Skip to content →

Okay, THIS Is The Only Thing I’ll Write About Star Wars

After the other post which shall not be named as it does not exist no really, several people from Hollyweird emailed me with variations on the following story. As one of them said to me, it may well be apocryphal, but it’s too good a story not to tell:

In the weeks after STAR WARS ate the box office alive and made George Lucas instantly richer than God, the man himself could be found in his shiny new offices, stroking the high-tech goods on his beautiful wooden desk. His top-of-the-range intercom system burped, his secretary announcing that she’d received a visitor without an appointment. A Mr Kurosawa.

Lucas leapt up and gushingly welcomed Akira Kurosawa, his cinematic hero, who, as the story has it, was in town to sort out some foreign-rights business.

Kurosawa is ushered into Lucas’ office, placed in a seat opposite him, they sit, and… silence.

And the silence stretches for a minute.

At which point, so the story goes, George Lucas nods once, slowly. Opens the drawer on his beautiful new desk. Extracts his personal chequebook. And, the tale alleges, he drafts an extraordinarily large cheque to the name of A. Kurosawa.

Kurosawa takes the cheque from Lucas’ fingers. They stand, they bow, and Kurosawa leaves, never having said a word the entire time.

Now leave me alone, Internet Ewoks.

Published in brainjuice


  1. I was SO sure that the story was going to end with Kurosawa shooting Lucas underneath the table before tossing a coin to the secretary on the way out. “Sorry ’bout the mess.”

  2. Rob Rob

    There some truth in it somewhere as I believe Lucas was involved on the money end with Kagemusha.

  3. Andy Andy

    It really is a lovely story. With a story this good, one should be totally unconcerned about whether or not it’s true. Irrelevant!

  4. Lucas is one of the cheapest dudes in Hollywood. That story has a fun ring to it, but honestly, that probably never happened. Add to that that Lucas and Kurosawa actually had a pretty good relationship (apparently) which led to Lucas being the executive producer on Kagemusha.

  5. Excellent.

  6. i want to believe it! in fact i’m going to, simply because i want to.


  7. Tanner Tanner

    Now that’s a story that can sit on the shelf next to the L Ron Hubbard/Robert Heinlein bar bet story. You know it happened exactly that way simply because nothing else would be as right.

  8. Yook Yook

    What’s this about a bar bet?

  9. Servoet Servoet

    Now only if Warren can somehow work Shatner into the conversation, I can finally ejaculate.

  10. Servoet Servoet

    Now, if Warren can only somehow work Shatner into the conversation, I can finally ejaculate.

  11. I can’t remember whether I’ve heard this story before, or it’s just cynicism on my part, but I imagine it’s something along the lines of Fatty Hubbard betting he could make up a religion and get other people to follow it.

    That couldn’t possibly be true, though, could it? :p

  12. Napalm Dog Napalm Dog

    Yes! Perfect!

  13. Jay Jay

    As I heard it, the Heinlein/Hubbard bet was that each one would write a book and see if it could be turned into a real religion.

    I think Heinlein’s attempt was supposed to be STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, which only succeeded in getting a bunch of computer gurus in the 70’s and 80’s to think “grok” was a sensible word.

  14. M. E. Hepler M. E. Hepler

    I think my soul is about dead now. 1980 take me away!

  15. Mr BunchyPants Mr BunchyPants

    So neither of them is a member of the Jedi religion – they both worship the almighty dollar. Good on ’em.

  16. “I think Heinlein’s attempt was supposed to be STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, which only succeeded in getting a bunch of computer gurus in the 70’s and 80’s to think “grok” was a sensible word.”

    One of them STILL does it.

  17. You’re wrong, Jay, unless you don’t consider CAW a ‘religion.’ Of course, it seemed to me that RH based a lot of ‘Stranger’ on Crowley’s concept of Thelema.

  18. Alfredo Alfredo


  19. Roninspoon Roninspoon

    The Heinlein – Hubbard Wage Myth is just that, a myth. At best it’s based on foggy memories and rumours. I preached it as gospel for years until I actually too the time to check the facts. It’s actually quite surprising how many of these types of stories don’t hold up to even the most gentle scrutiny.

    Feel free to read the details.

  20. Carl Horn Carl Horn

    Sometimes the story is extended to include Frank Herbert and Arthur C. Clarke being in on the bet as well. But it doesn’t sound like the type of thing Heinlein would have ever pursued seriously in real life; deluding people with a bullshit religion for cash. Neither can the Church of All Worlds in STRANGER be taken as offering anyone a serious model for a religion (although apparently some people did), as it’s based on the premise that psionic powers really exist and can be taught–in other words, on access to a genuine higher power rather than merely having faith in one. Take that away and you’re left with a bunch of goddamn hippies in a wading pool.

  21. Yeti Yeti

    Regarding the Hubbard bet story, a number of prominent figures in the circle of early sci-fi fandom (including Theodore Sturgeon) reported hearing Hubbard say some version of “the real money is in religion.” There are several versions of this story, so he may have said it publicly on more than one occasion. (Editor Sam Moskowitz went so far as to issue an affadavit with his version of the quotation, citing the time and place of the incident.) The Heinlein “bar bet” version is doubtful, and even more doubtful are the versions that drag Herbert, Asimov, and Clarke into the mix. (It seems like people are substituting more popular SF writers for the more obscure figures involved in the less anecdote-ready versions of the story.) To my knowledge, the most probable version of the bar bet story involves L. Sprague deCamp. See also…

  22. FanboySlayer FanboySlayer

    This most certainly never happened. This is yet another Urban Ledgend amongst those with to much time on their hands and jealousy in their hearts. This legend originated by the well documented first meeting between Lucas and Kurosawa in the book Droidmaker. Kurosawa saw what was to replace the editing tools of his trade and he was silence throughout the demonstraton until the very end.

  23. Re Church of All Worlds versus Scientology… Yes, but which one would you rather be a member of?

Comments are closed.