Entertainment Movies George Lucas' Career in Photos George Lucas, the Academy Award nominated Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator, turns 78 on May 14, 2022 By Andrea Wurzburger Published on May 14, 2022 08:30 AM Share Tweet Pin Email Trending Videos 01 of 21 George Lucas' Life in Photos Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty Director, writer, producer and creator of some of the most beloved films of all time, George Lucas has collected his share of accolades through the years. Born and raised in Modesto, California and an alumni of University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts, Lucas grew up to become the creator of Star Wars, Indiana Jones and more. 02 of 21 Teaming Up with Francis Ford Coppola Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Lucas teamed up with friend, collaborator and filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola numerous times over the course of this career after they met while Lucas was a graduate student at USC. In 1969, the pair founded American Zoetrope production company. In 1973, Lucas wrote and directed the critically acclaimed, Academy Award-nominated film American Graffiti, which Coppola produced. The pair teamed up again in 1986 for Tucker: The Man and His Dream 03 of 21 1977: In a Galaxy Far, Far Away Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty Though now hailed as one of the most successful and recognizable franchises of all time, Lucas' brainchild, Star Wars was widely rejected amongst the Hollywood studios, until it was finally picked up by 20th Century Fox. The creator took us all to a galaxy far, far, away with the franchise's first film, Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. Lucas told Entertainment Tonight of his idea, "The Western was sort of the last real mythological genre. And I couldn't make a Western. Westerns were out of style at that point, and I wasn't that interested in Westerns anyway. And I said, 'What is going to take over, because nothing has replaced it.' Nothing replaced the Western." "And I said, 'Maybe it'll be space. And I like space. Space is fun, so we'll create a kind of fantasy space world where I can tell some time-worn stories.'" 04 of 21 1983: Return of the Jedi Sunset Boulevard/Corbis via Getty The franchise continued to grow, with 1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi. Lucas would eventually return to the franchise in 1999, filming three prequels to the existing films: Episode I: Phantom Menace, and then 2002's Episode II: Attack of the Clones and 2005's Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The films are now among the highest-grossing franchises in the world. 05 of 21 1988: George Lucas on the Set of Willow Lucasfilm/MGM/Courtesy of Getty In 1988, Lucas teamed up with director Ron Howard for a fantasy film, Willow. 06 of 21 1990: Presenting an Honorary Award Miguel Rajmil/IMAGES/Getty In 1990, Lucas and Steven Spielberg (then called "two of the new kids on the block" in their introduction) teamed up to present an honorary Oscar to director Akira Kurosawa. 07 of 21 1992: Being Honored at the Academy Awards John Barr/Liaison In 1992, Lucas was presented with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, which is "awarded to creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production" by his friend, Steven Spielberg. Spielberg directed Lucas' Indiana Jones films. 08 of 21 1994: Congrats, Grads Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty In 1994, Lucas — who graduated from the University of Southern California in 1967 — attended the school's 111th commencement ceremony, where he and pal and director, Steven Spielberg (not pictured) were honored. 09 of 21 1997: Celebrating the Release of Star Wards: Special Edition Magma Agency/WireImage In 1997, Lucas was joined by Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, R2-D2, Darth Vader, C-3PO and Chewbacca at the premiere of Star Wars: Special Edition. 10 of 21 1999: George Lucas with His Daughters Brenda Chase Lucas was married to film editor Marcia Lou Griffin from 1969 to 1983. Together the pair welcomed daughter Amanda via adoption in 1981. After their 1983 divorce, Lucas went on to adopt two more children, daughter Katie in 1988 and son Jett in 1993. His kids even made cameos in the Star Wars prequels! Pictured is Lucas with his daughters at the 1999 Golden Globes. 11 of 21 1999: Meeting with Royalty John Stillwell - PA Images/PA Images via Getty In 1999, Lucas met Prince Charles at the premiere of Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace in London. Also present were two of the film's stars, Natalie Portman and Ewan McGregor. The return to the franchise was Lucas' first time directing in over two decades. 12 of 21 2001: Presenting at the MTV Movie Awards SGranitz/WireImage In 2001, Lucas presented Sofia Coppola, daughter of his longtime friend and collaborator Francis Ford Coppola, with the best new filmmaker award at the MTV Movie Awards. 13 of 21 2005: Joking Around with a Stormtrooper in Cannes Dave Hogan/Getty After the premiere of Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith at Cannes Film Festival in 2005, Lucas joked around with a stormtrooper at the afterparty. The director was honored at the film festival for his career in cinema, in a ceremony held on board the Queen Mary 2. 14 of 21 2007: Lucas Helps Present at the Academy Awards Lester Cohen/Getty In 2007, Lucas joined fellow filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg as they awarded Martin Scorcese with the Best Directing Oscar. Spielberg and Coppola, who had both won the award previously, poked fun at Lucas for not having won an Academy Award. Lucas has been nominated for four Academy Awards: He was up for both Best Original Screenplay and Best Director in 1974 and 1978. 15 of 21 2008: Attending the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Premiere Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Lucas, who also created the Indiana Jones movie franchise, attended the 2008 premiere of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in Japan alongside the franchise's star, Harrison Ford. Ford had also starred as Han Solo in Lucas' Star Wars franchise. 16 of 21 2010: George Lucas at the Golden Globes Vince Bucci/NBCU Photo Bank George Lucas laughs while attending the Golden Globes in 2010. Lucas has been nominated for two Golden Globes: one in 1974 for American Graffiti and another in 1978 for Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope. 17 of 21 2006: Accepting the National Medal of Technology Mark Wilson/Getty Lucas, who founded the motion picture visual effects company Industrial Light & Magic in 1975, accepted the National Medal of Technology from President George Bush in 2006 alongside the company's president, Chrissie England. 18 of 21 2012: George Lucas Is Presented with the National Medal of Arts MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty In 2012, Lucas was awarded with the National Media of Arts by President Barack Obama, with the Star Wars creator being honored for his "contributions to American cinema," with the National Endowment of the Arts saying, "By combining the art of storytelling with boundless imagination and cutting-edge techniques, Mr. Lucas has transported us to new worlds and created some of the most beloved and iconic films of all time." 19 of 21 2013: Lucas weds Mellody Hobson Kevin Mazur/WireImage After meeting Mellody Hobson in 2006, George Lucas and the businesswoman wed in 2013 at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch. Hobson told Oprah in 2012 of their relationship: "I think it works because we are extraordinarily open-minded people and we're open to what the universe brings us. I think we didn't have preconceived ideas about what a partnership should be and so we allowed ourselves to discover something that was unexpected." The pair share one daughter, Everest, who was born in August 2013. 20 of 21 2015: George Lucas Takes on a New Role Jason Merritt/Getty While Lucas semi-retired with the sale of Lucasfilm to Walt Disney (for a whopping $4.05 billion!), he continued to work as a creative consultant on the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Here, he attends the premiere of The Force Awakens with the film's director, J.J. Abrams, who he hand-picked to direct the films. Lucas' son, Jett, told The Guardian in 2013 that his father was "constantly talking to J.J. ... He is there to guide, whenever, he'll help where he can. At the same time, he wants to let it go and become its new generation." 21 of 21 2019: George Lucas at the Opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge (L-R) Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, Harrison Ford, and Mark Hamill. Richard Harbaugh/Disneyland Resort via Getty In 2019, Lucas joined forces (get it?) with original franchise stars Billy Dee Williams, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill for the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland theme park.