George Lucas

Filmmakers

George Walton Lucas Jr. (May 14, 1944) is an American filmmaker, philanthropist and entrepreneur. Lucas is best known for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and founding Lucasfilm, LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic. He served as chairman of Lucasfilm before selling it to The Walt Disney Company in 2012.

After graduating from the University of Southern California in 1967, Lucas co-founded American Zoetrope with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. Lucas co- wrote and directed THX 1138 (1971), with Robert Duvall and Donald Pleasance; based on his earlier student short Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which was a critical success but a financial failure. His next work as a co-writer and director was the film American Graffiti (1973), starring future filmmaker Ron Howard, inspired by his youth in the early 1960s Modesto, California, and produced through the newly founded Lucasfilm. The film was critically and commercially successful and received five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.

Lucas’s next film, the epic space opera Star Wars (1977), had a troubled production but was a surprise hit, becoming the highest-grossing film at the time, winning six Academy Awards and sparking a cultural phenomenon. Lucas produced and co-wrote the sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). With director Steven Spielberg, he created, produced and co-wrote the Indiana Jones films Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), The Temple of Doom (1984), The Last Crusade (1989) and The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). He also produced and wrote a variety of films and television series through Lucasfilm between the 1970s and the 2010s, including Jim Henson‘s 1986 fantasy film, Labyrinth. He and Coppola were executive producers for the international release of Akira Kurosawa‘s Kagemusha (1981).

In 1997, Lucas rereleased the Star Wars Trilogy as part of a special edition featuring several alterations; home media versions with further changes were released in 2004 and 2011. He returned to directing with a Star Wars prequel trilogy comprising Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002), and Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005). He last collaborated on the CGI-animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008–2014, 2020), the war film Red Tails (2012), and the CGI film Strange Magic (2015).

Lucas is one of history’s most financially successful filmmakers and has been nominated for four Academy Awards. His films are among the 100 highest-grossing movies at the North American box office, adjusted for ticket-price inflation. Lucas is considered a significant figure of the 20th-century New Hollywood movement.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Look at Life (1965) – director, writer – short
  • 1:42.08 (1966) – director, writer – short
  • Freiheit (1966) – director, writer – short
  • Herbie (1966) – uncredited co-director, uncredited co-writer – short
  • Electronic Labyrinth: THX-1138 4EB (1967) – director, writer – short
  • The Emperor (1967) – director, co-writer – short
  • anyone lived in a pretty [how] town (1967) – director, co-writer – short
  • 6-18-67 (1967) – director – quasi-documentary short
  • Filmmaker (1968) – director – documentary short
  • THX 1138 (1971) – director, co-writer
  • American Graffiti (1973)** – director, co-writer
  • Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)** – director, writer, executive producer
  • More American Graffiti (1979) – executive producer
  • Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)** – directed by Irvin Kershner – story, executive producer
  • Kagemusha (1980) – directed byAkira Kurosawa – executive producer (international version)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)** – directed by Steven Spielberg – co-story, executive producer
  • Body Heat (1981) – directed by Lawrence Kasdan – uncredited executive producer
  • Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)** – story, co-writer, executive producer
  • Twice Upon a Time (1983) – directed by John Korty & Charles Swenson – executive producer
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) – directed by Steven Spielberg- story, executive producer
  • The Ewok Adventure (1984) – directed by John Korty – story, executive producer – TV movie
  • Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) – directed by Paul Schrader – executive producer
  • Latino (1985) – directed by Haskell Wexler – uncredited executive producer
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (1985) – directed by Jim & Ken Wheat – story, executive producer – TV movie
  • Labyrinth (1986)** – directed by Jim Henson – executive producer
  • Howard the Duck (1986) – directed y Willard Huyck – executive producer
  • Captain EO (1986) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola – co-writer, executive producer – short
  • Powaqqatsi (1988) – directed by Godfrey Reggio – executive producer – documentary
  • Willow (1988) – directed by Ron Howard – story, executive producer
  • Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988) – directed by Francis Ford Coppola – executive producer
  • The Land Before Time (1988) – directed by Don Bluth – executive producer
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) – directed by Steven Spielberg – co-story, executive producer
  • Radioland Murders (1994) – directed by Mel Smith – story, executive producer
  • Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)* – director, writer, executive producer
  • Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)* – director, co-writer, executive producer
  • Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)* – director, writer, executive producer
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)* – directed by Steven Spielberg – co-story, executive producer
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars (2008) – directed by Dave Filoni – executive producer
  • Red Tails (2012) – directed by Anthony Hemingway – executive producer
  • Strange Magic (2015) – directed by Gary Rydstrom – story, executive producer

Other notable New Hollywood filmmakers: