George Walton Lucas, Jr. is the creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones series. He was born on May 14th, 1944.
Lucas co-founded the studio American Zoetrope with Coppola—whom he met during his internship at Warner Brothers—hoping to create a liberating environment for filmmakers to direct outside the perceived oppressive control of the Hollywood studio system. American Zoetrope never really succeeded, but from the financial success of his films American Graffiti (1973) and Star Wars (1977), Lucas was able to set up his own studio, Lucasfilm, in Marin County in his native Northern California. Skywalker Sound and Industrial Light and Magic, the sound and visual effects subdivisions of Lucasfilm respectively, have become among the most respected firms in their fields. Lucasfilm Games, later renamed to LucasArts, is highly regarded in the gaming industry.
Following the success of American Graffiti, Lucas proposed new Flash Gordon film adaptation, but the rights were not available. Under the American Zoetrope banner Lucas developed Apocalypse Now to direct following work on Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. As work on Star Wars dragged on, Coppola took over directing Apocalypse Now, leading to the breakdown of the American Zoetrope partnership.
Lucas was also influential in the development of industry standard post-production tools such as the Avid Film and Video non-linear editor, first developed as the Edit Droid, and also the Sound Droid, which later became the Digidesign Pro Tools sound editing and mixing software.
The animation studio Pixar was founded as the Graphics Group, one third of the Computer Division of Lucasfilm. Pixar's early computer graphics research resulted in ground breaking 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 U.S. $5 million to Lucas and put U.S. $5 million as capital into the company. The sale reflected Lucas's desire to stop the cash flow losses associated with 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's 1983 divorce concurrent with the sudden drop off in revenues from Star Wars licenses following the release of Return of the Jedi. (Some twenty years later on January 24, 2006, Disney announced that it had agreed to buy Pixar for approximately $7.4 billion in an all-stock deal.)
On a return on investment basis, Star Wars proved to be one of the most successful films of all time. During the filming of Star Wars, Lucas waived his up front fee as director and negotiated to own the licensing rights — rights which the studio thought were nearly worthless. This decision earned him hundreds of millions of dollars, as he was able to directly profit from all the licensed games, toys, and collectibles created for the franchise. In 2006 Forbes Magazine estimated Lucas's personal wealth at US$ 3.5 billion. In 2005 Forbes.com estimated the lifetime revenue generated by the Star Wars franchise at nearly $20 billion.
George Lucas and Indiana."I thought it was too wacky for the general public." ―George Lucas on Star Wars Star Wars is considered by some to be the first "high concept" film, although others feel the first was Steven Spielberg's Jaws, released two years prior. In fact, Lucas and Spielberg had been acquaintances for some time and eventually worked together on several films, notably the first Indiana Jones vehicle, Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1981. Along with Spielberg, Lucas is credited with (and even blamed for) establishing the blockbuster approach to filmmaking.
Lucas and director Steven Spielberg enjoy a friendship that dates to their college years, and that has resulted in collaborations on films including the Indiana Jones movies Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull(2008).
Lucas was fined by the Directors Guild of America for refusing to have a standard title sequence in his Star Wars films. After paying the fine, he quit the guild. This made it hard for him to find a director for some of his later projects. According to some, he wanted his friend Spielberg to direct some of the later Star Wars movies, but as a member of the guild Spielberg may have been unable to do so. Spielberg has repeatedly stated that Lucas consciously did not let him direct any Star Wars films, despite the fact that Spielberg wanted to. Other directors Lucas pursued to aid him were David Lynch and David Cronenberg, both of whom declined.
Lucas was also influential in the development of industry-standard post-production tools such as the Avid Film and Video non-linear editor, first developed as the Edit Droid, and also the Sound Droid, which later became the Digidesign Pro Tools sound editing and mixing software.
On October 3, 1994, Lucas started to write the three Star Wars prequels, and on November 1 that year, he left the day-to-day operations of his filmmaking business and started a sabbatical to finish the prequels.
He recently announced that he would produce a TV series about Star Wars, which would take place between episodes III and IV. Lucas purportedly also recently announced that he plans on making two additional Star Wars films that will take place after Return of the Jedi, but this rumor was debunked at Star Wars Celebration 4 in Los Angeles, California which took place May 24th-May 28th, 2007. When Steve Sansweet, Director of Content Management and Head of Fan Relations at Lucasfilm, was asked about the proposed two films post-Return of the Jedi he stated that it was a misunderstanding of what Lucas was explaining. According to Sansweet, Lucas was referring to the two Star Wars television projects currently in production: Star Wars: Clone Wars which is a CG animated show set to debut in the Fall of 2008, and the yet to be titled Star Wars live action television series set to debut in 2009.
Films he has made
|THX 1138||1971||director, story, co-writer|
|American Graffiti||1973||director, story, co-writer|
|Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope||1977||director, story, writer, exec. producer|
|More American Graffiti||1979||exec. producer|
|Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back||1980||story, exec. producer, uncredited co-director|
|Body Heat||1981||uncredited exec. producer|
|Raiders of the Lost Ark||1981||story, exec. producer, uncredited second unit director|
|Star Wars Episode VI: Return Of The Jedi||1983||exec. producer, story, co-writer, uncredited co-director|
|Twice Upon a Time||1983||exec. producer|
|Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom||1984||story, exec. producer, cameo as "Tourist boarding plane"|
|Latino||1985||uncredited co-producer and co-editor|
|Howard the Duck||1986||exec. producer|
|Willow||1988||story, exec. producer|
|Tucker: The Man and His Dream||1988||exec. producer|
|The Land Before Time||1988||exec. producer|
|Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade||1989||story, exec. producer|
|Hook||1991||cameo as "Man kissing on bridge"|
|Beverly Hills Cop III||1994||cameo as "Disappointed Man"|
|Radioland Murders||1994||story, exec. producer|
|Men in Black||1997||uncredited cameo as himself|
|Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace||1999||director, story, writer, exec. producer|
|Star Wars Episode II: Attack Of The Clones||2002||director, story, co-writer, exec. producer|
|Star Wars Episode III: Revenge Of The Sith||2005||director, story, writer, exec. producer, cameo as "Baron Papanoida"|
|Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull||2008||story, exec. producer|
|Star Wars: The Clone Wars||2008||story, exec. producer|
|Red Tails||2009||exec. producer|