1971 - George Lucas founds Lucasfilm Ltd. with the release of THX 1138.
1973 - Lucas releases his second feature, the low-budget American Graffiti. The film becomes the most profitable film of its time and garners the Golden Globe, the New York Film Critics' and National Society of Film Critics' awards. Pushing the boundaries of storytelling, American Graffiti is the first film to tell multiple stories through interweaving narratives backed by a soundtrack of contemporary music. It goes on to receive five Oscar nominations.
1975 - In preparation for his next feature - a space opera called Star Wars - Lucas opens a motion picture visual effects company in a warehouse and names it Industrial Light & Magic (ILM); the pioneering company will go on to win 16 Oscars and develop the gold standard in visual effects.
Lucas also hires USC film student Ben Burtt as a "director of sound," launching Sprocket Systems (which would later become Skywalker Sound). The division would go on to win 19 Oscars, seven Mix Foundation Technical Excellence & Creativity (TEC) Awards, numerous Grammy Awards, Golden Reels and Emmy Awards.
1977 - Lucas' third film, Star Wars, is a deceptively simple morality tale that becomes an international phenomenon, despite the fact that few saw its potential during production. Star Wars breaks all box-office records, sets new standards for sophistication in film visuals and sound and garners eight Academy Awards, including Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound. Additional nominations include Best Picture, Best Director (Lucas), Best Supporting Actor (Alec Guinness) and Best Original Screenplay (Lucas).
The success of Star Wars reinforces Lucas's decision to remain independent and continue operating in Marin County, Calif.
1978 - Lucas purchases a 2,500-acre ranch - to be called Skywalker Ranch - in Nicasio, Calif.
1979 - Lucas sets up the Computer R & D division to create the technology required for digital imaging, electronic editing and interactivity.
Sprocket Systems is renamed Skywalker Sound.
Lucas Licensing is formed to oversee licensing of products based on Star Wars. The property goes on to become one of the most successful film-based licensing programs in history.
More American Graffiti is released.
1980 - The second film in the Star Wars Saga - this time directed by Irvin Kershner - is released. The Empire Strikes Back is awarded the Best Sound Award by both the Academy and BAFTA, and also wins a Special Achievement Award for its visual effects.
1981 - With director Steven Spielberg, Lucas develops a new breed of adventure hero, the iconic Indiana Jones, whose first adventure - Raiders of the Lost Ark - earns Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and a Special Achievement Award for Best Sound Effects Editing, as well as nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Cinematography and Best Music.
ILM receives two Scientific and Engineering Awards - for Empire motion picture camera system and the beam-splitter optical composite printer - and a Technical Achievement Award for the development of a figure mover for animation photography.
ILM also receives a nomination for the Best Visual Effects Oscar for its work on Dragonslayer, its first non-Lucasfilm picture.
1982 - Lucas creates Lucasfilm Games (later to become LucasArts), to provide an interactive element to his vision of a state-of-the-art, multifaceted entertainment company.
ILM creates first completely computer-generated sequence in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
ILM brings Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial to Earth, resulting in an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. The film additionally garners Oscars for Skywalker Sound for Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Sound.
ILM's work on Poltergeist earns a Best Visual Effects Award from BAFTA and a nomination for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.
1983 - With director Richard Marquand at the helm, Lucasfilm releases the third film in the Star Wars Saga: Return of the Jedi. The film wins a Special Achievement Award in Visual Effects from the Academy and the Best Visual Effects Award from BAFTA. Skywalker Sound receives nominations for Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing.
Lucas develops THX Sound System and Theater Alignment Program (TAP) to assure that picture and sound intended by the filmmaker is delivered to the audience.
1984 - Lucasfilm pioneers the first digital non-linear disc-based editing systems for picture (EditDroid) and sound (SoundDroid).
Teaming once again with Spielberg, Lucas gives the world another Indiana Jones adventure - Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - which wins both the Oscar and the BAFTA for Best Visual Effects.
Lucasfilm Games releases its first two games: BallBlazer and Rescue on Fractalus.
The Adventures of Andre and Wally B - created on the Pixar Image Computer - premieres at SIGGRAPH.
1985 - Lucasfilm makes the move to Skywalker Ranch.
ILM creates the first completely computer-generated character with the "stained glass man" in Young Sherlock Holmes, earning an Academy Award nomination in the category of Best Visual Effects. ILM wins the Oscar for its work on Cocoon.
Lucas productions Labyrinth, Howard the Duck and Captain Eo are released.
Lucasfilm develops the revolutionary input/output scanner.
The Pixar Image Computer is introduced at the National Computer Graphics Conference.
1986 - Lucasfilm sells the Pixar technology to Steve Jobs, forming the foundation for Pixar Studios.
1987 - LucasArts leads the move from parser-driven interfaces to the "point-and-click" interface popular today with its new story engine, SCUMM™ (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion).
Exploring the hero within, ILM delves into the human body with Innerspace, earning another Best Visual Effects Oscar.
The Witches of Eastwick garners an additional Best Visual Effects BAFTA, and ILM receives a Technical Award for the development of a wire rig model support mechanism used to control the movements of miniatures.
The Learning Division is created to design multimedia educational products.
The Technical Building opens at Skywalker Ranch.
1988 - The ground-breaking combination of animation and live-action from Who Framed Roger Rabbit earns ILM Best Visual Effects Awards from the Academy and BAFTA.
ILM creates the first morphing sequence for motion pictures in the Lucasfilm-produced Willow, which receives a nomination for the Best Visual Effects Oscar. Skywalker Sound receives an additional nomination for Best Sound Effects Editing.
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, Tucker: The Man and his Dream is released, receiving three Oscar nominations and a Golden Globe for Martin Landau's performance.
1989 - ILM creates a milestone computer-generated, water-based 3D character in The Abyss and wins an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.
The man in the hat returns for a third installment - Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - which earns an Oscar for Best Sound Effects Editing. Skywalker Sound receives an additional nomination for Best Sound. LucasArts releases a game based on the film, marking the first time a Lucasfilm movie has been interpreted by the game division.
LucasArts works with Apple Computer to develop and launch Mac Magic, a cooperative learning program that is integrated into classrooms across the country, and which earns the "Daily Point of Light" Award from President George Bush.
Back to the Future II earns a Best Visual Effects BAFTA for ILM, as well as Best Visual Effects Oscar nomination.
1990 - The first THX home audio system is unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show.
1991 - LucasArts' Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge continues the adventures of pirate wannabe Guybrush Threepowood and introduces the patented interactive sound system, iMuse (Interactive Music and Sound Effects).
In collaboration with JVC Musical Industries, LucasArts launches its first Star Wars video game for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
The remarkable T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day earns ILM an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects, and Skywalker Sound wins the awards for Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing. Both divisions also receive BAFTAs for their work on the film.
ILM receives Best Visual Effects Oscar nominations for work on Backdraft and Hook.
Skywalker Sound receives Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing nominations for work on Backdraft.
Skywalker Sound introduces the first utilization of T-1 tie-lines for real-time digital audio transmission to distant locations. The projection of film at Skywalker Sound is synchronized, through patented technology, with the screening room projector at a filmmaker's office or home. With the combination of synchronized projection and real-time digital audio transmission, it is no longer necessary for the filmmaker to leave his home or office.
The George Lucas Educational Foundation is established.
1992 - Lucasfilm pioneers DI digital video technology to complete post-production and visual effects for "The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles," an action-adventure TV series aimed at bringing early 20th century history to life. The series wins 11 Emmy Awards over the course of its three seasons, as well as an additional 26 nominations.
Death Becomes Her marks the first time that human skin is realistically rendered by a computer, earning an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, and an additional Technical Achievement Award for development and implementation of the "Morf" system for digital metamorphosis of high resolution images. ILM also receives a Best Visual Effects BAFTA.
George Lucas receives the Irving G. Thalberg Life Achievment Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
1993 - Lucasfilm sells the EditDroid and SoundDroid technologies to Avid Technology.
Jurassic Park marks the first time digital technology is used to create a living, breathing character with skin, muscles, texture and attitude. This breakthrough expands the filmmaker's canvas and changes the cinematic art of storytelling, resulting in Best Visual Effects Awards from both the Academy and BAFTA. ILM also receives a Scientific and Engineering Award for concept and development of the digital motion picture retouching system for removing visible rigging and dirt/damage artifacts from original motion picture imagery.
For its work on Jurassic, Skywalker Sound wins the Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing Oscars.
1994 - ILM earns its 14th Academy Award for work on Forrest Gump, as well as a BAFTA Award for Best Special Visual Effects. Although the most obvious accomplishment is the manipulation of archival footage allowing seamless interaction with historical figures, a variety of "invisible" effects - such as the character who becomes a double amputee, computer-generated jets, helicopters, birds, crowds, and ping-pong balls - subtly help the filmmaker tell the story.
ILM additionally receives two Scientific and Engineering Awards for pioneering work in the field of input scanning and for development work on a linear array CCD film input scanning system.
Skywalker Sound receives Oscars for Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing on Speed, as well as nominations for its work on Forrest Gump.
ILM receives an additional Best Visual Effects Oscar nomination for work on The Mask.
Radioland Murders is released.
1995 - ILM wins a Technical Achievement Award for its pioneering work in digital film compositing.
ILM creates the first computer-generated photo-realistic hair and fur for the digital lion and monkeys in Jumanji. This movie also featured a stampede scene with dozens of elephants, rhinos, zebras and pelicans, all computer-generated.
1996 - ILM is awarded two Technical Achievement Awards for its computer-generated fur and hair and the development of the Direct Input Device that allows stop-motion animation to be input into computer animation. ILM also receives a Scientific and Engineering Award for the Viewpaint 3D System, and earns a Best Special Visual Effects BAFTA for its work on Twister.
Lucas develops Lucas Online to develop internet entertainment. Among its firsts: online trailers, behind-the-scenes video, regular e-mail newsletters and celebrity chats.
ILM receives Best Visual Effects Oscar nominations for work on Dragonheart and Twister.
1997 - Utilizing more sound elements (including dialogue loops and sound effects) than any feature film in history, Titanic wins Best Sound awards from the Academy, BAFTA, Motion Picture Sound Editors and Cinema Audio Society.
The Star Wars Trilogy Special Edition is the most successful theatrical re-release of all time.
LucasArt's Star Wars: Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II is named Game of the Year by PC Gamer, PC Games, GameSpot, Ultra Game Players and CNET/Gamecenter.com. The game receives five stars (out of five) fom GamePro and Next Generation and ranks #1 on PC Gamer's list of "50 Best Games Ever." Star Wars: X-Wing Vs. TIE Fighter: Balance Of Power is named Best Science-Fiction Simulation Game by CNET/GameCenter.com and ranks #1 on the Hot Holiday 100 List from Computer Gaming World.
ILM is nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar for its work on The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
Skywalker Sound receives Oscars for Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing on Titanic, and is nominated for its work on Contact.
1998 - The sound created for Saving Private Ryan earns Skywalker Sound two Academy Awards - for Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing - as well as the BAFTA Award for Best Sound. With the most realistic soundtrack ever to accompany a battle scene, the first twenty-four minutes of the film become the most stellar example of sound design in film history.
Saving Private Ryan also garners a Best Visual Effects BAFTA for ILM, which additionally receives a Technical Achievement Award for motion controlled silent dollies, and another for Caricature, a new facial animation system.
LucasArts' Grim Fandango is named Adventure Game Of The Year by GameSpot, PC Gamer, Computer Gaming World, Computer Games and the Academy of Interactive Art and Sciences.
ILM is nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar for its work on Mighty Joe Young.
1999 - Lucas returns to the director's chair for Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, the year's biggest box office success and the first major live-action film to be projected digitally. ILM is nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar, and Skywalker Sound receives nominations for Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing, as well as a nomination for Best Sound Effects Editing for Fight Club.
Star Wars fans gather for the first ever Star Wars Celebration, held in Denver, CO.
LucasArt's Star Wars: Episode I Racer is named Console Racing Game of the Year by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences.
2000 - ILM receives a BAFTA for its work on the digital waves of The Perfect Storm. ILM is nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.
LucasArt's Escape From Monkey Island receives Adventure Game of the Year from Game Visions, CNET/GameCenter.com and Game-Revolution. It receives the All-Star Award from Children's Software Review and is placed in the Action/Adventure Hall of Fame by Family PC.
Lucas begins construction on Big Rock Ranch, adjacent to his Skywalker Ranch.
2001 - ILM receives Technical Achievement Awards for the development of the ILM Creature Dynamics System and for the development of the ILM Motion and Structure Recovery System (MARS).
LucasArts' Star Wars Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader receives accolades from IGN, GameSpot and more, including Best Action Game, Best GameCube Game, Best Game and Best Game of E3.
Lucas signs a lease with the Presidio Trust to build a 23-acre digital arts campus.
Skywalker Sound receives the Best Sound Editing Oscar for Pearl Harbor, and a nomination for Best Sound Effects Editing for Monsters, Inc.
ILM receives Best Visual Effects Oscar nominations for work on A.I. Artificial Intelligence and Pearl Harbor.
2002 - Lucasfilm's THX group spins off into a separate company to facilitate continued expansion of THX products, services and technologies.
ILM is awarded two Technical Achievement Awards for its motions and structure recovery system and their creature dynamics system.
Lucas' Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones breaks new ground as the first major movie shot using entirely digital media. ILM is nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar.
Star Wars fans gather again for Star Wars Celebration II, held in Indianapolis, IN.
LucasArt's Star Wars: The Clone Wars receives the All-Star Award from the Children's Software Review. Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast is ranked among the Top 10 Games of 2002 by PC Gamer and receives the Editor's Choice Award from Computer Gaming World. Star Wars Jedi Starfighter receives the Editor's Choice Award from IGN and PSE 2. Star Wars Galaxies: An Empire Divided wins Best PC Game and Best Online Multiplayer at the E3 Awards, and IGN names it Best PC Game Of E3, Best Online PC Game Of E3 and Best PC Graphics Of E3. It receives Best Of Show ranking from ComputerGaming World, Newsday and Game-Revolution.
Skywalker Sound receives a Best Sound Editing Oscar nomination for its work on Minority Report.
2003 - With the release of Hulk, ILM convincingly creates a digital human character with (green) skin, hair, muscles, clothing and most importantly, human emotions, resulting in a Technical Achievement Award for its subsurface scattering techniques.
Lucas launches Lucasfilm Animation, a digital animation studio to produce content for film, television and games. The first project is a computer-generated series from the Star Wars universe: Clone Wars.
LucasArts' Indiana Jones and the Emperor's Tomb receives the Editor's Choice Award and is named Game of the Month by Official Xbox Magazine.
ILM receives Best Visual Effects Oscar nominations for work on Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
Skywalker Sound receives Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing Oscar nominations for its work on Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, with an additional nomination for Best Sound Editing on Finding Nemo.
2004 - Lucasfilm opens its first-ever overseas studio - Lucasfilm Singapore.
Skywalker Sound wins the Best Sound Editing Oscar for The Incredibles, and receives a nomination for Best Sound Mixing. Additional nominations include Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing for The Polar Express.
LucasArts' Star Wars Battlefront is named Best Online Game by GameRevolution and Yahoo! Games Domain, and receives nominations at the SpikeTV Video Game Awards and the E3 Game Critics Awards.
LucasArts' Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords receives Editor's Choice Awards from IGN, GameSpy and GamePro, as well as nominations at the Satellite Awards and the Saturn Awards.
ILM is nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar for its work on Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
ILM receives the 2004 National Medal of Technology ILM from the White House, becoming the first entertainment company to receive such an award.
2005 - Lucas' Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith is the top-grossing film worldwide. The film receives an Oscar nomination for Best Make-Up.
To honor the final installment of the Star Wars Saga, fans gather for Celebration III, again in Indianapolis, IN.
The licensing surrounding Episode III earns Star Wars recognition as Overall Best License of the Year by the International Licensing Industry Merchandisers' Association (LIMA).
LucasArts' Star Wars: Empire At War is named Strategy Game of the Year at the G-Phoria Awards., and is ranked Best Strategy Game by both GameDaily News and 1UP/Computer Gaming News.
LucasArts' Star Wars Battlefront II is named Best Video Game Release (Science-Fiction) at the 32nd Annual Saturn Awards, Best Game Based On A Previous Medium by the Satellite Awards and Best Online Multiplayer Game at the E3 Game Critics Awards.
LucasArts' Mercenaries receives accolades and honors from GameSpy, GameZone, the PS2 Norway Awards, Game Informer, E3 Game Critics Awards and more.
Skywalker Sound receives the Best Sound Editing Oscar for King Kong.
ILM receives Best Visual Effects Oscar nominations for work on War of the Worlds and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Lucas companies are brought together under one roof in San Francisco's historic military base, The Presidio.
George Lucas receives the 33rd American Film Institute Life Achievement Award.
2006 - LucasArts' LEGO Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy receives the Editor's Choice Award from IGN, GamePro, GameSpy and PC Gamer. The game is also ranked among the Top Ten Games of 2006 by Time Magazine, and is named Best Game Based On A Movie Or TV show at the SpikeTV Video Game Awards. The game earns additional accolades from USA Today, Reader's Digest, the British Video Game Academy, iParenting Media and others.
LucasArts is additionally recognized at the year's E3 game conference, earning Best of Show (Indiana Jones) and Best Tech (The Force Unleashed) awards from IGN, as well as a Best of Show Award (Indiana Jones) from GameDaily.
LucasArts' Thrillville receives the Editor's Choice Award from the Children's Technology Review, and the Best Skillbuilder Award from Nick Jr. Family Magazine.
ILM is nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar for its work on Poseidon.
ILM develops iMoCap, a revolutionary image-based motion capture system for the production of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, a film that would later earn the company its fifteenth Oscar, the BAFTA for Visual Effects and six VES awards.
ILM also receives a Scientific and Engineering Award for the design and development of the Image-based Modeling System, and a Technical Achievement Award for the design and engineering of OpenEXR, a software package implementing 16-bit, floating-point, high dynamic range image files.
Skywalker Sound receives Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing Oscar nominations for its work on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.
2007 - Star Wars celebrates its 30th Anniversary, beginning with the Tournament of Roses Parade, which features George Lucas as the Grand Marshal. Star Wars dominates the parade with two massive floats, a full garrison of marching stormtroopers from around the world, and the Grambling State University marching band.
Global Star Wars fans convene - twice - for Celebration IV and Celebration Europe, both of which attract record numbers.
LucasArts celebrates the 30th anniversary of the classic movie series with the release of LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga.
Developed exclusively for the PSP, LucasArts' Star Wars Battlefront: Renegade Squadron continues the immensely successful Star Wars Battlefront series.
LucasArts releases Thrillville: Off the Rails, the sequel to 2006's best-selling kids' videogame.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull begins production.
The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones debuts on DVD with an unprecedented array of educational bonus materials, created and compiled over five years by Lucas' JAK Films.
2008 - Star Wars: The Clone Wars is released theatrically, ushering Lucasfilm Animation into the world in a big way. The cutting edge animated TV series of the same name debuts on Cartoon Network on October 3, scoring the highest ratings of any series debut in the network's history.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is released to theaters, becoming one of the biggest box office hits of the year.
ILM receives Oscar nominations for its visual effects work on Iron Man.
Skywalker Sound receives Oscar nominations for audio post-production work on Wall-E, Iron Man and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
LucasArts releases Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, which became the fastest-selling Star Wars game in the history of the brand.
LucasArts also releases LEGO Indiana Jones: The Original Adventures, Fracture and two successful games based on the Clone Wars TV series: Jedi Partners and Jedi Alliance.
2009 - An orchestral journey through the themes and motifs of the live-action Star Wars Saga, the multimedia symphonic event Star Wars In Concert begins its world tour.
Executive produced by George Lucas, Red Tails begins production.
George Lucas receives the Ford Theater's Lincoln Medal of Honor, and is inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
ILM's work on director J.J. Abrams' Star Trek earns them an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects.
Skywalker Sound receives Oscar recognition, with three nominations in Sound Editing and Mixing, split between Up and Avatar.
2010 - Taking place in Orlando, Star Wars Celebration V is the most successful Celebration to date - commemorating the 30th Anniversary of Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back and the ongoing, weekly adventures of Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Celebrating its fifth year, Lucasfilm Singapore announces plans to break ground on a new overseas facility.
Continuing the story of Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice and the rise of the Rebellion against the Empire, LucasArts releases Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II.
Exploring the universe as depicted in the Clone Wars animated series, LucasArts releases Clone Wars Adventures, an immersive free-to-play virtual world packed with mini-games, daily activities, events, rewards and opportunities for engagement through social connections and competition.