President Barack Obama presented Star Wars creator George Lucas and 11 other recipients with the 2012 National Arts Medal Tuesday in the East Room of the White House. The president also presented 12 people with a National Humanities Medal, including author Joan Didion.
“I remember when I first saw Star Wars,” Obama said during his opening remarks, according to a pool report. “There’s a whole generation that thinks special effects always looked like they do today. But it used to be you’d see, like, the string on the little model spaceships.”
Obama gave Lucas a hug and a smile as he presented him with the award.
Read the full list of award recipients here.