George Lucas' Career in Photos

George Lucas, the Academy Award nominated Star Wars and Indiana Jones creator, turns 78 on May 14, 2022

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George Lucas' Life in Photos

A portrait of the American producer-director George Lucas, taken in Munich, Germany. Lucas' credits include Star Wars, Indiana Jones and American Graffiti.
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.

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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

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1977: In a Galaxy Far, Far Away

British actor Alec Guinness with American director, screenwriter and producer George Lucas on the set of his movie Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.
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.'"

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1983: Return of the Jedi

American director, screenwriter and producer George Lucas looks at the Death Star from 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.

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1988: George Lucas on the Set of Willow

American actor and director Ron Howard, actor Dawn Downing, American director and producer George Lucas, and British actor Warwick Davis discuss a scene on the set of the fantasy feature film, 'Willow,' 1988.
Lucasfilm/MGM/Courtesy of Getty

In 1988, Lucas teamed up with director Ron Howard for a fantasy film, Willow.

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1990: Presenting an Honorary Award

Steven Spielberg, Akira Kurosawa and George Lucas attends the 62nd Academy Awards circa 1990 in Los Angeles, California
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.

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1992: Being Honored at the Academy Awards

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award recipient George Lucas stands with director Steven Spielberg at the 64th annual Academy Awards March 30, 1992 in Los Angeles, CA. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded five Oscars to the film "Silence of the Lambs."
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.

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1994: Congrats, Grads

George Lucas during USC's 111th Commencement Ceremony for the 1994 Graduates - May 5, 1994 at Memorial Park in Los Angeles, California, United States.
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.

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1997: Celebrating the Release of Star Wards: Special Edition

George Lucas, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill with R2-D2, Darth Vader, C-3PO and Chewbacca
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.

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1999: George Lucas with His Daughters

Beverly Hills, CA. Director, George Lucas ("Star Wars") with his daughters at the 56th Annual Golden Globe Awards.
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.

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1999: Meeting with Royalty

Prince Charles (L) greets director George Lucas (R), while stars Ewan (2nd R) McGregor and Natalie Portman (3rd R) look on at the Royal Premiere of Star Wars: Episode 1, The Phantom Menace, at Leicester Square, London.
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.

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2001: Presenting at the MTV Movie Awards

George Lucas & Sofia Coppola during 2001 MTV Movie Awards - Press Room at Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California, United States.

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.

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2005: Joking Around with a Stormtrooper in Cannes

Director George Lucas jokes with a Storm Trooper at the "Star Wars III Revenge of the Sith" screening after party at Le Baoli during the 58th International Cannes Film Festival May 15, 2005 in Cannes, France.
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.

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2007: Lucas Helps Present at the Academy Awards

Martin Scorsese (2nd from left), winner Best Director for ?The Departed? with presenters Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas during the The 79th Annual Academy Awards - Press Room at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles, California.
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.

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2008: Attending the Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Premiere

Actor Harrison Ford (L) and Executive producer and writer George Lucas attend "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" Japan Premiere at the National Yoyogi Gymnasium on June 5, 2008 in Tokyo, Japan. The film will open on June 21 in Japan.
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.

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2010: George Lucas at the Golden Globes

Tom Hanks and George Lucas during the 67th Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 17, 2010
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.

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2006: Accepting the National Medal of Technology

President George W. Bush (R) presents Director George Lucas (L) and Chrissie England, President of Industrial Light & Magic, with the National Medal of Science and Technology award in the East Room of the White House February 13, 2006 in Washington, DC. The National Medal of Science is the nations? highest scientific honor established by Congress in 1959.
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.

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2012: George Lucas Is Presented with the National Medal of Arts

US President Barack Obama presents the 2012 National Medal of Arts to director George Lucas during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House on July 10, 2013 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Mandel NGAN

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."

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2013: Lucas weds Mellody Hobson

Mellody Hobson and George Lucas during Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People 2007 - Cocktail Party and Dinner at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, New York, United States.
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.

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2015: George Lucas Takes on a New Role

Filmmaker George Lucas (L) and writer-director J.J. Abrams attend the Premiere of Walt Disney Pictures and Lucasfilm's 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' on December 14, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
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."

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2019: George Lucas at the Opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge

Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, Harrison Ford and Mark Hamill
(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.

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