Strong with the Force, the Kennedy Center is. George Lucas, the “Star Wars” filmmaker, has been named one of six honorees for the annual Kennedy Center Honors, which will be presented in a ceremony Dec. 6 in Washington, D.C., organizers announced Wednesday.
The other honorees are actresses Rita Moreno and Cicely Tyson; conductor Seiji Ozawa; songwriter Carole King; and the rock band the Eagles. A broadcast version of the ceremony is scheduled to air on CBS on Dec. 29. President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are expected to attend the ceremony, per presidential custom.
Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter said in a release Wednesday, “When I look at this year’s outstanding slate of honorees, I am struck by a powerful common theme -- artists as history-makers, artists who defy both convention and category.”
The awards ceremony will take place just several days before the theatrical release of the latest “Star Wars” movie. “Star Wars: Episode VII -- The Force Awakens” is set to be released in the U.S. on Dec. 18. Lucas didn’t direct or write the movie.
The filmmaker is working to create a museum, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which is planned for Chicago.
Tyson is scheduled to return to Broadway in the fall in a production of “The Gin Game,” co-starring James Earl Jones, a previous Kennedy Center honoree. The veteran actress won a Tony Award in 2013 for “The Trip to Bountiful,” which she brought to Los Angeles last year.
Last year’s honorees were Tom Hanks, Lily Tomlin, Sting, Patricia McBride and Al Green.