Throughout Celebration Japan on the digital stage is a video greeting/interview from George Lucas, who could not attend but nonetheless sent his best wishes. Here is a transcript of that video:
I’d like to say how great it is that Star Wars is in Japan, that we’re able to have the Celebration here. It’s a perfect tribute to Japan and to Star Wars, that have a lot in common, and I hope everybody enjoys themselves. The Celebrations are always an enormous amount of fun.
I admire Japan very much. I have studied Japan and Japanese culture ever since I was little, so part of what I make comes off as having a lot of Japanese cultural implications. I’ve worked with Japanese directors, and I’ve been coming here ever since 1969, so I think part of that is my own love of Japan.
I’ve always been a great fan of Akira Kurosawa. Later on, I got to meet Kurosawa and work with him, and it was very exciting. He is one of the premiere moviemakers of our time. When I did the original Star Wars, The Hidden Fortress was a big influence on me because in that movie the story is told from the point-of-view of two farmers. It’s the story of kings and princesses and wars, but told the story of these two farmers. I liked that, so I used that idea with the two robots, and said that I’d tell the story from their point-of-view, even though it’s about galactic wars and princesses and everything.