I have been a Star Wars fan since I was 7, I went to work for Lucasfilm as a 3d painter and sculptor and this was one of the best opportunities to grow and become an artist and a craftsman. George Lucas was not only a very generous employer but also created an environment where the artists had a great deal of ownership in the final product. Lucasfilm was created by an artist and was largely run by artists. I am sure once Disney took over this changed. George threw annual 4th of July and Halloween parties with costume contests that had no equal in the Silicon Valley. The most famous story was that one year ILM pushed the whole Pirates of the Caribbean ship, created as part of the movie set, into the party, complete with a pirate crew.
One year, a group of ILM's visual effects artists came up with the idea to dress up as Living Room Transformers - here is the couch ( with Jett Lucas in the background ):
I worked as an artist for George Lucas and I am very familiar with "The Ranch" in Northern California, where Lucas held 4th of July parties every year. The following conversations between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell took place at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch, right before Campbell's death in 1987.
If there is a single text that has influenced my view of the world - The Power of Myth is that text. In it Campbell says:
"Everyone is a hero in his birth. He's undergone a tremendous transformation, from a little water creature living in the realm of the amniotic fluid and so forth, then coming out and becoming an air breathing mammal that ultimately will be self-standing. This is an enormous transformation and a heroic act."
On Art and Artists Campbell wrote:
" Myth must be kept alive. The
people who can keep it alive are artists of one kind or another. The function of the artist is the
mythologization of the environment and the world."
Joseph Campbell also wrote "The Hero with a Thousand Faces", a seminal work of comparative mythology.
I had a great time working on Star Wars: The force Unleashed - Ultimate Sith Edition. The Empire Strikes Back was my favorite episode from the original trilogy and I was in my childhood heaven working on the battle of Hoth as an Environment lead of an awesome team. ATATs, Snowspeeders, X-Wings, Wampas.. the latest provided a bit of a comic relief and enormous fun to do.