Biography of George Lucas

George Lucas is an American filmmaker. His best-known films are large action franchises: Star Wars and Indiana Jones, both of which star Harrison Ford. His breakout film was American Graffiti in 1973, which he wrote and directed, and which received five Academy Award nominations. He is one of the most financially successful filmmakers in Hollywood and is part of the New Hollywood movement.

Born in California, Lucas took an interest in science fiction from an early age. During college, he became interested in Canyon cinema and European cinema, which inspired him to transfer to film school at USC. When he graduated, he tried to join the Air Force, but was turned down for having too many speeding tickets. Soon after, he founded the studio American Zoetrope with Francis Ford Coppola, whom he met doing an internship with Warner Brothers. Soon after this, he started his own company, Lucasfilm, and directed American Graffiti.

After the success of American Graffiti, Lucas wanted to adapt the comic book Flash Gordon for the screen, but could not get the rights to the story, so began work on his own original science fiction drama, which would become Star Wars. Upon its release, Star Wars became the most lucrative film of all time. A number of lines of merchandise based on the film were also released in its wake, making it even more financially successful.

After the Star Wars films, Lucas worked on producing a number of other filmmakers' films, such as Kurosawa's Kagemusha, Lawrence Kasdan's Body Heat, Jim Henson's Labyrinth, and Ron Howard's Willow. He produced the Indiana Jones series, an action-adventure franchise starring Harrison Ford, all of which were directed by Steven Spielberg.

In his later career, Lucas has turned back to his original successes, Star Wars and Indiana Jones, revamping the series for a modern audience. After making prequels to his initial Star Wars films in the late 1990s and early 2000s, he turned to a sequel trilogy in 2014.

Study Guides on Works by George Lucas

Star Wars: A New Hope is the first film to be made in what would become the gigantic Star Wars franchise. Conceived by creator George Lucas as a "space opera," the film instantly became a phenomenon at the moment of its release. It paved the way...