George Lucas - A Super-Producer's History
The force is strong in this one.
|Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) |
Tomatometer: 64%, dir. George Lucas
Gross: $924 million
After a string of hit-and-miss standalone films, Lucas returned to his bread and butter: the Star Wars franchise. Despite being the lowest-reviewed of all the Star Wars films, Episode I: The Phantom Menace effectively rebooted Lucas' beloved series over two decades after the theatrical debut of A New Hope, becoming the top grossing film of 1999. Also receiving a mixed reaction was introduction of Jar Jar Binks - one of the more annoying characters in the entire Lucasverse.
|Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) |
Tomatometer: 67%, dir. George Lucas
Gross: $649 million
The prequel trilogy really heated up with Attack of the Clones, which mirrored the second film in the original trilogy in the noted heating up of its main romance -- that between Senator Padme Amidala (Natalie Portman) and young Jedi padawan Anakin Skywalker (Hayden Christensen). Shot entirely with groundbreaking digital cameras, Attack of the Clones was also the costliest Star Wars film to make, though it more than quintupled its $120 million budget in gross returns.
|Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005) |
Tomatometer: 79%, dir. George Lucas
Gross: $849 million
The final (in release order) and most terrifying of the Star Wars films opened to huge numbers domestically and overseas, thanks to a Cannes film festival debut and a worldwide day-and-date opening. Giving closure to the origin story of Jedi-turned-villain Darth Vader that begun nearly three decades earlier, Revenge of the Sith marked a fantastically successful coda to Lucas' exhaustive, career-defining relationship with Luke, Leia, Han Solo, and Anakin Skywalker, and sealed his position as one of the most profitable mainstream producers of all time.
Check out our countdown of Harrison Ford's best film performances and more from our Indiana Jonesin' retrospective here.