1977 will forever be a pivotal year in cinematic history, thanks solely to the imagination of one George Lucas. It was in May of that year that fans world-wide saw Star Wars for the very first time. Now, forty-three years later, the franchise continues to grow and thrive despite whatever missteps it’s taken. Today we celebrate the birthday of the father of Star Wars, and look back on what he’s accomplished.

George Lucas Underworld
Director George Lucas is shown standing next to a digital movie camera used to shoot, ‘Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones,’ on the set of the film, in this undated photo.
(Image: AP Photo/Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Most critics will agree that there are few film trilogies as beloved as the original Star Wars trilogy. It was innovative, thought-provoking, and wildly, visually stunning. Gorge Lucas didn’t just make a movie, he created an entire universe the likes of which the world had never seen. Yet, somehow, the space fantasy set in a galaxy far, far away remained inexplicably grounded. Its characters and settings felt familiar, and real. Achieving such a feat with the technology of the time remains one of the greatest achievements in film.

Celebrating George Lucas and Star Wars

Kenobi Film; george lucas; star wars
George Lucas directors Ewan McGreor and Hayden Christensen in Revenge of the Sith’. (image: Lucasfilm)

Say what you will about the prequel trilogy films. Like them, or hate them, that’s your prerogative. But they are part of the greater Star Wars legacy, all thanks to George Lucas. For every Jar Jar there is a Maul. For every Ewok, a Wookiee.  Whatever issues or complaints you have with Star Wars there is assuredly something greater within the franchise. And let’s not forget – George also created The Clone Wars…. And, from a certain point of view, Dave Filoni.

We learned how Filoni, Star Wars’ creative heir-apparent, worked with George Lucas to create The Clone Wars in the first episode of Disney Gallery ~ Star Wars: The Mandalorian. In the show’s second episode, however, Filoni sets out the tragic beauty of Lucas’ vision. If you’ve not yet seen it, you must watch at least the last seven minutes of the episode. In those minutes Filoni dissects the Skywalker saga in a way that truly illustrates the genius of the man that created it all.

The Mandalorian panel; Jon Favreau
Dave Filoni with Jon Favreau and George Lucas on the set of ‘The Mandalorian.’
(Image: Jon Favreau/Instagram)

We soulfully react. We don’t just want an action movie, we want to feel uplifted. And Star Wars is an adventure that makes you feel good. It makes me feel like ‘wow, I want to be a part of that.'”

~ Dave Filoni, on what Lucas created with Star Wars.

Thank you, George Lucas. Happy birthday, and may the Force be with you.