You don't have to be a Star Wars super fan to know who George Lucas is. The acclaimed filmmaker, who is also known for writing the story behind the Indiana Jones series, has been one of Hollywood's greatest names for more than 40 years. But here are some fascinating facts you may not know about George Lucas.
1. George Lucas didn't always want to be a filmmaker.
George Lucas did not always want to be a filmmaker. In fact, it was only after a handful of other careers failed that Lucas made his way into show business. According to The Hollywood Reporter as a teenager, Lucas dreamed of becoming a professional racing driver until an almost fatal accident while he was at school derailed these plans. After graduating from high school, Lucas tried to join the Air Force but was rejected because he had too many tickets.
2. George Lucas once worked as a cameraman for the Rolling Stones.
One of Lucas' earliest film jobs was working as a cameraman for Gimme Shelter Albert and David Maysle’s highly acclaimed 1
3. George Lucas & # 39; dog was an important influence on his work.
Alaskan Malamute Lucas had two iconic characters when he wrote the first Star Wars film: The dog's name, Indiana, became the name of Harrison Ford's character in the series Indiana Jones . And the look of Chewbacca, Han Solo's loyal sidekick in the Star Wars series was based on Lucas' puppy.
“I had an Alaskan malamute when I wrote the film Star Wars. Episode IV: A New Hope ] ”, Lucas once announced. “As a very cute dog, she always sat next to me when I wrote. And when I drove around, she was sitting in the front seat. A malamute is a very large dog – like a 130 pound heavier and taller than a human and very long-haired. "
4. Star Wars was not an easy sale for George Lucas.
While the Star Wars franchise has become one of the most successful film series in film history, the first film was not immediately accepted by potential supporters. According to Lucas, his "space opera" was rejected by both United Artists and Universal. And only because of the success of his previous film, American Graffiti from 1975 did he get the people of 20th Century Fox to believe in him. Really, Lucas couldn't blame them for being skeptical of its commercial appeal. "It was crazy – spaceships and wookies and robots," said Lucas. "It was just different from anything that had ever been seen before."
5. George Lucas based Han Solo partly on Francis Ford Coppola.
The reason why Han Solo from the Star Wars series is so endearing could be that he relied loosely on one of Lucas' good friends after spending time with director Francis Ford Coppola had spent on the set of Apocalypse Now Lucas decided to add Han some of the characteristics of the Oscar winner.
6. George Lucas won a razzie.
Although Lucas was nominated for four Oscars, two Golden Globes and three Emmy Awards and various other prestigious awards, he received five Golden Raspberry (or Razzie) nominations to celebrate the worst films of a given year. Between 1989 and 2003, Lucas received five Razzie nominations and eventually took home the worst screenplay award in 2003 (for Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones ).
7. George Lucas & # 39; Favorite Character Star Wars is … Jar Jar Binks. (Yes, really.)
Although the Star Wars universe is filled with hundreds of memorable characters, to the horror of many fans, Lucas has long claimed that the vicious Jar Jar Binks is his favorite Character. The goofy gungan seen in the prequels is widely regarded as the most unlikely character in the series. Earlier this year, when Lucas spoke about the 20th anniversary of The Phantom Menace he said that the 1999 film was one of his favorites in the series "and of course Jar Jar is my favorite character". (Yes, he was dead serious.)
8. George Lucas was housemate of another famous director.
Many members of Lucas' group of friends, including Ron Howard and Steven Spielberg, became famous writers and directors themselves. Like Lucas' roommate at college, Grease director Randal Kleiser.
"[George and I] arrived at the USC at the same time," Kleiser said to Bustle in 2015. “He had a house in Topanga Canyon and needed a roommate, so I moved in. I had the lower half of the house and he had the upper one. We worked on each other's first films. I was an actor in his first film and he did some of my stuff. Kleiser also revealed that this resulted in the late Carrie Fisher who played Leia Organa in Star Wars being considered for the role of Sandy in Grease .
9. George Lucas stood in front of Congress to argue against changing classic films.
In 1988, Lucas and Steven Spielberg went to Washington, DC to speak to Congress about the need to adopt the Bern Convention, a global agreement that protects an artist's copyright worldwide and makes it illegal for someone to change it. (Ted Turner's preference for the coloration of classic black and white films was a thorn in the side of many filmmakers at the time.)
"People who are works of art and our cultural heritage for profit or as an exercise in changing or destroying power are barbarians," said Lucas. " [And] If the laws of the United States continue to tolerate this behavior, history will certainly classify us as a barbaric society. "Of course Lucas would later digitally change some of his own films, much to the annoyance of the purists of Star Wars .
10. George Lucas plans to give half of his fortune away.
Lucas – Wer The driving force behind some of the highest-grossing films of all time and selling his Lucas film to Disney for $ 4 billion has an estimated net worth of around $ 6.1 billion, but philanthropy, especially when it comes to Improving education is always part of Lucas’s life. In 2010 he signed the Giving Pledge, a promise to give half of his assets away for life.
"I dedicate most of my assets to Improving Education, "Lucas wrote in a 2010 editorial for The Hollywood Reporter :" It is the key to human survival. We need to plan our collective future – and the first step begins with the social, emotional, and intellectual tools that we provide to our children. As a human being, our greatest survival tool is our ability to think and adapt – as educators, storytellers and communicators, it is our responsibility to continue to do so. "