George Walton Lucas (born May 14, 1944) is an American filmmaker. He is the creator of the Star Wars series as well as many other films, including American Graffiti, THX 1138, and, with the help of Steven Spielberg, Indiana Jones. His auteur elements in film-making had been influenced by the French Marxist filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard.
George Lucas, the son of a middle class business man, grew up in Modesto, California, although he later claimed he grew up in San Francisco. His childhood and teenage years heavily revolved around cars and girls, and this aspect of his life became the basis for his movie American Graffiti. He was a poor student, however, in his senior year of high school, he got into a serious, life-changing car accident. After he graduated, he was able to bring his grades up in community college, and got into USC's film program.
With Francis Ford Coppola, he founded an independent film studio, American Zoetrope. Their first feature was THX 1138, based on one of Lucas's student films. The film depicted his then pessimistic view of the 21st century, a world where people engage in mindless, pointless consumerism and love is outlawed. It was poorly received at the time, but currently holds an 89% "fresh" approval rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes. The film was not commercially successful.
Following a dispute, he withdrew from the Writers' Guild of America and the Directors' Guild in 1980 over his choice of using no opening credits in The Empire Strikes Back. In addition, he originally wanted his friend Steven Spielberg to direct Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983), but his dispute with the Director's Guild barred him from doing so. Since then, in all of his recent films, he has hired actors who are not members of the Screen Actors' Guild, as legally a non-Guild member cannot hire Guild members.
George Lucas was very liberal in his politics, where he frequently donated to Democratic candidates. He also claimed that he was a believer in pure democracy and not Capitalistic democracy. He also implied that he had supported the Vietcong during the Vietnam War when he admitted that he based the Ewoks on that group and the Galactic Empire and it's defeat on Endor on America and its involvement in Vietnam. A note for his 1973 screenplay for Star Wars (at the time known as The Star Wars) also indicated that he had intended for the Galactic Empire as a whole to be based on America and its involvement in Vietnam (as well as Emperor Palpatine, its leader, specifically being based on then-President Richard Nixon), and that he specifically intended for the Rebel Alliance to be based on the Vietcong since the first movie entered production. He also specifically intended for Star Wars to be the third of a thematic trilogy detailing various critiques of the Vietnam War (with the first being American Graffiti and the second intended to be Apocalypse Now before he was forced by Warner Bros. to hand it over to Coppola due to his studio, American Zoetrope, being shut down by the studio). Part of his reason for selling the Star Wars franchise to Disney was to make himself tax-exempt in the event that Mitt Romney won the 2012 election.
- George Lucas at the Internet Movie Database
A&E books Biography channel book on George Lucas