Today we celebrate the birthday of the person who started all of this. Who made it possible for all of us to have an awesome childhood – George Lucas! Today I thought why not take a few steps back to the beginning and of course talk about how Star Wars came about but also take a look at everything else he has created for us. I’m sure there are a few THX 1138 and American Graffiti fans on our website.
Something not all people know is that Lucas grew up wanting to be a race-car driver, he was obsessed with them and spent all his time on them until June 1962 when he was involved in a car accident which almost killed him. He gave up the dream of becoming a race-car driver however his passion for it did later on influence the films he made like American Graffiti (AG). George Lucas started out studying anthropology, sociology etc but then transferred to the School of Cinematic Arts USC. Here he produced a short film called “Electronic Labyrinth: THX 11384EB” which won him the first prize at the National Student Film Festival in 1967-68 . He later adapted this into the full feature film. He started working at Warner Bros through a scholar ship on Finian’s Rainbow and many other projects like Gimme Shelter.
In 1969 Lucas co-founded American Zoetrope which released his full feature THX 1138 which unfortunately was a flop. As a result of this he created LUCASFILM LTD. and released American Graffiti which did really well earning $140 million at the box office. This is where George started directing Star Wars. He faced a lot of obstacles during production especially financially as a lot of people were concerned there would be a high budget with low revenue. However due to Alan Ladd Jr who liked AG so much he pushed through production and distribution. As we all know Star Wars was a big success creating a big revenue for FOX. Star Wars was playing in 1,096 theatres in the United States and approximately 60 theatres played the film continuously for over a year. He negotiated for advantages in some of the as-yet-unspecified parts of his contract with Fox, in particular ownership of licensing and merchandising rights and contractual arrangements for sequels which earned LucasFilms hundreds of millions of dollars. In 1986 Lucas sold Pixar to Steve Jobs and later on took a break from directing for two whole decades. The idea of producing the prequels always intrigued him and so in 1993/94 he started the production of The Phantom Menace, originally called The Beginning. In 1997 he went back to the Originals with the new technology advances in CGI and modified them for re release in the Special Edition. It has always been said that the prequels were inferior to the originals however they still were box office successes and did very well with many fans. In 2012 Lucas officially retired from the production of blockbuster movies and Lucasfilm was sold to Disney. They announced the production of a new trilogy and so we saw the release of The Force Awakens.
George of course also worked on lots of other projects like Indiana Jones, The Land Before Time (which I did not know and now realize George has been a bigger part of my childhood than I knew) , Labyrinth, Body heat and many many more. We owe him so much and therefore want to wish him a happy happy birthday. We hope there are worldwide celebrations and we definitely are watching Star Wars tonight, anyone want to join?
WE LOVE YOU GEORGE!