Lucas was born in Modesto, California, in May 1944. He is the son of Dorothy Ellinore Lucas and George Walton Lucas Sr., and he is descended from Germans, Swiss-Germans, English, Scots, and to a much lesser extent Dutch and French people. Lucas and his family were among the first guests to Disneyland during its initial week in July 1955, and he never lost his enthusiasm for the theme park.
Early Life of George
George Lucas wanted to be a race car driver when he was younger, but following a possibly catastrophic accident in high school in which another motorist broadsided him, Lucas’ ambitions switched dramatically.
Lucas’ father had a stationery store and hoped that after George graduated from high school, he would work for him. George, on the other hand, wanted to go to art school and announced, when he left home that he was resolved to be a millionaire by the age of 30.
During his childhood, he was fascinated by science and mechanics, and he spent a lot of time going to movie theatres to watch science fiction serials like Flash Gordon. Lucas has always had a strong drive to be completely in charge of whatever he does, despite his early creative ability, his willingness to think outside the box, and his desire to think outside the box.
During his time at Modesto Junior College, Lucas became enthusiastic about photography and filmmaking. He started small: filming car races and other footage with an 8 mm camera.
He eventually transferred to the University of Southern California where he befriended fellow filmmaker Steven Spielberg and won accolades during his postgraduate studies, including a Warner Brothers student scholarship. His 1967 student film, Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, was transformed into his first feature-length picture, THX 1138, in 1971.
American Graffiti, which garnered five Academy Award nominations and generated $115 million in domestic revenue alone and $140 million globally, was the result of this project’s bad reception. American Graffiti is regarded as one of the most profitable pictures of all time, as it was produced with a budget of $777,000.
Personal Life & Relationships of George Lucas
From 1969 to 1983, Lucas was married to film editor Marcia Lou Griffin, who won an Academy Award for her work on the first Star Wars. In 1981, they adopted a daughter, Amanda Lucas.
As a single father, Lucas adopted two more children: Katie Lucas (born in 1988) and Jett Lucas (b. 1993). His three children appeared in all three prequels of Star Wars. In the 1980s, Lucas also dated singer “Linda Ronstadt”. In the 1980s, George Lucas was romantically involved with the singer Linda Ronstadt after going through a divorce.
In 2006, Lucas started a relationship with Mellody Hobson, who is currently the chair of DreamWorks Animation and the president of Ariel Investments. After seven years of dating, Lucas married Mellody Hobson (head of DreamWorks Animation) in 2013. They got married at the Skywake Ranch owned by Lucas. In 2013, one daughter was born to them via surrogate.
George Lucas is a $10 billion net worth director, writer, producer, and businessman. He is most known for inventing the Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises, each of which has grossed over $12 billion in global box office ticket sales. He also founded the production business Lucasfilm as well as the technical effects company Industrial Light and Magic.
With a net worth of $10 billion, George Lucas is by far the wealthiest celebrity in the world, the wealthiest director, and the wealthiest individual in the entertainment industry. Lucas has signed the philanthropic “Giving Pledge”, stating that he intends to contribute at least half of his wealth to charity before or at his death.
George sold the Star Wars franchise rights to Disney for $4 billion in cash and shares in 2012. Lucas received $2.21 billion in cash and 37 million shares (37,076,677) of stock that traded for approximately $50 at the time.
Therefore, he received $1.85 billion worth of Disney shares upon the closing of the purchase. With his share count and Disney’s semi-annual $0.88 payout, Lucas receives around $64 million annually in dividends. With Disney’s share price hitting $200 in March 2021, these 37 million shares were worth $7.4 billion.
Net Worth From “The Star War”
On its release date of May 25, 1977, both critics and audiences responded enthusiastically to the picture Star Wars. Audiences couldn’t get enough of global themes, innovative storytelling, and classic entertainment.
Star Wars became the highest-grossing film of all time with an initial gross of $550 million. The original Star Wars film (now retitled Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope) was cooperation, despite the fact that George Lucas is unquestionably the mastermind behind the franchise.
This is when Lucas’s intelligence and willingness to take risks shine through, and this is also where the story takes a turn for the more interesting: Lucas was offered a respectable $500,000 salary to direct Star Wars after the film was rejected by virtually all major studios (a sunny Western in space was a tough sell in an era of cinematic antiheroes and grim realism), with the exception of Fox.
This would be equivalent to about $1.5 million in today’s dollars. Lucas made an offer to receive a salary of $150,000 in exchange for retaining the rights to any prospective sequels and merchandising based on his films.
How did George Lucas become famous?
Along with colleagues and collaborators like Francis Ford Coppola, Brian De Palma, and, of course, Steven Spielberg, Lucas is one of the most prominent voices of the era’s New Hollywood movement.
Lucas and Coppola formed the San Francisco-based production firm American Zoetrope in 1969. In 1971, Spielberg adapted THX 1138, a novel about a dystopian future in which android cops govern and people are forced to take emotion-suppressing medicines, into a feature picture that has since received critical praise and cult classic status.
Lucas started Lucasfilm in 1971 to have more control over his projects. American Graffiti, his 1973 dramedy on the 1960s cruising lifestyle, was a hit. American Graffiti was a critical darling and global smash, earning Lucas Best Picture and Best Director Oscar nominations. Success and notoriety gave Lucas sway over his next endeavor. Studio officials were surprised when he chose space opera.
Lucas Received Awards And Honor
Lucas received four Academy Award nominations, including Best Director and Best Writing for American Graffiti and Star Wars. In 1991, he earned the Irving G. Thalberg Award from the Academy.
In 2007, he came alongside Steven Spielberg and Francis Ford Coppola at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony to give the Best Director trophy to their friend Martin Scorsese. During their address, Spielberg and Coppola discussed the delight of winning an Oscar, mocking Lucas, who has yet to win a competitive Oscar.
President Barack Obama presented George Lucas the National Medal of Arts in July 2013 for his contributions to American cinema. Lucas was awarded Honorary Membership in the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers in October 2014.
Lucas was designated as a Disney Legend in August 2015, and he was honored at the Kennedy Center Honors on December 6, 2015. In 2021, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Lucasfilm, a stormtrooper-clad action figure of George Lucas was released as part of Hasbro’s Star Wars: The Black Series.
Why did George Lucas sell Star Wars?
To put it simply, George didn’t want to miss out on experiencing a normal life while he still had the chance. George acknowledged that the decision was extremely painful in an interview for the book, The Star Wars Archives 1999-2005 (via SlashFilm).
Who owns Star Wars now?
Disney acquired “Toy Story” creator Pixar in 2006 for $7.4 billion. The company became the owner of the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises following the purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012. In August 2009, Disney bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion.