George Lucas Decoded: Four Decades of Hollywood Domination

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On the Early Track to Success

Believe it or not, Lucas’s first love was not film. As a teenager, the California native dreamt of becoming a racecar driver, but a life-threatening car accident put a halt to his Speed Racer ambitions. He wound up attending the University of Southern California to study film. There, he honed his skills as a filmmaker, and achieved mainstream success seven years later with his second feature, American Graffiti. Not only was the 1973 coming-of-age flick a critical hit, earning Lucas Academy Award nominations for Best Director and Best Screenplay, but it also raked in some serious dough. Costing an estimated $777,000 to produce, the film grossed $115 million domestically. That’s more than $50 for every dollar spent on production and distribution, making Lucas an instant millionaire before the age of 30.

On the Early Track to Success

Believe it or not, Lucas’s first love was not film.…

(Image: Getty)