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George Walton Lucas Jr. (born May 14, 1944) is an American filmmaker and entrepreneur. Lucas is known for creating the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises and founding Lucasfilm, LucasArts and Industrial Light & Magic. He served as chairman of Lucasfilm before selling it to The Walt Disney Company in 2012.After graduating from the University of Southern California in 1967, Lucas co-founded American Zoetrope with filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. Lucas wrote and directed THX 1138 (1971), based on his earlier student short Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which was a critical success but a financial failure. His next work as a writer-director was the film American Graffiti (1973), inspired by his youth in early 1960s Modesto, California, and produced through the newly founded Lucasfilm. The film was critically and commercially successful, and received five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.
Lucas’ next film, the epic space opera Star Wars (1977), had a troubled production but was a surprise hit, becoming the highest-grossing film at the time, winning six Academy Awards and sparking a cultural phenomenon. Lucas produced and co-wrote the sequels The Empire Strikes Back (1980) and Return of the Jedi (1983). With director Steven Spielberg, he created, produced and co-wrote the Indiana Jones films Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Temple of Doom (1984), and The Last Crusade (1989). He also produced and wrote a variety of films through Lucasfilm in the 1980s and 1990s and during this same period Lucas’ LucasArts developed high-impact video games, including Maniac Mansion (1987), The Secret of Monkey Island (1990) and Grim Fandango (1998) alongside many video games based on the Star Wars universe.
In 1997, Lucas rereleased the Star Wars trilogy as part of a Special Edition, featuring several alterations; home media versions with further changes were released in 2004 and 2011. He returned to directing with the Star Wars prequel trilogy, comprising The Phantom Menace (1999), Attack of the Clones (2002), and Revenge of the Sith (2005). He later collaborated on served as executive producer for the war film Red Tails (2012) and wrote the CGI film Strange Magic (2015).
Lucas is one of the American film industry’s most financially successful filmmakers and has been nominated for four Academy Awards. His films are among the 100 highest-grossing movies at the North American box office, adjusted for ticket-price inflation. Lucas is considered a significant figure in the New Hollywood era.