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Star Wars is perhaps one of the biggest franchises in the world today, and it all had a very unlikely start.

Created from the mind of George Lucas, the first Star Wars movie, then simply called Star Wars, became a massive hit overnight.

Since then, Lucas, as well as Disney, have made many massive Star Wars movies and TV shows. Luke Skywalker, who’s the main character in the original trilogy, has a lot of similarities with Lucas, since both men had a high-speed dream job that got derailed by something else.

While Luke’s dream got derailed by Darth Vader, Lucas’ dream got derailed by a car accident.

A quick history of George Lucas

George Lucas on the red carpet
George Lucas | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Like many young directors, Lucas got his start by making small, low-budget films such as THX 1138 and American Graffiti.

After the success of both of those movies, Lucas spent his time and money making his dream project, Star Wars. This was a massive risk at the time, as not only was Star Wars a big-budget film, but nobody knew if people would want to watch a movie about space wizards with laser swords. 

As it turns out, people do want to watch that sort of stuff, and Lucas quickly became one of the biggest directors in Hollywood.

Although Lucas stopped directing movies after Star Wars, he returned to the director’s chair to write and direct the prequel trilogy. Those movies, while successful, weren’t too well-received. Not long after, Lucas sold the franchise to Disney, but none of this would’ve happened if he had followed his teenage dreams.

George Lucas loves to race

As Biography wrote, Lucas’ first passion was racing. When he was a teenager, he loved riding around his family’s ranch while on a motorcycle. Eventually, after bothering his dad long enough, his dad bought him a car. Lucas got an Autobianchi Bianchina, which is an Italian minicar that’s very similar to the Fiat 500 from those days. 

Lucas, like Luke, had a need for speed, and he wanted to be a racer. Biography said that he was so dedicated to this that, despite having a weak little car, he modified it and upgraded it by himself. Not only that, but apparently, when he brought his upgraded car to races, he actually won a few of them. That said, those races were all local races, so it’s not like he was winning against stiff competition. 

While Lucas looked at the horizon and dreamed of leaving his hometown for the big city to become a world-famous racer, everything changed a few days before his high school graduation.

The car crash that changed the world


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The Star Wars franchise has a close relationship with car issues, and this was the case for Lucas, too. Like Biography said, a few days before he graduated from high school, a Chevy Impala crashed into Lucas’ little Italian car. Since it was such a little car, Lucas, unfortunately, got severely hurt from this accident, and he was even tossed out of his car due to the force of the impact.

Fortunately, however, other than getting knocked out cold, breaking a few bones, and bruising his lungs, Lucas ultimately survived. It took him months to recover, but at this time, he realized that racing probably wasn’t for him. That said, he did have other hobbies, and they included photography. He eventually decided to study this hobby in college, and the rest is history.

That said, although Lucas didn’t get a chance to become a race car driver like he wanted to, he did get to make movies about them. ‘American Graffiti’ involves drag racing, and there are some fun scenes in the Star Wars movies that are also about racing.