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George Lucas DIRECTOR


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       Hook 
1991       Make It Happen 
1990       Wow! 
1989       Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
1988       The Land Before Time 
1988       Tucker: The Man and His Dream
1988       Willow 
1988       Powaqqatsi 
1987       Star Tours  
1986       Inside the Labyrinth 
1986       Captain EO 
1986       Howard the Duck 
1986       Labyrinth 
1986       The Great Heep 
1985       Droids 
1985       Ewoks: The Battle for Endor
1985       Ewoks
1985       Latino   
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       Kagemusha 
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       Filmmaker      
1968       Journey to the Pacific 
1967       Electronic Labyrinth THX 1138 4EB 
1967       The Emperor 
1967       6-18-67 
1967       Anyone Lived in a Pretty How Town
1966       Grand Prix 
1966       1:42.08
1966       Freiheit 
1966       Herbie 
1965       Look at Life
1965       The Bus

Matinee Classics - Star Wars starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Phil Brown, Shelagh Fraser, Jack Purvis, Alex McCrindle and Eddie Byrne

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