May the 40th (Anniversary) Be With You! Far-Out Facts on 'Star Wars' Creator George Lucas

May 25th marks the 40th anniversary of 'Star Wars.' Since fans know pretty much all there is to know about the film franchise, we thought it'd be fun to explore non-'Star Wars' trivia on creator George Lucas.
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Mark Hamill George Lucas Han Solo Photo

Mark Hamill, George Lucas, and Harrison Ford on the set of 'Star Wars.'

Lucas aspired to be a race car driver.

George Lucas had a need for speed! In the early 1960s, he was part of the underground racing scene in California, but after getting into a serious car accident, he gravitated towards film.

Lucas rubbed elbows with future famous industry friends.

As a University of Southern California film student, Lucas had a roster of famous classmates:

  • Lucas' roommate was Randal Kleiser who would go on to direct Grease.
  • John Milius would become the screenwriter for Apocalypse Now and Red Dawn.
  • Walter Murch would become an editor and sound designer for Apocalypse Now and Lucas' first feature, THX 1138.

Lucas' mentor was Francis Ford Coppola.

Lucas was Francis Ford Coppola's student intern for his 1968 musical Finian's Rainbow and then later helped the director on The Rain People. The two would work together on Lucas' American Graffiti, which Lucas wrote and directed; Coppola would serve as an investor and producer.

Lucas was a camera operator for the Rolling Stones' 'Gimme Shelter' doc.

Lucas was present during the infamous Hell's Angels' stabbing at the Altamont Free Concert, but his camera malfunctioned and his footage ended up being useless.

Lucas helped Kathleen Turner's career soar.

Urging his friend Lawrence Kasdan to direct a budding actress named Kathleen Turner in 1981's Body Heat, the latter went on to appear in blockbuster hits like Romancing the Stone and Peggy Sue Got Married.

Lucas briefly dated Linda Ronstadt in the 1980s.

Lucas has been married two times and has four children. However, in between his marriages, he dated Linda Ronstadt who had just stopped dating Jim Carrey, who was a relative unknown comedian and 16 years Ronstadt's junior.

Lucas has a net worth of $5.2 billion.

What can we say? Not bad.

Lucas has never won an Oscar.

Although he's never won competitively, the Academy gave Lucas an honorary statue in 1991.