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George Lucas

George LucasBorn on May 14, 1944 in Modesto, California, George Lucas is an American director, screenwriter, and producer best known for the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. One of the most acclaimed directors of all time, Lucas had a huge influence in shaping the sci-fi genre as we know it today. He is also the founder of Lucasfilm, which he sold to Walt Disney in 2012, and co-founder of American Zoetrope, alongside Francis Ford Coppola.

George Lucas – or, to use his full name, George Walton Lucas Jr. – grew up in Modesto, California. When Disneyland opened in 1955, his family – Dorothy Ellinore Lucas and George Walton Lucas Sr. – took him to the park. The boy, who was already a fan of science fiction, was fascinated by the experience and became even more interested in that world. Though his initial dream was to be a race driver – a dream that he even started to pursue in high school by taking part in underground races – a car crash convinced him otherwise, and he began to look at other options.

His father wanted the boy to work at his stationery shop when he turned 18, but Lucas insisted on continuing his education, attending the Modesto Junior College. There, he began making short films with his 8 mm cameras, and attending screenings to learn more about the filmmaking process. That’s how he got to watch many European movies and became acquainted with the work of directors like Godard, Fellini, and many more. He later enrolled in the University of Southern California, one of the first universities where film was a subject, and that would be a turning point for the director.

It’s at USC, studying film production, that he met Steven Spielberg and Martin Scorsese, as well as his future wife, Marcia Griffin. He learned about film history and he made short films, such as the National Student film festival-first prize winning Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138. The prize was a scholarship with Warner Bros., where he got to observe the production process up close. He chose Finian’s Rainbow, by Francis Ford Coppola; in 1969, both filmmakers moved to San Francisco and founded the American Zoetrope studio. That’s when Lucas started making movies.

Lucas’ first feature film was THX 1138 (1971). In 1973, he co-wrote and directed American Graffiti. Then, he tried to adapt Flash Gordon, but he was unable to secure the rights and so he decided to make something of his own: that’s how Star Wars was born, and Lucas rose to stardom. The film turned out to be the highest grossing movie of all time, and led to the franchise being born. Lucas’ work outside of Star Work was more centered on the producing and screenwriting side of things. Notable works include Jim Henson’s Labyrinth (1986), Ron Howard’s Willow (1988), and, of course, the first four Indiana Jones films, whre he was a story writer and executive producer.

To this day, George Lucas continues to be one of the most influential and beloved filmmakers of all time. In May 2024, the director was awarded the Honorary Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival – another important prize for an incredible career worth celebrating. On this page you’ll find all our reviews, articles, and lists of movies and shows George Lucas took part in.