George Lucas, the creator of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, is celebrating his 79th birthday on Sunday, May 14. (That’s Mother’s Day in the USA, so whether or not you bake a cake for George, remember to do something nice for your mother. Our British fans celebrated Mothering Sunday in the U. K. back in March.)
George Lucas was born May 14, 1944, in Modesto, California. He founded Lucasfilm, LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic and THX. Lucasfilm is a film and television production company, which is now a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios. LucasArts is the former name of Lucasfilm Games, a video game company. Industrial Light and Magic is one of the leading visual effects companies in the moderb entertainment industry. THX is often described as a sound company, but it is actually a quality assurance system, not a recording technology. All sound recordings, whether digital or analog, can be reproduced in a THX system.
George Lucas himself is a writer, a producer, and a director. He sometimes has all three roles on a project. Lucas is one of the 2oth century’s most financially successful filmmakers. Adjusted for inflation, Hhs films are among the 100 highest-grossing movies at the North American box office. He wrote and directed American Graffiti (1973), which inspired Happy Days, making him the father of Fonzie.
He wrote and directed Star Wars: A New Hope (1977). He produced and co-wrote the sequels, The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). With his friend Steven Spielberg, h co-created the Indiana Jones franchise. George Lucas produced and co-wrote Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), The Temple of Doom (1984), The Last Crusade (1989), and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008). Dial of Destiny he was producer only. He produced the WWII film Red Tails (2012), which tells the heroic story of the Tuskegee Airmen (2012). He wrote and directed The Phantom Menace (1999) and Revenge of the Sith (2005).
Lucas directed and co-wrote Attack of the Clones (2002). He produced the Marvel-based but not MCU film Howard the Duck (1986). He was executive producer of Willow (1988). He wrote and directed THX 1138 (1971), a critical success, but one of Lucas’ few financial failures. The Indiana Jones films inspired a generation of archaeologists: many of the current generation of archaeologists confess to having been influenced by the Indiana Jones films in their youth.
George Lucas has been nominated for four Oscars, two for Star Wars, two for American Graffiti. In 1992 he won the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. He’s been nominated for an Emmy Award five times and won twice. He’s mentioned five times in the Guiness Book of World Records. He’s won the Jules Verne Award three times. He has five Saturn Award nominations. The Romans said de gustibus non disputum, so it will not come as too great of a surprise that he was nominated for five Razzie Awards and “won” one.
George Lucas has inspired film students into becoming filmmakers, and s considered the father of the modern blockbuster. He proved to Hollywood that Science Fiction could be a profitable genre.
Happy Birthday, George Lucas! It’s been a wild ride. Thank you.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as 26 short stories, mostly fantasy in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, Swords &Sorceries Vols. 1, 2, & 5, “Cat Tails” “Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.