After 50 years, there’s a lot to cover! As Lucasfilm celebrates its golden anniversary in 2021, we’re exploring a rich array of stories, innovations, and people to celebrate the company’s past and to get excited for its future.
• After making THX 1138 for American Zoetrope, George Lucas incorporates Lucasfilm, Ltd. in 1971. A means to support his future projects, the company is little more than a formal entity.
• American Graffiti is Lucasfilm’s first production. Filmed in northern California during a marathon schedule of night shoots, it opens in August 1973 to great acclaim.
• In order to make Star Wars: A New Hope, two new divisions are formed in 1975: Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) for visual effects and Sprocket Systems for sound and post-production.
• A New Hope reaches unprecedented success in 1977 and showcases the innovative work of ILM and Sprockets. It also fuels the growth of Lucasfilm’s corporate divisions, including licensing and publishing.
• More American Graffiti is Lucasfilm’s first sequel, released in August 1979.
• Also in 1979, George Lucas forms a new computer research group to develop digital filmmaking tools.