“Nobody knew what I was really doing”: George Lucas’ 80th Birthday is a Real Miracle After Star Wars Nearly Ended His Life Before it Was Even Barely Finished

The director famously had such a touch time with the first film, that he thought of selling it all to Fox just after the first film.

George Lucas, Star Wars
credit : wikimedia commons

SUMMARY

  • George Lucas was very stressed with the production of Star Wars.
  • The visionary director found himself in the hospital with what many thought was a heart attack, but ended up being an anxiety attack.
  • Lucas's relationship with the franchise would keep giving him headaches, with the current state of the IP also potentially disheartening the director.
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Star Wars is a film that is a very important part of cinematic history. George Lucas’ third film and his greatest success in his cinematic career, Star Wars stands as one of the most influential film series in Western cinema. However, it is no secret that the film took a significant toll on Lucas’s health, something that landed the visionary director in the hospital.

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A still from Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

Star Wars: Episode IV put the director in the hospital, which caused everyone to panic because no one was sure what the film was actually about. Lucas’ then-wife, Marcia Lucas, was responsible for cutting the film to size, majorly contributing to the film being recognized as the masterpiece that is. Star Wars ended up being made without any severe harm to Lucas’ health, but it does not mean that the director did not suffer during the film’s production.

There was a fear that Geroge Lucas would die before production on the film was complete

George Lucas [Photo: Joey Gannon, Wikimedia Commons]
George Lucas [Photo: Joey Gannon/Wikimedia Commons]
In the 2022 documentary series, titled Light & Magic (a reference to Lucas’ production company Industrial Light & Magic), George Lucas revealed how his health suffered during the production of Star Wars, which a lot of people had no faith in being as good as it was. Even actors like Harrison Ford, who had a major part in the film as Han Solo, were not very sure where the film was headed. Lucas revealed:

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“I ended up on my way home, flying from LA to San Francisco thinking, ‘Oh my god, this isn’t going to work. This is a mess! [I’ll] never get to work again,'”

This sort of anxiety is what caused the director to end up in the hospital (as reported by /Films). The director was so sick, that there were multiple parties who were scared that George Lucas would kick it before Star Wars came to fruition. However, thankfully, while there were fears of a cardiac arrest floating around, the director just had a bad case of anxiety, which while not as fatal as a cardiac arrest, did cause the director to suffer considerably throughout the production of the space opera.

Star Wars remained a source of headaches for George Lucas even after the first film

Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is now the most watched Star Wars film on Disney+
Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Star Wars has always been known to pioneer technologies in Hollywood, be it miniature work, CGI, or even virtual sets. However, this means that the overuse of these materials sometimes resulted in some very dodgy material, the kind that caused Lucas more headaches with Star Wars receiving mid and negative reviews.

Having considered selling the franchise to Fox, right after the first film, Lucas would go on to make six more films and a slew of stories in other mediums before handing over the keys of the kingdom to Disney in 2012.

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However, the negative reception that was received by the Prequel trilogy and the slew of problems that surrounded the IP afterward was also a source of headaches for Lucas, albeit the franchise’s current shape might also be a source of concern for George Lucas. Given how the IP is increasingly looking to make stories about ideas rather than characters, Star Wars might end up alienating its audience in the short run, and spend a lot more time trying to get them back.

Star Wars can be streamed on Disney+

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Written by Anuraag Chatterjee

Articles Published: 607

Anuraag Chatterjee, Web Content Writer
With a passion for writing fiction and non fiction content, Anuraag is a Media Science graduate with 2 year's experience with Marketing and Content, with 3 published poetry anthologies. Anuraag holds a Bacherlor's degree in Arts with a focus on Communication and Media Studies.