George Lucas


George Walton Lucas Jr. (May 14, 1944) is an American filmmaker, philanthropist and entrepreneur. He 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. 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.

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. The film was a critical success but a financial failure. His next work as a co-writer and director was American Graffiti (1973), with Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Bo Hopkins, and Wolfman Jack. 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 was the epic space opera Star Wars (1977), with Mark Hamill, Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, David Prowse, James Earl Jones, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, and Peter Mayhew. It 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), with Ford, Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, Ronald Lacey, John Rhys-Davies, and Denholm Elliott; The Temple of Doom (1984), with Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, and Philip Stone; The Last Crusade (1989), with Ford, Alison Doody, Elliott, Julian Glover, River Phoenix, Rhys-Davies, and Sean Connery; The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), Ford, Cate Blanchett, Allen, Shia LaBeouf, Ray Winstone, John Hurt, and Jim Broadbent; while only producing The Dial of Destiny (2023), with Ford, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Antonio Banderas, Rhys-Davies, Shaunette Renée Wilson, Thomas Kretschmann, Toby Jones, Boyd Holbrook, Ethann Isidore, and Mads Mikkelsen.

He also produced and wrote a variety of films and television series through Lucasfilm between the 1970s and the 2010s, includingPaul Schrader’s Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985), with Ken Ogata, Kenji Sawada, Toshiyuki Nagashima, and Yasosuke Bando; Jim Henson‘s fantasy film Labyrinth (1986), with David Bowie and Jennifer Connelly; Howard the Duck (1986), with Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, and Tim Robbins; Willow (1988), with Warwick Davis, Val Kilmer, Joanne Whaley, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach, Gavan O’Herlihy, Kevin Pollak, and Rick Overton; Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), with Jeff Bridges, Joan Allen, Martin Landau, Elias Koteas, Frederic Forrest, Christian Slater, Mako, Dean Stockwell; and Mel Smith’s Radioland Murders (1994), with Mary Stuart Masterson, Brian Benben, Ned Beatty, Scott Michael Campbell, Michael Lerner, Michael McKean, Jeffrey Tambor, Stephen Tobolowsky, Christopher Lloyd, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jeffrey, George Burns, Barty, and Rosemary Clooney. 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), collectively with Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman, Jake Lloyd, Ian McDiarmid, Daniels, Baker, Pernilla August, Frank Oz, Hayden Christensen, Samuel L. Jackson, and Christopher Lee. He last collaborated on the CGI-animated television series Star Wars: The Clone Wars (2008–2014, 2020), the war film Red Tails (2012), with Nate Parker, David Oyelowo, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley, Cuba Gooding Jr., and Terrence Howard; and the CGI animated film Strange Magic (2015), with Alan Cumming, Evan Rachel Wood, Kelley, Meredith Anne Bull, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, Sam Palladio. and Alfred Molina.

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)** – directed by Richard Marquand – 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
  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023) – directed by James Mangold – producer

Other notable New Hollywood filmmakers: