Many other American directors have produced more artistically profound work than George Lucas, but can any match the breadth and depth of his impact? “Star Wars” redefined the way a science fiction film should look. Without the reused appearance of everything from buildings on Tatooine to the hull of the Millennium Falcon, we wouldn’t have the rattling, leaking Nostromo of the first “Alien” film, or the dented and worn “Battlestar Galactica.” The “Indiana Jones” movies have inspired comic books, a TV series, and, back in the day, a spike in the number of archaeology majors. And George Lucas’s technological impact is arguably even greater: during the making of the first “Star Wars” film, his crew discovered repeatedly that the desired effects couldn’t be created with existing technology so they invented it themselves. And the digital media behind Pixar, which has changed movie animation for the foreseeable future, were created on Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch.
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