George Walton Lucas Jr. (born May 14, 1944) is an American filmmaker and entrepreneur. Lucas is known for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and founding Lucasfilm, LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic. He was the chairman and CEO of Lucasfilm before selling it to The Walt Disney Company in 2012.
After graduating from the University of Southern California in 1967, Lucas co-founded American Zoetrope with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. Lucas wrote and directed THX 1138 (1971), based on his earlier student short Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which was a critical success but a financial failure. His next work as a writer-director was the film American Graffiti (1973), inspired by his youth in early 1960s Modesto, California, and produced through the newly founded Lucasfilm. The film was critically and commercially successful, and received five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.
Lucas' next film, the epic space opera Star Wars (1977), had a troubled production; however, it was a surprise hit, becoming the highest-grossing film at the time, winning six Academy Awards and becoming a cultural phenomenon. Lucas produced and cowrote the sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). With director Steven Spielberg, he created the Indiana Jones films Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Temple of Doom (1984), and The Last Crusade (1989). He also produced and wrote a variety of films through Lucasfilm in the 1980s and 1990s and during this same period Lucas' LucasArts developed high-impact video games, including Maniac Mansion (1987), The Secret of Monkey Island (1990) and Grim Fandango (1998) alongside many video games based on the Star Wars universe.
In 1997, Lucas rereleased the Star Wars trilogy as part of a Special Edition, featuring several alterations; home media versions with further changes were released in 2004 and 2011. He returned to directing with the Star Wars prequel trilogy, comprising The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), and Revenge of the Sith (2005). He later collaborated on served as executive producer for the war film Red Tails (2012) and wrote the CGI film Strange Magic (2015).
Lucas is one of the American film industry's most financially successful filmmakers and has been nominated for four Academy Awards. His films are among the 100 highest-grossing movies at the North American box office, adjusted for ticket-price inflation. Lucas is considered a significant figure in the New Hollywood era.
Lucas in November 2009
George Walton Lucas Jr.
May 14, 1944
Modesto, California, U.S.
|Residence||San Anselmo, California, U.S.|
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Net worth||US$5.6 billion (October 2018)|
(m. 1969; div. 1983)
|Children||4, including Amanda Lucas, Katie Lucas|
Lucas was born and raised in Modesto, California, the son of Dorothy Ellinore Lucas (née Bomberger) and George Walton Lucas Sr., and is of German, Swiss-German, English, Scottish, and distant Dutch and French descent. He was interested in science fiction, including TV shows such as Flash Gordon. Long before Lucas began making films, he yearned to be a racecar driver, and he spent most of his high school years racing on the underground circuit at fairgrounds and hanging out at garages. On June 12, 1962, at age eighteen, while driving his souped-up Autobianchi Bianchina, another driver broadsided him, flipping over his car, nearly killing him, causing him to lose interest in racing as a career. Lucas's father owned a stationery store, and wanted George to work for him when he turned 18. Lucas had been planning to go to art school, and declared upon leaving home that he would be a millionaire by the age of 30. He attended Modesto Junior College, where he studied anthropology, sociology, and literature, amongst other subjects. He also began shooting with an 8 mm camera, including filming car races.
At this time, Lucas and his friend John Plummer became interested in Canyon Cinema: screenings of underground, avant-garde 16 mm filmmakers like Jordan Belson, Stan Brakhage, and Bruce Conner. Lucas and Plummer also saw classic European films of the time, including Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless, François Truffaut's Jules et Jim, and Federico Fellini's 8½. "That's when George really started exploring," Plummer said. Through his interest in autocross racing, Lucas met renowned cinematographer Haskell Wexler, another race enthusiast. Wexler, later to work with Lucas on several occasions, was impressed by Lucas' talent. "George had a very good eye, and he thought visually," he recalled.
Lucas then transferred to the University of Southern California (USC) School of Cinematic Arts. USC was one of the earliest universities to have a school devoted to motion picture film. During the years at USC, Lucas shared a dorm room with Randal Kleiser. Along with classmates such as Walter Murch, Hal Barwood, and John Milius, they became a clique of film students known as The Dirty Dozen. He also became good friends with fellow acclaimed student filmmaker and future Indiana Jones collaborator, Steven Spielberg. Lucas was deeply influenced by the Filmic Expression course taught at the school by filmmaker Lester Novros which concentrated on the non-narrative elements of Film Form like color, light, movement, space, and time. Another inspiration was the Serbian montagist (and dean of the USC Film Department) Slavko Vorkapić, a film theoretician who made stunning montage sequences for Hollywood studio features at MGM, RKO, and Paramount. Vorkapich taught the autonomous nature of the cinematic art form, emphasizing kinetic energy inherent in motion pictures.
Lucas saw many inspiring films in class, particularly the visual films coming out of the National Film Board of Canada like Arthur Lipsett's 21-87, the French-Canadian cameraman Jean-Claude Labrecque's cinéma vérité 60 Cycles, the work of Norman McLaren, and the documentaries of Claude Jutra. Lucas fell madly in love with pure cinema and quickly became prolific at making 16 mm nonstory noncharacter visual tone poems and cinéma vérité with such titles as Look at Life, Herbie, 1:42.08, The Emperor, Anyone Lived in a Pretty (how) Town, Filmmaker, and 6-18-67. He was passionate and interested in camerawork and editing, defining himself as a filmmaker as opposed to being a director, and he loved making abstract visual films that created emotions purely through cinema.
After graduating with a bachelor of fine arts in film in 1967, he tried joining the United States Air Force as an officer, but he was immediately turned down because of his numerous speeding tickets. He was later drafted by the Army for military service in Vietnam, but he was exempted from service after medical tests showed he had diabetes, the disease that killed his paternal grandfather.
In 1967, Lucas re-enrolled as a USC graduate student in film production. Working as a teaching instructor for a class of U.S. Navy students who were being taught documentary cinematography, Lucas directed the short film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which won first prize at the 1967–68 National Student film festival, and was later adapted into his first full-length feature film, THX 1138. Lucas was awarded a student scholarship by Warner Bros. to observe and work on the making of a film of his choosing. The film he chose was Finian's Rainbow (1968) which was being directed by Francis Ford Coppola, who was revered among film school students of the time as a cinema graduate who had "made it" in Hollywood. In 1969, Lucas was one of the camera operators on the classic Rolling Stones concert film Gimme Shelter.
In 1969, Lucas co-founded the studio American Zoetrope with Coppola—whom he met during his internship at Warner Bros.—hoping to create a liberating environment for filmmakers to direct outside the perceived oppressive control of the Hollywood studio system. His first full-length feature film produced by the studio, THX 1138, was not a success. Lucas then created his own company, Lucasfilm, Ltd., and directed the successful American Graffiti (1973).
Lucas then set his sights on adapting Flash Gordon, an adventure serial from his childhood that he fondly remembered. When he was unable to obtain the rights, he set out to write an original space adventure that would eventually become Star Wars. Despite his success with his previous film, all but one studio turned Star Wars down. It was only because Alan Ladd, Jr., at 20th Century Fox liked American Graffiti that he forced through a production and distribution deal for the film, which ended up restoring Fox to financial stability after a number of flops. Star Wars was significantly influenced by samurai films of Akira Kurosawa, spaghetti westerns, as well as classic swords & sorcery fantasy stories.
Star Wars quickly became the highest-grossing film of all-time, displaced five years later by Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. After the success of American Graffiti and prior to the beginning of filming on Star Wars, Lucas was encouraged to renegotiate for a higher fee for writing and directing Star Wars than the $150,000 agreed. He declined to do so, instead negotiating for advantage in some of the as-yet-unspecified parts of his contract with Fox, in particular ownership of licensing and merchandising rights (for novelizations, T-shirts, toys, etc.) and contractual arrangements for sequels. The studio was unconcerned to relinquish these rights, as its last major attempt in the field, with the film Doctor Dolittle (1967), had proved a discouraging failure. Lucas exploited merchandising rights wisely, and Lucasfilm has earned hundreds of millions of dollars from licensed games, toys, and collectibles created for the franchise.
Following the release of the first Star Wars film, Lucas worked extensively as a writer and producer, including on the many Star Wars spinoffs made for film, television, and other media. Lucas acted as a writer and executive producer for the next two Star Wars films, commissioning Irvin Kershner to direct The Empire Strikes Back, and Richard Marquand to direct Return of the Jedi, while receiving a story credit on the former and sharing a screenwriting credit with Lawrence Kasdan on the latter. He also acted as executive producer and story writer on all four of the Indiana Jones films, which his colleague and good friend Steven Spielberg directed.
Other successful projects where Lucas acted as a producer or writer in this period include Kurosawa's Kagemusha (1980), Lawrence Kasdan's Body Heat (1981), Ewoks: Caravan of Courage (1984), Ewoks: Battle for Endor (1985), Jim Henson's Labyrinth (1986), Godfrey Reggio's Powaqqatsi (1986), Don Bluth's The Land Before Time (1988), and the Indiana Jones television spinoff The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles (1992–96). There were unsuccessful projects, however, including More American Graffiti (1979), Willard Huyck's Howard the Duck (1986), which was the biggest flop of Lucas's career, Ron Howard's Willow (1988), Coppola's Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), and Mel Smith's Radioland Murders (1994).
The animation studio Pixar was founded in 1979 as the Graphics Group, one third of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm. Pixar's early computer graphics research resulted in groundbreaking effects in films such as Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Young Sherlock Holmes, and the group was purchased in 1986 by Steve Jobs shortly after he left Apple Computer. Jobs paid Lucas US$5 million and put US$5 million as capital into the company. The sale reflected Lucas' desire to stop the cash flow losses from his 7-year research projects associated with new entertainment technology tools, as well as his company's new focus on creating entertainment products rather than tools. A contributing factor was cash-flow difficulties following Lucas' 1983 divorce concurrent with the sudden dropoff in revenues from Star Wars licenses following the release of Return of the Jedi.
The sound-equipped system THX Ltd. was founded by Lucas and Tomlinson Holman. The company was formerly owned by Lucasfilm, and contains equipment for stereo, digital, and theatrical sound for films, and music. Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light & Magic, are the sound and visual effects subdivisions of Lucasfilm, while Lucasfilm Games, later renamed LucasArts, produces products for the gaming industry.
After losing much of his fortune in a divorce settlement in 1987, Lucas had no desire to return to Star Wars, and had unofficially canceled his sequel trilogy by the time of Return of the Jedi. Nevertheless, the prequels, which were still only a series of basic ideas partially pulled from his original drafts of "The Star Wars", continued to tantalize him with technical possibilities that would make it worthwhile to revisit his older material. When Star Wars became popular once again, in the wake of Dark Horse's comic book line and Timothy Zahn's trilogy of novels, Lucas realized that there was still a large audience. His children were older, and with the explosion of CGI technology he was now considering returning to directing.
By 1993, it was announced, in Variety among other sources, that Lucas would be making the prequels. He began penning more to the story, indicating that the series would be a tragic one, examining Anakin Skywalker's fall to the dark side. Lucas also began to change the prequels status relative to the originals; at first they were supposed to be a "filling-in" of history tangential to the originals, but now he saw that they could form the beginning of one long story that started with Anakin's childhood and ended with his death. This was the final step towards turning the film series into a "Saga". In 1994, Lucas began work on the screenplay of the first prequel, tentatively titled Episode I: The Beginning.
In 1997, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Star Wars, Lucas returned to the original trilogy and made numerous modifications using newly available digital technology, releasing them in theaters as the Star Wars Special Edition. For DVD releases in 2004 and Blu-ray releases in 2011, the trilogy received further revisions to make them congruent with the prequel trilogy. Besides the additions to the Star Wars franchise, Lucas released a Director's Cut of THX 1138 in 2004, with the film re-cut and containing a number of CGI revisions.
The first Star Wars prequel was finished and released in 1999 as Episode I – The Phantom Menace, which would be the first film Lucas had directed in over two decades. Following the release of the first prequel, Lucas announced that he would also be directing the next two, and began working on Episode II. The first draft of Episode II was completed just weeks before principal photography, and Lucas hired Jonathan Hales, a writer from The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles, to polish it. It was completed and released in 2002 as Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones. The final prequel, Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, began production in 2002 and was released in 2005. Numerous fans and critics considered the prequels inferior to the original trilogy, though they were box office successes nonetheless. From 2003 to 2005, Lucas also served as an executive producer on Star Wars: Clone Wars, an animated microseries on Cartoon Network created by Genndy Tartakovsky, that bridged the events between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
Lucas collaborated with Jeff Nathanson as a writer of the 2008 film Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, directed by Steven Spielberg. Like the Star Wars prequels, reception was mixed, with numerous fans and critics once again considering it inferior to its predecessors. From 2008 to 2014, Lucas also served as the executive producer for a second Star Wars animated series on Cartoon Network, Star Wars: The Clone Wars which premiered with a feature film of the same name before airing its first episode. The supervising director for this series was Dave Filoni, who was chosen by Lucas and closely collaborated with him on its development. Like the previous series it bridged the events between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith. The animated series also featured the last Star Wars stories on which Lucas was majorly involved.
In 2012, Lucas served as executive producer for Red Tails, a war film based on the exploits of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. He also took over direction of reshoots while director Anthony Hemingway worked on other projects.
In June 2012, it was announced that producer Kathleen Kennedy, a long-term collaborator with Steven Spielberg and a producer of the Indiana Jones films, had been appointed as co-chair of Lucasfilm Ltd. It was reported that Kennedy would work alongside Lucas, who would remain chief executive and serve as co-chairman for at least one year, after which she would succeed him as the company's sole leader. With the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney, Lucas is currently Disney's second largest single shareholder after the estate of Steve Jobs.
Since 2014, Lucas is working as a creative consultant on the Star Wars sequel trilogy, including work on the first film, Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. As creative consultant on the film, Lucas' involvement included attending early story meetings; according to Lucas, "I mostly say, 'You can't do this. You can do that.' You know, 'The cars don't have wheels. They fly with antigravity.' There's a million little pieces ... I know all that stuff." Lucas' son Jett told The Guardian that his father was "very torn" about having sold the rights to the franchise, despite having hand-picked Abrams to direct, and that his father was "there to guide" but that "he wants to let it go and become its new generation." Among the materials turned over to the production team were rough story treatments Lucas developed when he considered creating episodes VII–IX himself years earlier; in January 2015, Lucas stated that Disney had discarded his story ideas.
The Force Awakens directed by J. J. Abrams, was released on December 18, 2015. Kathleen Kennedy executive produced, and will do so for all future Star Wars films. The new sequel trilogy is being jointly produced by Lucasfilm and The Walt Disney Company, which had acquired Lucasfilm in 2012. During an interview with talk show host and journalist Charlie Rose that aired on December 24, 2015, Lucas likened his decision to sell Lucasfilm to Disney to a "divorce" and outlined the creative differences between him and the producers of The Force Awakens. Lucas described the previous six Star Wars films as his "children" and defended his vision for them, while criticizing The Force Awakens for having a "retro feel", saying: "I worked very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships – you know, to make it new". Lucas also drew some criticism and subsequently apologized for his remark likening Disney to "white slavers". It has been reported Lucas liked Rogue One: a Star Wars Story more than The Force Awakens. Rogue One was directed by Gareth Edwards and told the story of the rebels who stole the plans for the original Death Star.
In 2015, Lucas wrote the CGI film Strange Magic, his first musical. The film was produced at Skywalker Ranch. Gary Rydstrom directed the movie. At the same time the sequel trilogy was announced a fifth installment of the Indiana Jones series also entered pre-development phase with Harrison Ford and Steven Spielberg set to return, for a release in 2019. Lucas originally did not specify whether the selling of Lucasfilm would affect his involvement with the film. In October 2016, Lucas announced his decision to not be involved in the story of the film, but would remain an executive producer.
Lucas has pledged to give half of his fortune to charity as part of an effort called The Giving Pledge led by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett to persuade America's richest individuals to donate their financial wealth to charities.
In 1991, The George Lucas Educational Foundation was founded as a nonprofit operating foundation to celebrate and encourage innovation in schools. The Foundation's content is available under the brand Edutopia, in an award-winning web site, social media and via documentary films. Lucas, through his foundation, was one of the leading proponents of the E-rate program in the universal service fund, which was enacted as part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. On June 24, 2008, Lucas testified before the United States House of Representatives subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet as the head of his Foundation to advocate for a free wireless broadband educational network.
In 2012, Lucas sold Lucasfilm to The Walt Disney Company for a reported sum of $4.05 billion. It was widely reported at the time that Lucas intends to give the majority of the proceeds from the sale to charity. A spokesperson for Lucasfilm said, "George Lucas has expressed his intention, in the event the deal closes, to donate the majority of the proceeds to his philanthropic endeavors." Lucas also spoke on the matter: "For 41 years, the majority of my time and money has been put into the company. As I start a new chapter in my life, it is gratifying that I have the opportunity to devote more time and resources to philanthropy."
By June 2013, Lucas was considering establishing a museum, the Lucas Cultural Arts Museum, to be built on Crissy Field near the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, which would display his collection of illustrations and pop art, with an estimated value of more than $1 billion. Lucas offered to pay the estimated $300 million cost of constructing the museum, and would endow it with $400 million when it opened, eventually adding an additional $400 million to its endowment. After being unable to reach an agreement with The Presidio Trust, Lucas turned to Chicago. A potential lakefront site on Museum Campus in Chicago was proposed in May 2014. By June 2014, Chicago had been selected, pending approval of the Chicago Plan Commission, which was granted. The museum project was renamed the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. On June 24, 2016, Lucas announced that he was abandoning his plans to locate the museum in Chicago, due to a lawsuit by a local preservation group, Friends of the Parks, and would instead build the museum in California. On January 17, 2017, Lucas announced that the museum will be constructed in Exposition Park, Los Angeles California.
On September 19, 2006, USC announced that Lucas had donated $175–180 million to his alma mater to expand the film school. It is the largest single donation to USC and the largest gift to a film school anywhere. Previous donations led to the already existing George Lucas Instructional Building and Marcia Lucas Post-Production building.
On April 15, 2016, it was reported that Lucas had donated between $501,000 and $1 million through the Lucas Family Foundation to the Obama Foundation, which is charged with overseeing the construction of the Barack Obama Presidential Center on Chicago's South Side.
In 1969, Lucas married film editor Marcia Lou Griffin, who went on to win an Academy Award for her editing work on the original Star Wars film. They adopted a daughter, Amanda Lucas, in 1981, and divorced in 1983. Lucas subsequently adopted two more children as a single parent: daughter Katie Lucas, born in 1988, and son Jett Lucas, born in 1993. His three eldest children all appeared in the three Star Wars prequels, as did Lucas himself. Following his divorce, Lucas was in a relationship with singer Linda Ronstadt in the 1980s.
Lucas began dating Mellody Hobson, president of Ariel Investments and chair of DreamWorks Animation, in 2006. Lucas and Hobson announced their engagement in January 2013, and married on June 22, 2013, at Lucas's Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California. They have one daughter together, Everest Hobson Lucas, who was born via gestational carrier on August 12, 2013.
Lucas was born and raised in a Methodist family. The religious and mythical themes in Star Wars were inspired by Lucas's interest in the writings of mythologist Joseph Campbell, and he would eventually come to identify strongly with the Eastern religious philosophies he studied and incorporated into his films, which were a major inspiration for "the Force". Lucas has come to state that his religion is "Buddhist Methodist". He resides in Marin County.
Lucas is a major collector of the American illustrator and painter Norman Rockwell. A collection of 57 Rockwell paintings and drawings owned by Lucas and fellow Rockwell collector and film director Steven Spielberg were displayed at the Smithsonian American Art Museum from July 2, 2010 to January 2, 2011 in an exhibition titled Telling Stories.
The American Film Institute awarded Lucas its Life Achievement Award on June 9, 2005. This was shortly after the release of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, about which he joked stating that, since he views the entire Star Wars series as one film, he could actually receive the award now that he had finally "gone back and finished the movie."
Lucas was nominated for four Academy Awards: Best Directing and Writing for American Graffiti and Star Wars. He received the Academy's Irving G. Thalberg Award in 1991. He appeared at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony in 2007 with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola to present the Best Director award to their friend Martin Scorsese. During the speech, Spielberg and Coppola talked about the joy of winning an Oscar, making fun of Lucas, who has not won a competitive Oscar.
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Lucas in 2006, its second "Film, Television, and Media" contributor, after Spielberg.[a] The Discovery Channel named him one of the 100 "Greatest Americans" in September 2008. Lucas served as Grand Marshal for the Tournament of Roses Parade and made the ceremonial coin toss at the Rose Bowl, New Year's Day 2007. In 2009, he was one of 13 California Hall of Fame inductees in The California Museum's yearlong exhibit.
In October 2014, Lucas received Honorary Membership of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers.
|1973||Academy Award||Best Director||American Graffiti||Nominated|
|Best Writing||American Graffiti||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Director||American Graffiti||Nominated|
|1978||Academy Award||Best Director||Star Wars||Nominated|
|Best Writing||Star Wars||Nominated|
|Evening Standard British Film Award||Best Film||Star Wars||Won|
|Golden Globe Award||Best Director||Star Wars||Nominated|
|Saturn Award||Best Director||Star Wars||Won|
|Best Writing||Star Wars||Won|
|1980||Hugo Award||Best Dramatic Presentation Shared with Philip Kaufman, Lawrence Kasdan, Steven Spielberg||Raiders of the Lost Ark||Won|
|1983||Hugo Award||Best Dramatic Presentation Shared with Lawrence Kasdan and Richard Marquand||Return of the Jedi||Won|
|Saturn Award||Best Writing||Return of the Jedi||Nominated|
|1988||Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Screenplay||Willow||Nominated|
|1990||Hugo Award||Best Dramatic Presentation Shared with Jeffrey Boam, Menno Meyjes, Philip Kaufman and Steven Spielberg||Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade||Won|
|1999||Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Director||Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace||Nominated|
|Worst Picture||Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace||Nominated|
|Worst Screenplay||Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace||Nominated|
|Saturn Award||Best Director||Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace||Nominated|
|2002||Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Director||Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones||Nominated|
|Worst Picture Shared with Rick McCallum||Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones||Nominated|
|Worst Screenplay||Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones||Won|
|Saturn Award||Best Director||Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones||Nominated|
|2005||Empire Award||Best Film||Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith||Nominated|
|Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy||Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith||Won|
|MTV Movie Award||Best International Movie||Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith||Nominated|
|Saturn Award||Best Director||Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith||Nominated|
|Best Writing||Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith||Nominated|
My pledge is to the process; as long as I have the resources at my disposal, I will seek to raise the bar for future generations of students of all ages. I am dedicating the majority of my wealth to improving education.
American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming-of-age comedy film directed and co-written by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Bo Hopkins, and Wolfman Jack. Suzanne Somers and Joe Spano also appear in the film.
Set in Modesto, California, in 1962, the film is a study of the cruising and rock 'n' roll cultures popular among the post–World War II baby boom generation. Through a series of vignettes, the film tells the story of a group of teenagers and their adventures over the course of a single night.
The genesis of American Graffiti was in Lucas' own teenage years in early 1960s Modesto. He was unsuccessful in pitching the concept to financiers and distributors, but found favor at Universal Pictures after United Artists, 20th Century Fox, Columbia Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Warner Bros., and Paramount Pictures turned him down. Filming was initially set to take place in San Rafael, California, but the production crew was denied permission to shoot beyond a second day.
American Graffiti premiered August 2, 1973, at the Locarno International Film Festival in Switzerland, and was released August 11, 1973 in the United States. The film received widespread critical acclaim and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Produced on a $777,000 budget, it has become one of the most profitable films of all time. Since its initial release, American Graffiti has garnered an estimated return of well over $200 million in box office gross and home video sales, not including merchandising.
In 1995, the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry. A sequel, More American Graffiti, was released in 1979.American Zoetrope
American Zoetrope (also known as Zoetrope Studios from 1979 until 1990) is a privately run American film studio, centered in San Francisco and founded by Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas.
Opened on December 12, 1969, the studio has produced not only the films of Coppola (including Apocalypse Now, Bram Stoker's Dracula and Tetro), but also George Lucas's pre-Star Wars films (THX 1138, American Graffiti), as well as many others by avant-garde directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Akira Kurosawa, Wim Wenders and Godfrey Reggio. American Zoetrope was an early adopter of digital filmmaking, including some of the earliest uses of HDTV.
Four films produced by American Zoetrope are included in the American Film Institute's Top 100 Films. American Zoetrope-produced films have received 15 Academy Awards and 68 nominations.Edutopia
Edutopia is a website published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF). Founded in 1991 by filmmaker George Lucas and venture capitalist Steve Arnold, the Foundation "celebrates and encourages innovation" in K-12 schools.Edutopia focuses on six core learning strategies. These are described as "Comprehensive Assessment, Integrated Studies, Project-Based Learning, Social & Emotional Learning, Teacher Development and Technology Integration".Elstree Studios (Shenley Road)
Elstree Studios on Shenley Road, Borehamwood, Hertfordshire is a British film and television production centre operated by Elstree Film Studios Limited. One of several facilities historically referred to as Elstree Studios, the Shenley Road studios first opened in 1925.
The studio complex has passed through many owners during its lifetime, and is now owned by Hertsmere Borough Council. Known as the studios used for filming The Shining, Star Wars and Indiana Jones (its largest stage is known as the George Lucas Soundstage), the studios are used both for film and television productions.
While the BBC Elstree Centre is nearby, a number of the stages on this site are leased to BBC Studioworks and are used for recording television productions such as Strictly Come Dancing.Filmmaker (film)
Filmmaker, or "Filmmaker: a diary by george lucas", is a 32-minute documentary made in 1968 by George Lucas about the making of Francis Ford Coppola's The Rain People.George Lucas filmography
This is George Lucas's filmography, including those films that he was involved with as director, screenwriter, executive producer or actor.George Lucas in Love
George Lucas in Love is a 1999 American parodical short film directed by Joe Nussbaum. A parody of Shakespeare in Love, it depicts a young George Lucas and his real-life inspirations behind the characters and plot of Star Wars. Upon its release, the film was widely passed around Hollywood offices and served as Nussbaum’s break into the film industry. Lucas himself reacted to the film positively.Han shot first
"Han shot first" refers to a controversial change made to a scene in the science fiction film Star Wars (1977), in which Han Solo (Harrison Ford) is confronted by the bounty hunter Greedo (Paul Blake) in the Mos Eisley cantina. In the original version of the scene, Han shoots Greedo dead. Later versions are edited so that Greedo attempts to fire at Han first. Director George Lucas altered the scene to give Solo more justification for acting in self-defense. Many fans and commentators oppose the change, feeling it weakens Solo's character. The controversy is referenced in the 2018 film Solo: A Star Wars Story.Look at Life (film)
Look at Life is a short student film by George Lucas, produced for a course in animation while Lucas was a film student at USC Film School. The film's running time of exactly one minute was required by the course. This was the first film made by George Lucas, and was heavily influenced by Canadian filmmaker Arthur Lipsett.
The film is a montage of various iconic photographs focusing mostly on common themes from youth culture in the 1960s, with a frenetic percussion soundtrack taken from the film Black Orpheus. The imagery includes photographs of Martin Luther King Jr., Nikita Khrushchev, American race riots, the Ku Klux Klan, Buddhist monks, and bodies of dead soldiers. The only narration in the film is a man's voice yelling the text of Proverbs 10:12, "Hate stirreth up strife, while love covereth all sins." The film ends with written text: "ANYONE FOR SURVIVAL", followed by "End" and "?".
The film is included in the documentary A Legacy of Filmmakers: The Early Years of American Zoetrope, which was released on the DVD and Blu-ray releases of Lucas' first feature film, THX 1138.Lucasfilm
Lucasfilm Ltd. LLC is an American film and television production company based in the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco, California. The studio is best known for creating and producing the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as its leadership in developing special effects, sound and computer animation for film. Lucasfilm was founded by filmmaker George Lucas in 1971 in San Rafael, California; most of the company's operations were moved to San Francisco in 2005. The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in December 2012 for $2.2 billion in cash and $1.855 billion in stock.Red Tails
Red Tails is a 2012 American war film directed by Anthony Hemingway in his feature film directorial debut, and starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr. The film is about the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of African-American United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) servicemen during World War II. The characters in the film are fictional, although based on real individuals. The film was produced by Lucasfilm and released by 20th Century Fox. This was Cuba Gooding Jr.'s first theatrically released film in five years since his starring role in 2007's Daddy Day Camp.
John Ridley wrote the screenplay, based on a story created by him in collaboration with George Lucas. Additional material was shot the following year with executive producer George Lucas as director and Aaron McGruder as writer of the reshoots. It was filmed in March and July 2009. Red Tails was a personal project for Lucas, one that he had originally conceived in 1988. It was the first Lucasfilm production since the 1994 film Radioland Murders that was not associated with the Indiana Jones or Star Wars franchises. Terrence Howard had previously portrayed a Tuskegee pilot in Hart's War, and Cuba Gooding Jr. had previously starred in The Tuskegee Airmen, an HBO made-for-television film about the same group of pilots.Return of the Jedi
Return of the Jedi (also known as Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi) is a 1983 American epic space opera film directed by Richard Marquand. The screenplay is by Lawrence Kasdan and George Lucas from a story by Lucas, who was also the executive producer. It is the third and final installment in the original Star Wars trilogy, set one year after The Empire Strikes Back. The film stars Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew and Frank Oz.
In the film, the Galactic Empire, under the direction of the ruthless Emperor, is constructing a second Death Star in order to crush the Rebel Alliance once and for all. Since the Emperor plans to personally oversee the final stages of its construction, the Rebel Fleet launches a full-scale attack on the Death Star in order to prevent its completion and kill the Emperor, effectively bringing an end to his hold over the galaxy. Meanwhile, Luke Skywalker struggles to bring his father Darth Vader back to the light side of the Force.
David Lynch and David Cronenberg were considered to direct the project before Marquand signed on as director. The production team relied on Lucas' storyboards during pre-production. While writing the shooting script, Lucas, Kasdan, Marquand, and producer Howard Kazanjian spent two weeks in conference discussing ideas to construct it. Kazanjian's schedule pushed shooting to begin a few weeks early to allow Industrial Light & Magic more time to work on the film's effects in post-production. Filming took place in England, California, and Arizona from January to May 1982 (1982-05). Strict secrecy surrounded the production.
The film was released in theaters on May 25, 1983, six years to the day after the release of the first film, receiving mostly positive reviews. The film grossed between $475 million and $572 million worldwide. Several rereleases and revisions to the film followed over the next three decades. 16 years after its original release, it was followed by a prequel trilogy, and 32 years later, a sequel trilogy.Skywalker Ranch
Skywalker Ranch is a movie ranch and workplace of film director, writer and producer George Lucas located in a secluded, yet open area near Nicasio, California, in Marin County. The ranch is located on Lucas Valley Road, named for an early-20th-century landowner in the area, no relation to George Lucas. The Ranch is not open to the public and keeps a low profile from the road. A gated road leads to the ranch.Star Wars
Star Wars is an American epic space opera franchise, created by George Lucas and centered around a film series that began with the eponymous 1977 movie. The saga quickly became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon.
The first film, subtitled Episode IV: A New Hope with its 1981 re-release, was followed by two successful sequels, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983); forming the original Star Wars trilogy. A subsequent prequel trilogy, consisting of Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005), was met with mixed reactions from critics and fans. Finally, a concluding sequel trilogy of the nine-episode saga began with Episode VII: The Force Awakens (2015), continued with Episode VIII: The Last Jedi (2017) and is aimed to end with the final 2019 movie. The first eight films were nominated for Academy Awards (with wins going to the first two released) and were commercially successful, with a combined box office revenue of over US$8.5 billion. Together with the theatrical spin-off films The Clone Wars (2008), Rogue One (2016), and Solo (2018), Star Wars is the second-highest-grossing film series of all time.The film series has spawned into other media, including books, television shows, computer and video games, theme park attractions and lands, and comic books, resulting in significant development of the series' fictional universe. Star Wars holds a Guinness World Records title for the "Most successful film merchandising franchise". In 2018, the total value of the Star Wars franchise was estimated at US$65 billion, and it is currently the fifth-highest-grossing media franchise.Star Wars (film)
Star Wars (later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) is a 1977 American epic space opera film written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first film in the original Star Wars trilogy and the beginning of the Star Wars franchise. Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, and Peter Mayhew, the film focuses on the Rebel Alliance, led by Princess Leia (Fisher), and its attempt to destroy the Galactic Empire's space station, the Death Star.
Star Wars was released in theatres in the United States on May 25, 1977. It earned $461 million in the U.S. and $314 million overseas, totaling $775 million. It surpassed Jaws (1975) to become the highest-grossing film of all time until the release of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). When adjusted for inflation, Star Wars is the second-highest-grossing film in North America, and the third-highest-grossing film in the world. It received ten Academy Award nominations (including Best Picture), winning seven. It was among the first films to be selected as part of the U.S. Library of Congress's National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". At the time, it was the most recent film on the registry and the only one chosen from the 1970s. In 2004, its soundtrack was added to the U.S. National Recording Registry. Today, it is regarded as one of the most important films in the history of motion pictures.
The film has been reissued multiple times at Lucas's behest, incorporating many changes including modified computer-generated effects, altered dialogue, re-edited shots, remixed soundtracks and added scenes. It launched an industry of tie-in products, including spin-off TV series, novels, comic books, video games, amusement park attractions, and merchandise including toys, games, and clothing. The film's success led to two critically and commercially successful sequels, The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 and Return of the Jedi in 1983, and later to a prequel trilogy, a sequel trilogy, and two anthology films.Star Wars sequel trilogy
The Star Wars sequel trilogy is the third and final set of three films in the Star Wars franchise, an American space opera created by George Lucas. It is being produced by Lucasfilm Ltd. and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The trilogy is to consist of episodes VII through IX, and chronologically follows Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983). Lucas had planned a sequel trilogy as early as 1976, but had cancelled it by 1981 and produced only the first six episodes. The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm in late 2012 and announced plans to produce the sequel films.
The first installment, Episode VII: The Force Awakens, was released in December 2015 in the U.S. It was directed by J. J. Abrams who co-wrote the screenplay with Lawrence Kasdan and Michael Arndt. Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and other cast members from the original trilogy returned to reprise their roles and co-star alongside Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver, and Oscar Isaac.
Unlike the previous two trilogies, whose films were released approximately three years apart and released on Memorial Day weekend, the sequel films are planned to be released two years apart in December. Episode VIII: The Last Jedi was released in December 2017, with Rian Johnson as screenwriter and director, and most of the cast returning.
The first two films have grossed a combined $3.4 billion worldwide. The third and final installment, Episode IX, is being directed by Abrams, who co-wrote it with Chris Terrio. It is scheduled to be released on December 20, 2019.Strange Magic (film)
Strange Magic is a 2015 American computer-animated jukebox musical fantasy romantic comedy film directed by Gary Rydstrom, produced by Lucasfilm, with feature animation by Lucasfilm Animation and Industrial Light & Magic. The film's screenplay was written by Rydstrom, David Berenbaum and Irene Mecchi, from a story by George Lucas inspired by William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. The film stars Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph and Alfred Molina. The score was composed by Marius de Vries and includes contemporary songs, such as "Love Is Strange" and "Strange Magic".Lucas had been working on developing the project for 15 years before production began. The first Lucasfilm production to be distributed by Walt Disney Studios, after the parent company's purchase of the studio in 2012, Touchstone Pictures released the film on January 23, 2015. The film received generally negative reviews from critics and was a box office bomb, grossing $13.6 million worldwide and losing around $40–50 million.THX 1138
THX 1138 is a 1971 American science fiction film set in a dystopian future in which the populace is controlled through android police and mandatory use of drugs that suppress emotions. It was directed by George Lucas in his feature film directorial debut in 1971. Produced by Francis Ford Coppola and written by Lucas and Walter Murch, it stars Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasence.
THX 1138 was developed from Lucas's student film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which he made in 1967 while attending the USC School of Cinematic Arts. The feature film was produced in a joint venture between Warner Bros. and American Zoetrope. A novelization by Ben Bova was published in 1971. The film received mixed reviews from critics and failed to find box-office success on initial release; however, the film has subsequently received critical acclaim and gained a cult following, particularly in the aftermath of Lucas' success with Star Wars in 1977.