1. He is best known as the creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, as well as the founder of Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic.
2. He led Lucasfilm as chairman and chief executive before selling it to The Walt Disney Company in 2012.
3. Upon graduating from the University of Southern California in 1967, Lucas co-founded American Zoetrope with fellow filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola.
4. He wrote and directed THX 1138 , based on his earlier student short Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which was a critical success but a financial failure.
5. The film was critically and commercially successful, and received five Academy Award nominations including Best Picture.
6. Following the first Star Wars film, Lucas only produced and co-wrote the following installments in the trilogy, The Empire Strikes Back .
7. Along with Steven Spielberg, he co-created and wrote the Indiana Jones films Raiders of the Lost Ark .
8. Lucas also produced a variety of films through Lucasfilm in the 1980s and 1990s.
9. In 1997, Lucas re-released the original Star Wars trilogy as part of a Special Edition, where he made several alterations to the films.
10. These were followed by further changes for home media releases in 2004 and 2011.
11. In 1999, Lucas returned to directing with the Star Wars prequel trilogy, consisting of The Phantom Menace .
12. He later collaborated on the story for the Indiana Jones sequel Kingdom of the Crystal Skull .
13. He is also considered a significant figure in the New Hollywood era.
14. Lucas was born and raised in Modesto, California, the son of Dorothy Ellinore Lucas and George Walton Lucas, Sr., who owned a stationery store. Growing up, Lucas had a passion for cars and motor racing, which would eventually serve as inspiration for his films 1:42.08 and American Graffiti.
15. Long before Lucas became obsessed with filmmaking, he wanted to be a race-car driver, and he spent most of his high school years racing on the underground circuit at fairgrounds and hanging out at garages.
16. On June 12, 1962, while driving his souped-up Autobianchi Bianchina, another driver broadsided him, flipping over his car, nearly killing him, causing him to lose interest in racing as a career.
17. Lucas then transferred to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts.
18. USC was one of the earliest universities to have a school devoted to motion picture film.
19. During the years at USC, Lucas shared a dorm room with Randal Kleiser.
20. Along with classmates such as Walter Murch, Hal Barwood and John Milius, they became a clique of film students known as The Dirty Dozen.
21. He also became good friends with fellow acclaimed student filmmaker and future Indiana Jones collaborator, Steven Spielberg.
22. Lucas was deeply influenced by the Filmic Expression course taught at the school by filmmaker Lester Novros which concentrated on the non-narrative elements of Film Form like color, light, movement, space, and time.
23. Another inspiration was the Serbian montagist Slavko Vorkapich, a film theoretician who made stunning montage sequences for Hollywood studio features at MGM, RKO, and Paramount.