How to Push Back (a story about George Lucas and Star Wars)

written by  Ryan Seamons

George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, is an inspiration for pushing back against the norms. 

He wanted to create a different kind of experience when it came to how a movie opened. Instead of the typical credits at the beginning, he decided to launch right into the (now famous) Star Wars word crawl. 

Here’s the story of the price Lucas was willing to pay to serve the audience instead of keeping to tradition: 

To preserve the dramatic opening of the Star Wars movies, George Lucas insisted on moving all the credits to the end of the movie. However, although the Writers’ Guild and Directors’ Guild had begrudgingly allowed this on Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) (because that movie wasn’t expected to be very successful), they resented the trend being continued on [The Empire Strikes Back (1980)]. First, they tried to pull [it] from release but were unsuccessful. They then fined Lucas heavily … Lucas paid all of the fines himself (nearly $250,000). (from IMDB)

The #1 regret of the dying is living a life that isn’t true to what you want. It’s sadly common and easy to allow others to dictate what we do. It takes guts and sacrifice to stay true to your vision.

George Lucas was loyal to the experience he wanted to create for the audience. He ended up paying the fees (close to a million dollars in today’s money) to stay committed to that vision.

Read additional details about the story on wikipedia and this article on The Conversation.

Who’s experience are you willing to sacrifice for?

Your customers? Your employees? Your readers? Your family?

What could you sacrifice to enhance the experience of someone who matters?

Lucas sacrificed with money, but other sacrifices could include time, ego, political capital, or attention.

When you’re trying something new, you’ll often make someone uncomfortable in the process. Do it anyway.

*I first found this story in Priya Parker’s The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters. I’m pulling lessons from her and other experts into the course I’m launching shortly, The Meeting Maestro: How to lead amazing meetings

About the Author

Ryan Seamons
writes about more human approaches to modern management.

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