The executive director of the film center said Lucas has helped transform Hollywood into a high-tech, modern enterprise.
Lucas said the award was exciting for a couple of reasons. One, because it's named after Gene Siskel.
"It encompasses not just the creative side of what art is but also the technical side of what art is and accepts the fact that they're all linked very closely together," said the writer and director.
Members of Gene Siskel's family attended Saturday night's event. The film critic died in 1999 and may be best known as the co-host of the show Siskel and Ebert.