May The Fourth Be With You: The Truth Behind Overnight Success

The term overnight success is often overused. Generally when we hear of a band, artist or entrepreneur who makes a big splash with a new album or business, they’re labeled an overnight success. Often in these situations nothing could be further from the truth. It’s truly a rare thing for someone to hit it big out of nowhere. Usually there are hours and hours and weeks and years of hard work, dedication and determination behind the scenes that eventually lead to overwhelming success.

This is true not only of artists and entrepreneurs, but of one of the most popular film franchises of all time.

Did you know that the original title for Star Wars was “The Journal of the Whills”? Or that Universal had the rights for the film George Lucas was working on, but passed on it and let it go to 20th Century Fox?

George Lucas had a two-picture deal with Universal. The first of those films was the well received American Graffiti. Following that film, Lucas started working on a story about the training of a “jedi-bendu”. Feeling that it was too complicated, he consistently worked and reworked this story until it became ‘Star Wars: A New Hope”.

With the story worked out, Lucas had a vision for a visual effects heavy film, and was frustrated to find that 20th Century Fox had just shuttered it’s visual effects department. Not to be deterred, Lucas founded his own visual effects company, Industrial Lights and Magic.

Even once filming began, the production was beset with issues. Behind schedule within the first week because of mechanical errors and equipment failure, the production then faced a rare rain storm. Some things you just can’t foresee, but that doesn’t mean you should stop.

A number of years ago at the huge annual Star Wars Celebration convention, when asked about how he was able to make Star Wars, he gave some great advice. From CNET:

“Lucas said that the real secret to overcoming those long odds was a combination of a fondness for building things, an obsession for not letting others get in the way of his goals, and an unwillingness to care what the rest of the world thinks.”

It takes dedication, obsession and a belief in yourself to see things though. Most success stories don’t happen overnight. They take hard work, and tireless effort to happen. No matter how much goes on behind the scenes, if you persevere the results could change the world. George Lucas and Star Wars are proof.

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