GEORGE LUCAS BIOGRAPHY & FILMOGRAPHY:
George Walton Lucas Jr. was born May 14, 1944 in Modesto, California. His father owned an office supply store and a walnut ranch. Lucas was not a very good student, and instead spent his time racing cars. However, one nearly fatal accident in his Fiat landed him in the hospital before high school graduation, and it was then that he decided he wanted to attend art school. His parents would not support him in that direction, so after graduation, he enrolled at Modesto Junior College to study social science.
While at Modesto, Lucas found a deep interest in photography and film, and started making his own films with a small camera. Later, he attended the University of Southern California’s filmmaking school. He started out with animation, then moved on to cinematography and editing. While in school, Lucas created eight student films. In 1969 he won a scholarship from Warner Brothers Studios, which enabled him to watch the filming of Francis Ford Coppola’s “Finian’s Rainbow” (1968). The two became close allies, and Lucas consequently served as his right hand man in Coppola’s next feature, “The Rain People” (1969). He then made a documentary titled “The Filmmaker” (1968), which was about the production of the movie.
Coppola also helped one of Lucas’ student films get turned into a full feature at Warner Brothers. The result, the futuristic sci-fi “THX 1138” (1971), flopped terribly after its release. Although slightly discouraged from the failure of his first big film, he persevered and came out with another picture shortly after, called “American Graffiti” (1973). Universal Studios managed to film the picture in twenty eight days on a budget of only $700,000. The film, which followed a group of teenagers and their cars on one summer night in 1962, become one of the most profitable films of the decade and was nominated for five Academy Awards. After, Lucas embarked on writing a new screenplay titled “Star Wars” (1977).
With the sci-fi film’s release, audiences went crazy over its mind blowing special effects, extraordinary characters, and fantastical landscapes. It broke box office records and earned seven Oscars. Before its release, though, Fox was convinced it wasn’t commercial enough to be a success, and offered Lucas an additional $500,000 for the direction of the flick. He surprised them by forgoing the money and instead taking all the merchandising and sequel rights, which turned out to be the better option, as the feature banked Lucas $500 million for merchandise alone between 1977 and 1980. In fact, in 1979 he had to start his own company for product distribution called Lucas Film Ltd. Later, he would form even more film related companies. While Star Wars and its products were extremely lucrative, the experience of directing the film was so exhausting that Lucas then took a twenty year break from sitting in the director’s chair.
By 1980, he continued the story of the Jedi Knights and Dark Sides in the second installment of the Star Wars trilogy, titled “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”. In 1983 a third was added, “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi”.
In the meantime, Lucas had started on another project and another idea for a series of films. Thus Indiana Jones was born, beginning with “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (1981). His story once again found mass appeal, and he followed it up with two more installments, called “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984) and “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” (1989). In 1992 he produced a television show based on the adventurer entitled “The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles” (1992-93).
Throughout the majority of the 1980's and 1990's, however, Lucas spent much of his time acting as producer for a number of popular films. Such pictures included “Captain Eo” (1986), “Labyrinth” (1986), “Howard the Duck” (1986), “The Land Before Time” (1988), “Willow” (1988), and plethora of Indiana Jones TV movies.
In 1999, Lucas jumped back into the director’s seat with his next Star Wars screenplay called “Star Wars: Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace”. As with the other films in the sci-fi series, he served as producer. His next picture as director was “Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones” (2002), followed by the final feature in the science fiction collection, “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” (2005). In 2001, the generous filmmaker donated several items from the films to an online auction that was raising money for relatives of the victims of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the Twin Towers.
As well as keeping up with the Star Wars pictures as their producer and writer, he added another Indiana Jones film, titled “Indiana and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” (2008). Currently, Lucas is working on yet another Star Wars television series (he has already written and produced quite a few) and laboring on a World War II African American pilot drama called “Red Tails” (2012).
For his work in film, Lucas has helmed many awards. Some of these honors include a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, a Filmmaker’s Award from the Motion Picture Sound Editors, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Visual Effects Society Awards, and an Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award from the Academy Awards. On top of his movie endeavors, the filmmaker has taken a munificent pledge created by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet called The Giving Pledge. In joining this effort, he promises to give half of his fortune to charity so that other wealthy Americans may be persuaded to donate some of their money to others in need. Lucas also proved his generosity by adopting a daughter, Amanda, in 1981 with his wife Marcia Lou Griffin, whom he divorced in 1983. Since then, he has adopted two more children, Katie, born in 1988, and Jett, born in 1993. All three kids have appeared in his latest three Star Wars films, as did he himself.
2012 Red Tails
2011 Untitled Star Wars TV Series
2011 Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
2010 The Nina Foch Course for Filmmakers and Actors
2009 Lawrence Jones and the King Salomon's Table
2008 Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II
2008 Star Wars: The Clone Wars
2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
2008 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Winds of Change
2008 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Scandal of 1920
2007 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones Documentaries
2007 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Espionage Escapades
2007 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Demons of Deception
2007 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Passion for Life
2007 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: My First Adventure
2007 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Love's Sweet Song
2007 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Journey of Radiance
2007 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: The Perils of Cupid
2006 Star Wars: Extintion
2006 Cinema16: American Short Films
2005 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
2003 Just Shoot Me!
2003 Star Wars: Clone Wars
2002 Star Wars: Episodio Pi - Sithspotting
2002 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
2002 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones
2001 R2-D2: Beneath the Dome
2000 Short Chaos 10
2000 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Adventures in the Secret Service
2000 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Masks of Evil
1999 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Daredevils of the Desert
1999 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: The Phantom Train of Doom
1999 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Oganga, the Giver and Taker of Life
1999 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: The Trenches of Hell
1999 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Spring Break Adventure
1999 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
1999 The Dark Redemption
1997 Star Wars: Droids - Treasure of the Hidden Planet
1997 Star Wars: Ewoks - The Haunted Village
1997 Star Wars: Droids - The Pirates and the Prince
1997 Star Wars: Ewoks - Tales from the Endor Woods
1997 Men in Black
1996 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Travels with Father
1995 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Attack of the Hawkmen
1995 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Treasure of the Peacock's Eye
1994 Beverly Hills Cop III
1994 Radioland Murders
1994 The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones: Hollywood Follies
1992 Indiana Jed
1992 The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles
1991 Make It Happen
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1988 The Land Before Time
1988 Tucker: The Man and His Dream
1987 Star Tours
1986 Inside the Labyrinth
1986 Captain EO
1986 Howard the Duck
1986 The Great Heep
1985 Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
1985 Sesame Street Presents: Follow that Bird
1985 Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
1984 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
1984 The Ewok Adventure
1983 Twice Upon a Time
1983 Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi
1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark
1980 Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
1979 More American Graffiti
1977 Star Wars
1973 American Graffiti
1971 Bald: The Making of 'THX 1138'
1971 THX 1138
1970 Gimme Shelter
1970 Marcello, I'm Bored
1969 The Making of 'The Rain People'
1969 The Rain People
1968 Finian's Rainbow
1968 Why Man Creates
1968 Journey to the Pacific
1967 Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB
1967 The Emperor
1967 Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town
1966 Grand Prix
1965 Look at Life
1965 The Bus