George Lucas is an American director, writer, producer and technology entrepreneur. Lucas is the creator of the Star Wars franchise, having directed and written four of the movies (including the first Star Wars released in 1977.) He also founded Industrial Light & Magic, a special effects company that revolutionized special effects technology; Pixar Animation, which was later sold to Apple; and THX Sound Systems.
George’s middle name is Walton and he is also a junior. He was born in Modesto, California on May 14, 1944.
Raised in a Methodist household, the young George attended Methodist church while growing up. His curiosity as a child helped fuel his interest in peoples’ beliefs:
“When I was 10 years old, I asked my mother — I said, ‘Well, if there’s only one God, why are there so many religions?’ And over the years — I’ve been pondering that question ever since. And it would seem to me that the conclusion that I’ve come to is that all the religions are true, they just see a different part of the elephant.” (1)
As Lucas entered adulthood, he found his spiritual beliefs evolving. In particular, Lucas learned about eastern religions such as Buddhism. This was to have a major impact with Lucas when he came to write down the first Star Wars movie and in coming up with the concept of the Force.
When pressed, Lucas claims to be a “Buddhist Methodist”, which we suppose is someone that believes in a God but also a universal spirituality. “I think there is a God. No question. What that God is, or what we know about that God I’m not sure,” Lucas explained. (2)
Lucas leans heavily to the left and has supported Democratic candidates in the past.
“I grew up in the ’60s. I grew up in San Francisco. And so I’m informed in a certain kind of way about, you know, believing in democracy and believing in America. And I’m a very ardent patriot,” Lucas told Charlie Rose in a 2005 interview. (1) “But I’m also a very ardent believer in democracy, not capitalist democracy. And I do not believe that the rich should be able to buy the government. And that’s just the way I feel.”
Lucas’ thoughts on democracy and government were baked into the stories of the Star Wars prequel trilogy. “George knew that eight-year-olds, for whom these films are primarily intended, are very impressionable, and he wanted to make the right impression,” said Ian McDiarmid, the actor who portrayed evil Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars. At the time McDiarmid was making Revenge of the Sith.
“So the whole film is about the unnecessary rise of fascism. In other words: watch out, they’re all after your freedom, particularly when they’re talking about defending freedom. Without getting over-extended about it, that is at the heart of these movies.” (4)
When Lucas sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney for $4 billion dollars, he compared the company to “white slavers”. Lucas felt that Disney would only seek to maximize their return on investment and minimize any risk-taking with future Star Wars movies. (5)
As recently as 2012, Lucas still sees himself as that same left-leaning political upstart. “I’m a ’60s, West Coast, liberal, radical, artsy, dyed-in-the-wool 99 percenter before there was such a thing,” he told CBS News. (6)
Lucas is married to Mellody Hobson, a former film executive and financial investor. The couple have one daughter, Everest Hobson Lucas, born in 2013.
During the 1980s and 90s Lucas adopted three children: Amanda (born 1981), Katie (1988) and son Jett (born 1993).
In 1969 Lucas married Marcia Lou Griffin, a film editor. Marcia Lucas was the editor for George’s first movies including the original Star Wars for which she won an Oscar. The couple divorced in 1983.
After his marriage to Marcia ended, George had a long-term relationship with singer Linda Ronstadt.
With the fantastic financial success of Star Wars, George Lucas has given away hundreds of millions of his money to various charitable organizations and endeavors.