Behind The Scenes: The Life of George Lucas
Writers Workshop 7/8 D
Have you ever thought about creating a whole unique and detailed universe completely made out of imagination? Well, meet George Lucas the creator of one of the best known fantasies, the Star Wars Universe. George Lucas, the creator of Lucasfilm LTD and Industrial Light and Magic Inc., is a movie director, writer, and producer. He created the massive universe of Star Wars, that completely transformed the film industry and opened people's eyes to what a movie could be.
George Walton Lucas Jr. was born in Modesto, CA on May 14, 1944, and was raised in the suburbs on a walnut ranch. George Lucas had three siblings. Lucas’ fathers job was selling office stationery at his local store. Growing up, Lucas had a dream of becoming a drag racer. Lucas’ obsession of racing continued through his high school years. Early on, life was mellow for Lucas. going to Thomas Downey High School. He kept his race car obsession through his senior year, before he faced an accident that changed everything.
Three days before high school graduation, Lucas was driving home in his souped up Fiat. When Lucas was driving home, his classmate tried to speed by him at 90 miles per hour, but Lucas did not see him and turned into his exit, only before the car rammed into the side of Lucas’ car, flipping it 7 times, and leaving Lucas in critical conditions. Lucas recovered against all odds, but his childhood dream of racing had faded away after the experience.
When George Lucas was 37, he created Star Wars, one of the greatest franchises of all time. When George Lucas had the success of American Graffiti, his first major film, Lucas felt inspired to create a more serious and longer lasting franchise. Lucas had had the idea of a space opera for a long time and had been messing around with the idea for many years with his partner, Gary Kurtz. Lucas wanted to make the movie about stories that had inspired him in his childhood. There were many sci fi movies at the time, but none of them showed the creativity Lucas demonstrated. Lucas got many of the ideas that created star wars from real world objects and Lucas’ childhood in San Francisco. For example, The famous “AT ATs” were really inspired by the cranes in the bay area. “Star Wars : A New Hope” has raised over 756 million dollars, and is one of the most watched movies of all time. The series is still running and will continue for many years to come.
Another one of Lucas’s major blockbusters was Indiana Jones. Lucas worked together with Steven Spielberg to create another major series that almost every child knows. After Star Wars, Lucas wanted to create something other than the future, and focused on the past. Lucas created a strong character (both literally and figuratively). Indiana (played by Harrison ford, also Han Solo from Star Wars) was also very humorous and used his signature weapon and tool, the whip. Lucas helped write three of the four scripts, but Spielberg produced and directed them. After three of the movies, Lucas decided to fly back to outer space and continue the series that made him big in the first place. In total there are four Indiana Jones films, and they were all very successful.
George Lucas also started a major film production company called Industrial Light and Magic. Industrial Light and Magic transformed the special effects industry, and produced many blockbusters, such as Jurassic Park, E.T, and many more successful films. Industrial Light and Magic was founded in 1975, and with the success of Star Wars, the company grew dramatically. Lucas founded ILM after he had success in American Graffiti. Fox then lent him $25,000 dollars to produce Star Wars. After that, Lucas had no more money for Star Wars, and had to start from scratch. He started in a warehouse with most of the co-workers that were school dropouts. Even though they skipped school, they still had wild imaginations, and successfully created hundreds of creatures that we all know and love. ILM took off after the success of Star Wars produced many more films including Star Trek, and Terminator. Some of ILM’s workers even created other companies such as Photoshop, and Pixar. The man behind it all became massively successful producing 317 movies just with ILM.
With all of these accomplishments, George Lucas has earned his reputation, and has become a major role model change maker because he has a major franchise, a successful film producing company and too many other things to name. With so many accomplishments, and really the first space opera, Lucas is a clear change maker. Recently, George Lucas sold Lucasfilm LTD and ILM to Disney for more than 4.6 billion dollars. Now, Disney remains to continue Star Wars for years to come.
“George Lucas.” Biography.com, A&E Networks Television, 29 Dec. 2017, www.biography.com/people/george-lucas-9388168.
Williams, Rohan. “The Car Crash That Changed the Galaxy.” Force Material, 28 Jan. 2016, www.forcematerial.com/home/2017/1/28/the-car-crash-that-changed-the-galaxy.
Kahn, Alex French and Howie. “The Untold Story of ILM, a Titan That Forever Changed Film.”Wired, Conde Nast, 1 May 2017, www.wired.com/2015/05/inside-ilm/.