While many people are celebrating Mother’s Day with their families today, May 14 also marks another important milestone in the Star Wars universe.
George Lucas turned 73 today, having been more on this day in 1944 in Modesto, California. Lucas would go on to become a prolific filmmaker and producer in Hollywood, with his first major hit being American Graffiti in 1973. The first Star Wars film would be released four years later on May 25, 1977—that film’s 40th Anniversary is a little over a week away.
His company Lucasfilm would be responsible for many more popular films including the subsequent entries in the Star Wars saga as well as Lucas’ collaborations with Steven Spielberg, the Indiana Jones series of movies.
Though Lucas returned to the Star Wars saga in the late ‘90s to complete the prequel trilogy, he sold the company to Disney in 2012 for just over $4 billion dollars. Disney has since continued the Star Wars saga, beginning a new trilogy of films with 2015’s The Force Awakens.
Lucas announced his intention to donate a large portion of the money he took from the sale to different charities, expressing an intention to be more philanthropic now that his film career is behind him.
Most recently the George Lucas Family Foundation donated $20 million to the University of Southern California to establish the Endowed Student Support Fund for Diversity, giving financial support to students in underrepresented communities.
Lucas was recently honored at Star Wars Celebration in Orlando where he spoke with Kathleen Kennedy, Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, and other previous collaborators about his 35 years spearheading the Star Wars Universe.
Happy Birthday, George Lucas! And may the Force be with you!
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