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Lucasfilm is Releasing Acclaimed Historical Documentaries

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The vast series produced by George Lucas supports teachers and students with short films on a wide range of topics across history, the arts, and science.

Lucasfilm is pleased to announce that an acclaimed series of historical documentaries are now being released on our official YouTube channel. Originally produced by George Lucas in 2007 as companions to the Young Indiana Jones television series, these half-hour films explore a wide range of topics, including world history, art, music, literature, civil rights, philosophy, and anthropology. We are now offering them as free educational resources for teachers, students, and curious people everywhere. 

These films remain an important example of George Lucas’ ongoing commitment to empowering students and teachers with new resources and methodologies. “I have always found that it is easier for students to relate to historical figures when they see them as human beings rather than dates and dry descriptions of events,” he said back in 2007. “I feel this approach makes history easier to understand and more accessible to students.”

Today’s premiere documentary is Archaeology: Unearthing Our Past which explores the real-world science that helped inspire Lucasfilm’s Indiana Jones adventures. More films will be released on a weekly basis throughout the summer. Upcoming topics include the American Suffrage movement, Harlem’s regiment of Black soldiers in World War I, and the origins of philosophy. 

“From the conflicts of war and politics to the triumphs of creativity in the arts and sciences, the Young Indiana Jones series explored how everything is connected,” original series producer David Schneider tells “The historical documentaries take a deeper dive into the real stories of the people and events through rare film, photographs and interviews with historians from around the world.  The history grows older but the stories remain fascinating and important and I think most people will find them surprisingly relevant to our lives today.”

Made with classroom study in mind, the films are generally appropriate for Middle School, High School, and College students. Educators are encouraged to preview the films to ensure they’re appropriate for their own classes. 

Wes Dodgens is an educator based in South Carolina with over a decade of experience teaching with these documentaries in their original DVD format. “The subject matter is presented in an engaging way that students find interesting and can easily understand,” he tells “The documentaries also feature prominent experts and well known figures who share a deeper understanding in their area of expertise. Each documentary can also be used as a stand-alone lesson on the various topics. Whether within the classroom or in a virtual setting, these straight-to-the-point documentaries can assist in getting students the information they need in an engaging, timely manner.”

Along with Dodgens, fellow educator Thomas Riddle was among the first teachers to introduce these films in the classroom. He recalls showing Hellfighters: Harlem’s Heroes of World War One to his class: “As it ended, a young African American girl raised her hand and asked me, ‘Why haven’t I ever heard of them before? They were incredible and I’ve never heard of them. Now I want to learn more about them!’ […] Until now, these incredible resources were only officially available on DVD…. Having them available online for free opens up their use to teachers everywhere, something that I’d hoped to see since that day I saw a young girl moved by the past and inspired to make a difference in the future because of just one of these films.”

Dodgens concludes that “it has long been my opinion that these documentaries are the best kept secret in education.” 

To learn more about the continuing release of these historical documentaries, visit us at And for additional learning resources from Lucasfilm, be sure to check out

Educators, we want to hear from you! Please reach out to to join our mailing list and share any questions or feedback. 

Lucasfilm | Timeless stories. Innovative storytelling.

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