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National Medal for George Lucas

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President Barack Obama hugs director George Lucas before presenting him with the National Medal of Arts

President Barack Obama hugs director George Lucas before presenting him with the National Medal of Arts

AP

President Barack Obama hugs director George Lucas before presenting him with the National Medal of Arts

George Lucas has been at the White House to pick up a top award for his contribution to the arts.

The Star Wars creator was presented with the National Medal of Arts and Humanities by US President Barack Obama.

Obama hailed the 69-year-old filmmaker for transforming movies as he gave him the medal.

He said: "To make it look like those planes in space are actually flying like they are... I'm just saying, I remember when I first saw Star Wars. There's a whole generation that thinks special effects always looked like they do today. It used to be that you would see, like, a string on the little model space ships!"

Almost two dozen people received the medals during the ceremony. They are given through the National Endowment for the Arts to "recognise extraordinary accomplishments of individuals engaged in the creation and production of the arts in the United States".

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