George Lucas has written, directed and produced some of the most iconic films to ever appear on the silver screen. With Lucas' latest project, ‘Strange Magic,’ arriving in theaters, get reacquainted with the legendary talent's most memorable films.
THX 1138 (1971)
George Lucas co-founded the filmmaking company American Zoetrope with his friend (and fellow filmmaker) Francis Ford Coppola in 1969. The first film they released was a feature-length version of Lucas’ award-winning student film, ‘THX 1138.’ Set in the future, it tells the story of a controlled, emotionless society where all forms of affection are outlawed. Robert Duvall plays THX, a man who begins to rebel against the system after his government-prescribed medication is switched, causing him to regain the ability to fall in love again.
American Graffiti (1973)
This semi-autobiographical film captures a time in America so perfectly, and audiences couldn’t get enough of it or its music. Taking place on a single night in 1962, it focuses on a group of friends whose lives are about to go in opposite directions. Featuring future stars Richard Dreyfus, Ron Howard, and Harrison Ford, 'Graffiti' was a hit at the box office and received five Oscar nominations.
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
After being turned down by numerous studios, Lucas made what became not only the biggest blockbuster of its day, but also one of the biggest franchises in film history. ‘Star Wars’ took home seven Oscars, with Lucas receiving two nominations himself.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Created in the vein of the exciting film serials of the 1930s, Lucas brought one of the most beloved adventurers in the history of film to life – the one and only Indiana Jones. Directed by Steven Spielberg, 'Raiders' finds Indy in pursuit of the Ark of the Covenant. Filled with cliffhangers, near misses, and evil Nazis, 'Raiders' spawned three sequels and started an iconic film franchise.
Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)
The final installment in Lucas' first 'Star Wars' trilogy, 'Jedi' finds our heroes squaring off against Jabba the Hutt, Darth Vader and the evil Emperor -- just as the Empire is building a new Death Star. The new 'Star Wars' film, 'The Force Awakens,' will pick up three decades after the events of 'Jedi.'
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
George Lucas produced the second installment of the ‘Indiana Jones’ series, this time taking the famed archeologist to India, where he comes across a Temple of Doom while searching for a very precious stone. With Harrison Ford reprising his role and Steven Spielberg directing again, 'Doom' was a box office success despite its darker tone.
Stepping away from his own films, Lucas produced this cult-favorite, Jim Henson fantasy. Directed by Henson and starring David Bowie, the magical tale tells the story of a young girl left in charge of her baby brother, who she wishes was a goblin. When her fantasy becomes a reality, she must brave a labyrinth in order to rescue him.
Tucker: The Man and his Dream (1988)
‘With Lucas serving as producer and friend Francis Ford Coppola directing, these two brought to life the underrated story of renegade car designer Preston Tucker (Jeff Bridges). 'Tucker' costars Martin Landau and Joan Allen, with the former winning a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
The third installment of the ‘Indiana Jones’ franchise pairs Harrison Ford with the great Sean Connery, who plays Jones’ father. The two team up on a search for the Holy Grail, ditching 'Doom's' darker tone in favor of delivering some of the series' funniest moments.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
16 years after ‘Return of the Jedi’ hit theaters, Lucas returned to ‘Star Wars’ for the prequel trilogy, beginning with 'The Phantom Menace.’ Starring Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, Natalie Portman and Samuel L. Jackson, it follows the story of two Jedi Knights who come across a young boy named Anakin Skywalker -- the once and future Darth Vader. They also find Jar-Jar Binks, and the less said about that, the better.
Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)
Set ten years after 'Episode I,' Hayden Christensen plays an older Anakin, now Obi-Wan's padawan, in a story that finds him at odds with his Jedi code when he falls in love with Padme (Natalie Portman). All of this builds to a climatic battle between the forces of good and evil, with Yoda getting his first (and very active) lightsaber fight.
Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)
The last 'Star Wars' movie Lucas would direct, 'Sith' closes out the prequels with Anakin crossing over to the Dark Side to become Darth Vader. The film's gritty and grizzly final battle pushes the limits of its PG-13 rating, giving fans one of the series' darkest entries yet.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Returning for one more ‘Indy’ adventure, George Lucas developed the story that pal Steven Spielberg would once again direct, this time with Indy joining forces with his son (Shia LaBeouf) to find a mysterious Crystal Skull. The pulpy Cold War setting gives way to Indy's first encounter with aliens, one which proved to be less successful with fans than previous installments.
Red Tails (2012)
This passion project for producer Lucas centers on World War II's Tuskegee Airmen. Due to segregation, these African-American pilots were kept from fighting in the war until the Allied forces in Europe sustained deep loses. Starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr., 'Red Tails' overcomes its narrative shortcomings with impressive aerial combat sequences.
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