Photo of George Lucas George Lucas

The man whose movies spearheaded the shift from cinema to spectacle grew up on a Modesto, Calif., walnut farm. In his youth, he was passionately interested in drag racing -- an experience he would later capture in the Oscar-nominated American Graffiti (1973).

Born May 14, 1944, George Lucas studied filmmaking at the University of Southern California, where his short film "THX 1138" captured the attention of Hollywood. After interning at Warner Bros., Lucas made a feature-length version of that film, which became an instant cult hit.

That success paved the way for American Graffiti, which got Lucas the backing he needed to make Star Wars (1977), a movie whose spectacular effects and breakneck storytelling pace would forever change filmmaking. More hits followed with the Indiana Jones franchise (which he developed with buddy Steven Spielberg) and additional entries in the Star Wars saga.

George Lucas in Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope

1977 PG

Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) guides intrepid Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) on a valiant bid to save the captured Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) from Darth Vader (voiced by James Earl Jones). With his trusty droids and smuggler Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Skywalker must also destroy the Galactic Empire's all-powerful weapon: the Death Star. George Lucas cemented his status as a pop-culture legend with this classic battle between good and evil.

  • George Lucas in Star Wars: Episode III Star Wars: Episode III
  • George Lucas in Star Wars: Episode II Star Wars: Episode II
  • George Lucas in Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • George Lucas in American Graffiti American Graffiti
  • George Lucas in THX 1138 THX 1138
  • George Lucas in Magician Magician
  • George Lucas in Hearts of Darkness Hearts of Darkness
  • George Lucas in Side by Side Side by Side
  • George Lucas in The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones
  • George Lucas in Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese
  • George Lucas in The Cutting Edge: Magic of Movie Editing The Cutting Edge: Magic of Movie Editing
  • George Lucas in Joseph Campbell: The Hero's Journey Joseph Campbell: The Hero's Journey
  • George Lucas in Directors: Life Behind the Camera Directors: Life Behind the Camera
  • George Lucas in Robot Chicken Star Wars Robot Chicken Star Wars
  • George Lucas in Heckler Heckler
  • George Lucas in Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel
  • George Lucas in Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth
  • George Lucas in The Sci-Fi Boys The Sci-Fi Boys
  • George Lucas in Behind the Screens Behind the Screens
  • George Lucas in The Best of the Colbert Report The Best of the Colbert Report
  • George Lucas in Reel Talent Reel Talent
  • George Lucas in Star Wars: The Clone Wars Star Wars: The Clone Wars
  • George Lucas in Hollywood's Greatest Villains Hollywood's Greatest Villains
  • George Lucas in Fog City Mavericks Fog City Mavericks