The Star Wars on Diabetes

by Mark Benson on February 19, 2012

Diabetes changed Lucas life

George Lucas is one of the most iconic movie personalities in the entertainment industry. He is a film producer, screenwriter, movie director and entrepreneur. Amongst his endeavors is Lucasfilm, Inc., one of the most revered movie outfits of all time.

One of his first accomplishments is the creation and production of the space sage Star Wars and adventure action Indiana Jones. Because of these franchises, he has become one of the most financially successful directors and producers with an estimated net worth of $3.2 billion in 2011.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Film in 1967, he tried to enlist in the US Air Force as an officer but was turned down because of his numerous speeding and moving violations. Drafted by the Army for the Vietnam War, he became exempt from the war because medical tests indicated he was suffering from diabetes. He had a family history of the condition, as his paternal grandfather succumbed to its complications.

Despite the diagnosis, this didn’t stop him from leading a fruitful career in film. He re-enrolled in UCLA and because of his win in the student film festival, he apprenticed under Francis Ford Coppola, one of the wunderkinds then of film. He was able to shoot his first film, THX 1138 which was then followed up by the critically successful American Graffiti.

His greatest film was as writer, director or producer capacity of the Star Wars saga. In the first film, Star Wars, he was director but instead of being paid for director’s fees, he negotiated to become the exclusive owner of the rights to merchandise and other postproduction activity related to the film, called residuals. Back then, these were considered as rights that had no money but when Star Wars came out, the merchandise, spin-offs and other rights after the film made Lucas a millionaire many times over, as Star Wars became the highest grossing film of all time.

Because of the windfall from the film’s residuals, he was able to produce the second film “The Empire Strikes Back” and had credits as executive producer and the third film, “The Return of the Jedi”. He was able to put up post production film outfit named Industrial Light and Magic Inc to provide special effects work primarily for the Star Wars trilogy and eventually the other films of the era until today.

Another project he worked as executive producer together with good friend Steven Spielberg as director was the Indiana Jones franchise. The first one was entitled “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and the four other chapters of this adventure saga. Other noted film credits include Akira Kurosawa’s “Kagemusha”, Lawrence Kasdan’s “Body Heat”, Jim Henson’s “Labyrinth”, Godfrey Reggio’s “Powaggatsi” and the groundbreaking animated film “The Land Before Time”.

After twenty two years, he released the prequel to the Star Wars saga, namely Episodes 1 to 3 as the Star Wars saga was episodes 4 to 6, making him a few more millions. Can you imagine a world without these films had he not been diagnosed with the metabolic condition?

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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