84. George Lucas: The Man Behind Star Wars

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George Lucas is an American screenwriter, producer, and director, who is known mostly for his popular Star Wars series of movies. He is a California native who graduated from the University of Southern California, where he learned how to create films. His interest in special effects, and science fiction were the driving force behind the Star Wars franchise, which he launched in 1977. Star Wars has become one of the largest and most successful film franchises in the history of Hollywood.

Born in Modesto, California on May 14, 1944, Lucas developed an early passion for fast cars racing. Before moving on to the film school at USC, Lucas raced cars throughout the central California region he grew up in. At USC, Lucas was fascinated by the filmmaking process. In 1967, one of his films won a national student film festival contest. That film was released years later as THX 1138, which won critical acclaim.

Although Lucas is forever tied to his Star Wars series of films, he has been involved in several Hollywood blockbusters, including American Graffiti, and the Indiana Jones movies. He earned critical acclaim for these films as well. Star Wars, however, is his legacy. When the original film was first shown in 1977, Americans were captivated by it. The film depicts a fictional universe where good battles evil with good coming out on top. Americans wanted more, and Lucas was quick to accommodate them. His sequels The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi, became two of the most anticipated films in recent history and both did very well at the box office.

In 1999, Lucas gave the American movie-going public what they wanted most - more Star Wars. The Phantom Menace was the first of the next three films, and continued the legacy of the film franchise of Lucas.

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