Lucas formed his own film company, Lucasfilm Ltd., in San Rafael, California in 1971.
In 1973, Lucas co-wrote and directed American Graffiti which won the Golden Globe, the New York Film Critics' and National Society of Film Critics' awards, and got five Academy Award nominations.
Four years later, Lucas wrote and directed Star Wars, a film which broke all box office records and earned seven Academy Awards. Lucas also wrote the sequels Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi
In 1980, he was the executive producer of Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed by Steven Spielberg, which won five Academy Awards. He was also the co-executive producer and creator of the story for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The film, released in 1984, got an Oscar for its visual effects.
In 1986, Lucas served as executive producer for Disneyland's 3-D musical space adventure Captain Eo, which was directed by Francis Coppola and starred Michael Jackson. Lucas was also involved in the creation of Star Tours, the most popular attraction at Disneyland.
Lucas' next project was the adventure-fantasy film Willow. Based on an original story by Lucas, the film was directed by Ron Howard and executive-produced by Lucas. When Willow was released in 1988 it received three Academy Award nominations.
Also in 1988, Lucas executive-produced Tucker: The Man and His Dream. The film, directed by Francis Coppola, garnered three Academy Award nominations. In the following year, Lucas served as executive producer for Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, earned an Oscar for Best Sound Design, and became the number one worldwide box office hit for 1989.
Lucas served as story author and executive producer of the television series, The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles which premiered in 1992. The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles won a Banff Award for Best Continuing Series, a Golden Globe nomination for best Dramatic Series, an Angel Award for Quality Programming, 12 Emmy Awards and 26 Emmy nominations.
In 1992, George Lucas was honored with the Irving G. Thalberg Award. The Award was given by the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Lucas was the story author and executive producer of Radioland Murders in 1994. To celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Star Wars in 1997, Lucas updated each film of the Trilogy to bring it closer to his original vision. The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition was had digitally remastered soundtracks, restored prints, enhanced visual effects and newly added footage.
Lucasfilm's current project is the Star Wars prequels. The first episod, called The Phantom Menace, of the new trilogy was written, directed and executive-produced by George Lucas and was released on May 19, 1999.
Lucasfilm, established by George Lucas in 1971, has today evolved into five different companies.
George Lucas is the Chairman of the Board of the George Lucas Educational Foundation. He currently serves on the boards of the Artists Rights Foundation, the Joseph Campbell Foundation, and the Film Foundation. In addition, he is a member of the USC School of Cinema-Television Board of Councilors.