Tech Firms Owe Debt to 'Star Wars' Creator

By GREG SANDOVAL, AP Technology Writer LucasThanx George! Avid, Sonic Solutions, Pixar and more all have roots that go back a long time ago to a place far, far away....... SAN FRANCISCO - After filming the first "Star Wars" movie with special effects far from special, George Lucas spent millions to develop a complete digital editing system to populate his sequels with armies of X-wing fighters and Gungan warriors. Then, he virtually gave it away. "We were 10 years ahead of the commercial reality," said Bob Doris, co-general manager of Lucas' computer division during the mid-1980s. "He inspired some very worthwhile ventures ... but the innovations weren't close to paying for themselves." So Lucas sold many of his technologies for cheap — technologies that would later appear in home stereos, cell phones, medical imaging devices and virtually every Hollywood studio, driving billion-dollar companies and employing thousands of people. read more...

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