to "CBS This Morning" co-host Charlie Rose about what it means to be a director.

"Well, a director is just somebody who's got a fetish with making the world to be what he wants it to be. Sort of narcissistic," Lucas said laughing. "All directors are vaguely like emperors, which is, 'I want to build the society to reflect me and what I want.'

But Lucas didn't create a new society - he constructed an entire galaxy.

On its surface, the Star Wars series is a sci-fi space odyssey with odd creatures and epic space battles.

But it's genius lies in the simple story beneath all of that - timeless elements like family and the fight between good and evil. As its creator, Lucas has been called one of the most innovative filmmakers in history, but in his heart, he considers himself a storyteller.

He said he also never intended to create a trilogy and his mere focus was just to make the "best film."

"I took the first act, but then the first act didn't really work, so I said, 'Okay, what I'm gonna have to do is take the ending of the third film and put it on the first film,'" Lucas said. "So then, when I moved on to the other ones, I said, 'Well, gee, you know-- Ben Kenobi is now dead, I killed him. That was an unfortunate... how am I going to fix that? And what am I going to do about the fact that I already blew the Death Star up and that's what the ending is?' But part of it was simply when I got down to some of the other movies, I was able to create an environment and a world that wasn't possible when I started the first one."

In addition to storyteller and director, Lucas became a pioneer in the world of special effects, forever changing the way films are made and sounded.

In his 1973 hit, "American Graffiti," Lucas opted out of a traditional composer and instead, narrated the entire story with popular music. The low-budget film was the most commercially successful film of its time.

"That's the clearest in-point for a teenager, is the music," Lucas said. "Half of what a teenager is is music, you know? And the other half is trouble, or raging hormones, or however you want to describe it, but at the same time, that's what the movie's about."

Before he was 40, Lucas went on to make the first three Star Wars and an Indiana Jones film, "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Then, he decided to walk away.

"I gave up directing in order to become a dad. You know, for 15 years directing, I just ran a company and was an innovator. But it was not doing what I really like to do, which is actually make movies," Lucas said. "It was one of those things where you don't expect it to happen. But once I was a dad-- it was like a bolt of lightning struck me."

Lucas adopted his first daughter with his wife, Marcia, in 1981. After they got a divorce, he adopted two more children and raised them as a single dad.

Then in 2013, he married Melody Hobson, an investment executive from Chicago and a CBS News contributor.

"The thing we discovered, which we call a miracle, is that we're exactly the same," Lucas said.

Together, they have a two-year-old daughter.

"It's a miracle, that's how I see it," Hobson said. "It shouldn't have happened and it did."

At Sky Walker Ranch north of San Francisco, Lucas is once again able to concentrate on being a father. Three years ago, he sold his company, Lucas Films, to Disney for $4 billion.

"I made that decision because I looked at the future, I looked at the fact that I was going to have a baby, I looked at the fact that I was married, and I looked at the fact that I wanted to build a museum, and I looked at the fact that I wanted to make experimental films," said Lucas. "So my life was going on a different track. So that started that ball rolling."

J.J. Abrams has since taken over the directing role for the Star Wars sequel, but Lucas said he is "at peace" with his decision.

"Fortunately I'm old enough to have been through all this stuff before and I'm sure it will do magnificent business. I'm sure they'll do a great job," Lucas said. "You know, it'll be different from what I would've done."

Aretha Franklin among performers at Kennedy Center Honors

Everything Lucas has done has earned him a prestigious Kennedy Center Honor. At the award ceremony, his good friend, Steven Spielberg explained the Lucas legacy best.

"George Lucas' Star Wars changed movies, absolutely forever," Spielberg said.

"I was successful because I made one movie every three years. He makes three movies every year. And I say, "Steven, you're insane... When are you going to retire?'" Lucas said of his friend. "He says, 'I'm not gonna retire... My ultimate dream is to die on a set and just keel over in the middle of shooting.' And I said, 'Gee, my ambition is to die in bed watching one of your movies on television.'"

Lucas has worn all the hats -- as filmmaker, director, storyteller, writer and technical innovator - but he said he wants to be known first and foremost for something else.

"What do you want the first line of your obituary to say?" Rose asked.

"I was a great dad -- or I tried," Lucas said, laughing.