The watched relentlessly observing all that he could.

The work of George Lucas has shaped a generation of parents and their children. The films dreamt up by George have become a huge influence on not only the film industry but the culture of millions of his fans.George Lucas was born May 14th, 1943 to his parents Dorothy Bomberger and George Lucas Sr. Raised in Modesto, California, George had a healthy childhood. His father owned one of the largest stores in the Modesto area leaving him in a good space for his childhood. Georges childhood was not much unlike many other children during the time. He spent much of this free time enthralled with toys from his father’s store as well as comic books. When the Lucas family first got a television it was a very important step towards the director he would become. On the newly acquired TV, George watched relentlessly observing all that he could. The most prominent program was the Saturday matinee serials. These serials, such as Flash Gordon, were short and sweet and always ended on a cliffhanger. This style largely influenced his work of both the star wars and Indiana Jones trilogies. Along with television, George would see some of the early movies being shown in his theater, but he never took a large liking to them. Though George had a strong family he never had the brotherly connection that he really wanted. Overall, George was a good kid with a fairly normal upbringing. Though he was very good growing up, that would change in his young adulthood.                           Through Georges teenage years he had many struggles he faced as a person. In high school, George showed very little interest in most subjects. The subjects he did appreciate were music and art classes. Out of school, George started getting into vehicles mainly cars. George took a huge liking to the machine and would spend the majority of his free time tinkering with his own car. This passion for cars would lead him to befriend kids with the same interest in cars. This crowd was not the best influence on George and that would impact his home and school life. With all these feeling and friends pulling his towards the automotive world George decided he wanted to be race car driver. During this time in George’s life, he also spent time immersing himself in more movies from abstract directors as well photography. Though those interests did not outweigh his passion for cars. At this time George was becoming very invested in these big brother figures he had met doing work on cars.  Georges father was not very happy with his son’s grade or his life decisions. An important argument that George had with his father had ended with George saying “I’ll never work in a job where I have to do the same thing over and over again every day”(Brian Jones, pg36). George arguing this is very crucial to how he ended up doing work with film, where you can do very much freely. George was very angry with his father but did want to make it through high school which he was currently not on track to graduate from. George ended up being able to graduate but only after he got into a major car crash. George had been driving down one of his common routes when we crashed his car flipping it multiple times only to survive by a miracle. The accident changed Georges rebellious perspective. George now realized how fragile the world was and wanted to continue to college with a more academic mindset. The accident, for the most part, ended Georges bad outlook on life and compelled him to go into what he most enjoyed in school, film.    Time in college for George Lucas was a very important turning point in his life. George went to hometown Modesto community college. During his community college time, George appreciated being able to choose his own classes based on interest in the subject. Having the option to choose compelled George to get through community college graduating in 1964 with an associates degree in art. During his time working in college, he started to appreciate photography and drawing. He loved the idea of being able to work in one of those fields. The major problem was that his father did not share that same passion for art that George had. A longtime friend John Plummer asked George to apply to the same college as him, University of Southern California. George wasn’t sure what his chances were to make it in but he was willing to give it a try. And this application changed Georges future for the better. After being accepted by what seems to be a miracle, George moved out to USC to begin the most important chapter in his life. After heading off to college George was able to find his clique after a very short amount of time. George felt right at home in his film film classes. He began to appreciate the techniques from the movies he studied, and was able to make a few short films during his time in college. Though these films were small, some of them were very impressive to his colleges. In college, George didn’t often engage in many outgoing events that most other students partook in. Instead, George spend a large amount of his free time writing down and drawing ideas for film projects. As George got into his final year in college he was able to work on large projects. In one short he created called “Freiheit”, he was able to start working with film narrative. Thought this narrative was simple it was a chance for him to start thinking outside the box with film.  In film school students are always looking for inspiration, George was no different. He loved many aspects of many different films and many he used in his later movies. Eventually, after making around 3 short films George would find his place in the editing room. Though many didn’t appreciate George’s editing the DKA frats leader, Howard Kazanjian, took a liking to George Lucas. George was grateful to Howard who would later help produce some of his future movies. After creating a short film with a team of classmates, which he took most of the credit for, George finished his senior year at USC in 1966 with a bachelor’s degree. After college George had a very limited amount of options to find a job to make a living. After college George would meet many great people that would boost him to become the director he wanted to be.In 1968 George met Francis Ford Coppola, this man would help George finally put some of his idea to good use. Shortly after meeting Coppola, George and he became great friends and colleges. Coppola was wrapping up a project he was working, and directly after he asked George to help him with his next movie. George was hesitant but Coppola had also given him the chance to finance the start of a full THX 1138 movie. This was the start of Georges career in film. About a year and a half later George and Coppola had finished the film The Rainmaker and had sent in the script George had for THX 1138. The executives didn’t see any potential and said the script was a no go. Though this was a sad moment for George it was turned around rather quickly. Due to the success of another movie “Easy Rider”, producers were starting to see the money that could be made working with younger directors. Coppola was able to persuade a producer to allot money to the friends for movies to come as well as THX 1138. George was very happy and quickly went to work finding locations and such to film his movie. Alongs with the budget to film THX coppola gained money to work on projects of his own such as the famous Apocalypse Now. In early 1969 George started filming THX 1138, and finished in late 1969. After shooting all there was left to do was edit the footage which george was happy to do. After months of editing the film was sent to Warner Bros for review. Not liking the message of the movie the executives asked for a revised edit of the film. Without much a choice the film was revised and screened again. This screening just like the first was greatly received. This made George furious with warner bros, and also coppola.George and coppola had a temporary falling out which resulted in George leaving Zoetrope.Soon after,George created his own production company LucasFilms Ltd in 1971. Though Warner Bros didn’t appreciate what George was going for, they did distribute the film as they promised. Not a huge success came from THX 1138, but that only inspired George to create a movie that would be more widely acceptable. This came to be American Graffiti. Lucas then went out to find backers for his new project and did in mid 1971. He then began quick work on the script. The script was hard process with George struggling with money barely hanging on. Eventually George had the chance to talk to partner with Universal, which he took gleefully. From 1972-1973 American Graffiti was filmed. During the process of American Graffiti,George had success and met many people that would support him in his upcoming movie. Lucas was very happy with what this movie had become and was ready to share it with the rest of the world. Unlike THX there was potential seen in Georges new movie. The only problem was the studio wanted to make slight edits to the film. George hated the idea of letting the studio executives handle his film. A deal was stuck with Universal to allow George to edit his film following the studios recommendations. Once the movie was finally released people were very satisfied with it. The movie became a hot topic among reviewers and was considered a great success. The Success of American Graffiti boosted George and gave him the confidence and finances he need to work on projects he really wanted to. Projects like the little known Star Wars.The most important success in George Lucas’s career was the creation of star wars. Using details from movie he loved here and there. He created a passion project that would consume years and years of his life. For three years George wrote a massive script that would become the original star wars trilogy. This script went through immense tweaks throughout its lifetime but always focused on what George wanted, a space drama. With the script being through multiple drafts George was ready to find a studio to help make this film. The company willing to help George was 20th Century Fox. With the best deal, Fox agreed to finance the movie for 8 millions dollars. For this expansive of a movie, it was not nearly enough. This budget would become a large problem through the movies creation. From 1976- 1977 Star Wars was filmed. The filming process for this movie was unlike what George expected. There were constant setbacks, weather it be money, weather problems, set pieces not breaking, costume malfunctions. Anything that went wrong did. Not only with sets and props, George did change around some details in the script to allow for movies to come if there could be. Due to large amount of problems filming the movie was delayed from its original release date, as well it required more money from the Fox. During this time in the filming process George was very depressed by how so many things went wrong on a regular basis.  After constantly haggling Fox for cash to complete filming it was time edit the movie. This is where George and his team shined was in the audio and visual effects Star Wars was able to bring about. Finally during the first screening of the movie, everyone loved it. The movie turned out completely opposite of what George thought it would. Once the madness that was Star Wars was over, George went on vacation. After this success George went on to make empire strikes back and return of the jedi. During the filming of these next star wars movie george and old friend Steven Spielberg got to together and proposed the idea of Indiana Jones. These movie would have a similar format to the Star Wars. The Indiana Jones movies would become another great work of George Lucas. Though the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies where huge financial successes, where george made his fortune was in toys. Since the original star wars release up to 2014 around 20 billion dollars was made from merchandise. This success from not only the movies and the toys that follow made George and those who worked on it very wealthy. AWhen looking back on how George Lucas was an impact on the work there are many factors that are important. One way he impacted the world was his style of film. George since his early years was one to be inspired by what he saw. When it came to movie he was inspired by the styles of other directors. Many scenes from Star Wars a new hope could be traced to movies from his younger days. An example being the lightsaber battle between Obi-wan and Darth Vader was very similar to a battle in the movie Seven Samurai by Akira Kurosawa. Another inspired style was very obviously from his favored matinee serials such as Flash Gordon. Though he was very sparked by others styles he brought them to the wider audience. Before star wars not there where almost no sci-fi movies that retained any success. After the release of these movies it brought a new era of science fiction movies, such as Ridley Scott’s Alien and The Terminator by James Cameron. Another way George Lucas impacted film was with American Graffitis music. In American Graffiti, George wanted the music to seem like part of the world and flow accordingly. This style of using music in film is very present in movies today such as the new baby driver, pulp fiction, and o brother where art thou (Brian Jones,Pg 154). Letting music become part of the movie and not letting it become an exact musical is something that its very important to new music certialized films. Though George was inspired a lot of structure based styles to movies, one thing that he excelled in was his vision for special effects. During Star Wars there where many practical effects used when shooting the original star wars trilogy, but it became very apparent the importance of the the graphical effects. At the time they were very limited and time consuming. As the years went on and more and more action and sci-fi movies where coming out,and so did the use of special effects. After star wars many directors strived to have higher quality of effects to showcase in their movies to combat star wars. An example being the effects in ridley scott’s alien to return of the jedi. Going back to sound in George Lucas movies, he tried to have every set have its own feel. During the tie-fighter and x-wing fights each ship has its own ambiance. These slight things that largely went unnoticed where important to shaping atmosphere in the movies. This technique is used in many later sci-fi movies such as blade runner and again alien. Another way George changed the way science fiction movies looked was in his set design. In star wars and indiana jones, the sets and costumes were made with the idea of a world that had been used and reused. “characters and their clothing to buildings and battleships—looked elegant yet slightly worn, giving his work the same “used universe” aesthetic that Lucas had brought to THX and was hoping to repeat again in Star Wars.” (Brian Jones,pg 188-89). This still would greatly impact almost any sci-fi movie that would come out following star wars.

Written by