Lucas wrote and directed the "Star Wars" movies, and produced the "Indiana Jones" films, among many others.

“By combining the art of storytelling with boundless imagination and cutting-edge techniques, Mr. Lucas has transported us to new worlds and created some of the most beloved and iconic films of all time,” the White House said in a statement.

Lucas is one of 12 artists, authors and musicians who will be presented with the award at a ceremony in the East Room.

In addition, the president will give out 12 National Humanities medals to teachers and philanthropists in the arts world. Author Joan Didion is among the recipients for her “mastery of style in writing.”

“Exploring the culture around us and exposing the depths of sorrow, Ms. Didion has produced works of startling honesty and fierce intellect, rendered personal stories universal, and illuminated the seemingly peripheral details that are central to our lives,” the White House said.