Director George Lucas Biography: From Star Wars To Indiana Jones

Originally planning to become a professional racecar driver, a near-fatal racing accident in high school convinced him to shift his focus to film. As a result, he quickly became good friends with Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola, before crafting his award-winning sci-fi film project THX-1138. Failing to achieve mainstream success at first, his second film, the coming of age comedy American Graffiti became a blockbuster and gave him the finances to create his own film company. Soon after, he developed his greatest masterpiece, Star Wars, which spawned two trilogies, not to mention the creation of cinema's greatest adventurer Indiana Jones. Join as we take a look at the iconic career of George Lucas.

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Director George Lucas Biography: From Star Wars To Indiana Jones

He is the American film industry’s most financially independent director, producer and screenwriter. Welcome to and today we’ll be taking a look at George Lucas, the force behind Star Wars.

Born on May 14th, 1944 in Modesto, California; George Walton Lucas Jr. grew up with a deep-seeded passion for comics, television serials, and car racing.

Originally planning to become a professional racecar driver, a near-fatal racing accident in high school convinced him to shift his focus. As a result, he enrolled at the University of Southern California film school of Cinematic Arts.

There he developed an unshakable passion for cinema, and became good friends with fellow student Steven Spielberg.

Following his graduation in 1966, he landed a job as a teaching assistant assigned to train cameramen for the U.S. Military. And he crafted an award-winning sci-fi film short that won several awards and later became the full-length feature THX-1138 with the help of Francis Ford Coppola, of whom he befriended during his Warner Bros scholarship to observe the making of “Finian’s Rainbow.”

However, THX’s artistic and non-conventional style resulted in a box office failure that caused Lucas to very carefully plan his next feature “American Graffiti.” Fortunately, the blockbuster coming of age comedy succeeded at the box-office, and successfully showcased Lucas’s long obsession with cruising and Rock and Roll.

Adjusting to life as a millionaire, Lucas spent the next four years creating “Lucasfilm,” his own company from which he would create and direct his greatest masterpiece “Star Wars” in 1977. Based on his love of old television serials, fairy tales and ancient mythology, the scfi-fi epic redefined the genre and broke all previous box-office records before it.

Lucas then wrote and executive produced its two phenomenal sequels “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of The Jedi”, while opting to have others direct them. He then partnered with Steven Spielberg to pen the story and executive produce not one, but three Indiana Jones adventures. Astonishingly, that series went on to have a similar impact at the box-office, in pop culture and on the adventure genre.

Meanwhile, Lucas’s media company grew into five divisions that would provide premium services for Hollywood at every level of production. And his intelligent and forward thinking move to own the rights to Star Wars spurred a merchandise empire that made Lucas one of the richest and most powerful players in the film industry.

While fans waited for yet another romp in a galaxy far, far away, Lucas dabbled in other projects, such as executive producing 1986’s Labyrinth, and creating the television series “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles.”

In 1994 Lucas began work on the screenplay for the first of three Starwars prequels, which would attempt to fulfill the dreams of long-time fans. Not only was 1999’s “The Phantom Menace” the first film he personally directed in over two decades, but the unmanageable hype and his inexperience in the director’s chair led to intense critical backlash.

Despite this, all three prequels dominated the box-office, and even spurred a spin-off animated film and cartoon series based on “The Clone Wars,’ on which Lucas serves as the executive producer.

And showing that he can role with the punches had a direct hand in making fun of his creations with several Robot Chicken comedy specials.

Following this, he and Spielberg together brought the Indiana Jones franchise back to life with its forth installment., while readying a live-action Star Wars series that takes place between his two trilogies and scripting the film “Red Tails”, the story of several combat pilots in World War II.

As both the most revered Sci-Fi visionary, and the most heavily criticized in recent years, George Lucas continues to be the most powerful independent media mogul in Hollywood, with a legion of loyal fans both new and old that continue to clamor for his merchandise and fantastical stories.

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