Thank You, George Lucas

Thank You, George Lucas



On August 20, 2022, I wrote to filmmaker George Lucas, asking what he thought of “The Force of Life” as a new genre in literature and film.  I asked him the following:        

“Do you believe in:                                                    

1.      Reincarnation?

2.      Life-Altering Love? (When encountering someone you’ve known / loved  before in a past life.)

3.      The interconnectivity of everyone / everything in the Universe?”



I intimated that if he answered “YES” to any of these questions, then maybe he’d want to join me in creating a new genre of storytelling, tentatively called Life Force” storytelling. This genre evolved after decades of receiving feedback and rejections from editors, contest judges, and potential literary agents, whose most consistent comments are summarized below:

1.   Your writing has a unique and intricately developed emotional core. It’s fast paced, easy to follow, with an engaging literary style, well-developed characters, but an overall lack of conflict.


2.   Your writing demonstrates refined talent, imagination, and thought-provoking nuances such as the possibility of reincarnation as a viable, scientific reality. But your story does not follow the typical paradigm where the protagonist has a goal, want, need, or desire. This goal should force the hero to go on a literal, figurative, or symbolic journey where they overcome obstacles and conflict, to achieve their goal— ultimately helping them grow, arc, or learn a valuable lesson.



For the record, I reject the idea that storytelling must adhere to the formulae described above. That’s not the only way to tell a story.

I prefer stories that show a “slice of life” where characters’ emotions, or “ah-ha” moments and epiphanies, function as their Goal, Need, Want or Desire because this seems far more valid, poignant, and necessary as a method of storytelling than relying on “conflict”— this is literally the “point” of writing stories or making films. It allows people to connect with universal truths, then grow and evolve both individually and as a society. It seems to me THIS is a more valuable point of storytelling than demonstrating conflict in order to entertain audiences—and more troubling— to simply sell more movie tickets or books.

But why do so many blockbuster movies and New York Times Bestsellers rely so heavily on conflict? Why do we value CONFLICT so much? It has been part of our collective unconscious for the past 2,300 years or so since Aristotle wrote “The Poetics.” But ideas evolve, societies evolve, technology evolves. Maybe it’s time we allow our storytelling techniques to evolve as well. It seems to me that conflict has been a part of storytelling for so long, that we just “accept” it, without questioning the harmful side effects of doing this. Decades ago, when first starting out as a writer, I came across this quote in one of the very few books available at that time on the craft of screenwriting:

“All drama is conflict. Without conflict, there is no action. Without action, there

 is no character. Without character, there is no story. And without story, there is

 no screenplay.”

                                                            - Author: Syd Field

Since that time, over the past three and a half decades, I’ve come to believe that it isn’t the CONFLICT that makes for great storytelling, it is the moments right after the conflict has been resolved. The aftermath of the conflict is where the most interesting, thought-igniting, and compelling storytelling arises—the AH-HAH moments, where characters have epiphanies and learn exceptionally valuable life lessons. There is no need to witness violent life or death struggles; battlefield carnage; domestic violence; physical, emotional, or sexual abuse; people shooting, stabbing, or killing each other; or even people just arguing and screaming at each other in order to tell an engaging and compelling story. None of that is necessary.

In fact, I’m suggesting that by witnessing these types of conflict, we are damaging ourselves, and our children. We are RUINING our society by breeding a “killing culture” where mass-shootings, hate-crimes, and even discriminatory hate-speak and bullying on social media are no longer aberrations but are the NEW NORMAL. This is insane. And I refuse to contribute to this sickness by creating content, whether in my short stories, novels, screenplays, and even my social media posts— that focus on conflict instead of offering valuable insights in a more positive, optimistic, and socially healthy manner.

What more do I have against conflict? If we consider the US political conflict found in the 2016 and 2020 elections, the January 6th insurrection, and all the Black Lives Matter protests of recent years, it’s obvious that conflict is broiling in our society. It has infiltrated every aspect of modern life. It’s too much, and its NOT at all healthy. Conflict has become outdated as the optimal mode of storytelling. It is also outdated as way of living life. But this is not new. It has been building up for decades.

Consider this quote from The Atlantic Monthly circa 1997:

The average American child spends twenty-seven hours a week watching television and will witness more than 8,000 murders on TV by the time he or she leaves elementary school…witnessing 40,000 murders and 200,000 other violent acts by the age of eighteen., (“The Man Who Counts the Killings,” by Scott Stossel, Atlantic Monthly, May 1997, pg. 90.)


Consider also this quote from the AP news wire in May of 1997:

Alabama boy, 16, convicted of fatally beating his mother with an aluminum baseball bat. After killing her, he went to school and opened fire in a classroom, killing three students and wounding several others. “I heard voices telling me what to do,” he told reporters as police led him from the courthouse to a patrol car. “But I don’t remember doing it.” Scheduled to stand trial next month for the deaths of the three students, he could possibly face the death penalty if convicted.


As far back as 1997, when I was writing a short story called, “The Tile That Levi Laid,” I was troubled by the growing phenomenon of the adverse effects of media violence on human beings, especially children. It has only gotten exponentially worse in the quarter century which has lapsed since I first started doubting the wisdom of focusing on conflict as a primary function of storytelling.

What is the solution to this unsustainable situation? Shouldn’t we at least try to find a solution?

What would it take to replace our conflict-driven, strife-oriented, warlike mindset with the timeless wisdom of treating everyone (including animals and the environment) only the way you’d wish to be treated yourself? Can you imagine a world like this?

How would George Lucas answer this question? Could he imagine a world like this? I’d like to think so. Consider this quote from Steven Spielberg’s introduction to the book, “George Lucas – The Creative Impulse” originally published in 1992:

“For two decades I’ve tried to figure out George’s genius. I have tried to unearth it as though it were some archaeological antiquity-- George Lucas’s crystal ball.  After much thought, the only explanation I can offer is this: one day, in a brilliant flash of white light, he saw the future, and he has spent the last twenty years showing it to us.”


                        ~ Steven Spielberg, (1992)



What exactly did George Lucas see in this “brilliant flash of white light?” What kind of future does he envision? And if one were hoping to “redirect” the course of storytelling, what type of future would this require? My answer is this, and it came to me in my own brilliant flash of white light: “Write to George Lucas, tell him how you feel, and invite him to share his vision in a new approach, which could alter the course of human events.”

So that’s what I did.

In my first letter to George Lucas, I not only proposed the idea of starting a new genre for literature and film, but I asked how he felt about ending our global reliance on conflict as the core tenet for storytelling. Mr. Lucas has not yet responded to my letter. So, on November 16, 2022, I wrote him again, saying the following:

My invitation for you to join me in creating a new genre of literature and film still stands. Let’s call it “Life Force” storytelling, and base it on the tenets of reincarnation, life-altering love, and the interconnectedness of everyone and everything in the Universe. It seems you favor these storytelling tenets, based on “Star Wars” alone. However, the one tenet this new genre would not include is the focus on conflict-driven action.


Why does the media, television, movies, literature, the nightly news, and especially social media, all flood themselves with conflict, hate-speak, and bullying? Our society is plagued with everything from school shootings to opioid addiction and an epidemic of homelessness, to name but a few crises brought on by people being bombarded with conflict in the airwaves.


It is up to us as writers and critical thinkers, to stop this madness and offer an alternative to centuries of conflict-driven, war-centered, strife-oriented content. As storytellers, we must lead the way in turning our collective unconscious toward a hopeful, peaceful, and light-oriented future.


You are the pinnacle of Hollywood content creators. With more accolades, honors, and success than most people ever realize. I remember this quote from years ago at the Oscars, during your Thalberg Award acceptance speech where you said: “All of us who make motion pictures are teachers, teachers with very loud voices.”


I do not have a voice as loud as yours. But I can whisper in your ear and spark an inspiration for this new genre. We can create content that focuses on The Force. That spreads hope, love, and light. Without glorifying darkness by focusing on conflict.


In conclusion, I want to thank you because the ideas in your movies allow me to relate to the Universe in a Life Force mindset. This enables me to visualize a future where the concepts of reincarnation, love, and peace are foremost in the minds and hearts of the global population. We can lead the way to a future dreamed of long ago and far away.


Thank you for reading this letter.


Namaste, and blessings.


Melissa L. White

Los Angeles, CA




Melissa L. White

Melissa published a short fiction collection in 2012 titled, “On the Green Earth Contemplating the Moon,” available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. In addition to writing novels and short fiction, Melissa is also a produced screenwriter. Her latest film, Catch the Light, premiered in Mumbai, India in June 2019. Most recently, her biopic screenplay about the life and work of female artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, was a Finalist in the ScreenCraft True Stories Screenplay Competition 2020, and a Finalist in the Chicago Screenplay Awards Contest 2021, and a Finalist in the NYC International Screenplay Contest 2021. Her LGBTQ+ Rom Com screenplay, Modern Marriage, won 4th Place in the Writer’s Digest Screenwriting Contest in 2021.


Some of Melissa’s recent publications are listed below:


Oyster River Pages - Special Issue 5.2, Jan. 4, 2022 "Breaking Bread."

See my story, “Small Victories,” here: 

 Litbreak Magazine – Summer 2021, August 22, 2021 – “The Road Back” (Novel Excerpt)

  Litbreak Magazine – Summer 2021, August 22, 2021 – “To See a Huge World Outside Us” (Essay)    

 October Hill Magazine - FALL 2017 - Volume 1, Issue 2, pg. 56 – “Streets of Gold in the City of Angels”

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