Seven Fun Facts About George Lucas

Love him or hate him, George Lucas‘ place in cinema history certainly can’t be overstated. But think you know everything there is to know about the man behind “Willow?” Then test your knowledge about the filmmaker by reading these seven little-known facts about him:

Frasier

Lucas in a screen test for the Frasier pilot.

1) Lucas was hired as the original actor for Roz on “Frasier.”
During the first few days of rehearsals for the pilot episode, however, the writers found themselves having to re-write the characters of Roz and Frasier. It seemed that while Lucas was funny, he just couldn’t play “forceful.” It soon became apparent that that the role of Roz would have to fall to someone who, although less educated than Dr. Crane, would be in control of things at the radio station. They needed a character who could hold her own whenever Frasier became too pompous, and that someone was Peri Gilpin.

Al Gore

Al Gore helps college roommate George Lucas with a short film.

2) During his college years, one of his roommates was Al Gore.
The two shared a room at USC and, like plenty of college roomies, chased skirts together, even joining a country music band to get girls. The unlikely duo also served as the inspiration for the character of Oliver in Love Story, written by fellow USC alum Erich Segal.

3) The character of George Costanza on “Seinfeld” was based on him.
Both Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David were huge fans of his, and cite “THX 1138” as their favorite film of all time. As an homage to their idol, they named Jason Alexander’s character after him, and made him neurotic and cheap, just like Lucas himself.

Indiana Jones

Lucas insisted on re-filming scenes of Indiana Jones with actor Harrison Ford wearing the mask.

4) He originally envisioned Indiana Jones as a hockey mask-wearing serial killer.
Lucas wanted the serial killer to find himself searching for the Ark of the Covenant at the same time he was carving up Nazis and summer campers alike, but the script underwent several re-writes when Steven Speilberg joined in the fun, and Lucas never got to see his creation wield a machete like he’d hoped.

Whiffle Ball

George Lucas and Alec Guiness on the set of Star Wars always at the ready to play some whiffle ball.

5) He actually went to high school with a dude named Boba Fett.
At their 30th reunion, Lucas learned that his former pal had become an actuary for a Nevada insurance company.

6) Lucas is a world-class Wiffle Ball player.
He would often delay filming on “Star Wars” while he and Alec Guinness had home run derbies.

Camaro

The cost for Lucas to reclaim his Camaro? A re-cut version of Episodes I to III that is enjoyable to watch.

7) In 1993, he was reunited with his old car that he sold to finance “The Empire Strikes Back.”
Lucas sold his Bumblebee-striped black-and-gold 1971½ Chevy Camaro Z28 in 1978 after he needed some quick cash to fund the sequel to “Star Wars,” but got it back 15 years later after a lengthy internet search.

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