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In honor of George Lucas’ 74th birthday, we’re celebrating some of his best movies. Lucas has accomplished more in seven decades than most of us could do in seven lifetimes, and his filmography has something for everyone. After his early years directing experimental films, Lucas created some of the biggest blockbuster franchises in history. Then he used his Hollywood clout to help other daring filmmakers make their dream projects.
Since Lucas sold his company to Disney in 2012, many of his films, including all of the “Star Wars” movies, are streaming on Disney+. To watch all of them, plus new shows like “The Mandalorian,” Disney+ costs just $7.99 a month. For an even better deal, bundle it with ESPN+ and Hulu for only $13.99 a month. You can also find Lucas’ films on HBO Max, which is a little pricier at $14.99 a month, but also lets you stream every new Warner Bros. release on the same day it hits theaters in addition to a variety of movies and TV shows.
If you want to get yourself a little something for Lucas’ birthday, check our our list of the best gifts for “Star Wars” fans. Otherwise, enjoy seven of his best movies, available to stream below.
“Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark”
Lucas gave Harrison Ford the role of a lifetime as the globe trotting archeologist Indiana Jones. The first adventure is still as entertaining as ever, and pretty much every scene is iconic. Watch it now before the fifth movie comes out next year! “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark” is available to rent on Amazon Prime.
Courtesy Everett Collection
Before he went to a galaxy far, far away, Lucas focused on his teenage years in California with this nostalgic comedy. The breezy portrayal of life in the 1950s is full of cool cars and drive-ins, and features early performances from Ron Howard, and Ford. You can rent “American Graffiti” on Amazon Prime.
Lucas and Howard teamed up on this fantasy epic, which has become a cult classic in recent years. It has the excellent character design and world building you’d expect from Lucas, and a sequel series is hitting Disney+ next year. While you wait for that, you can also stream “Willow” on Disney+.
Lucas’ directorial debut is a far cry from the blockbusters that defined his career. This sci-fi drama takes place in a dystopian future, and follows a man and woman trying to rebel against its sterile rules. The experimental film proved Lucas had talent, and showed that he was already a filmmaker capable of dreaming big. “THX 1138” is available to stream on HBO Max.
The film that changed everything. The first “Star Wars” movie was a massive risk when Lucas made it, but it’s hard to imagine Hollywood without it. The franchise is still going strong, but for many fans, nothing will top the original. You can stream “A New Hope,” and all of the other “Star Wars” movies, on Disney+. If you want to own the series, check out our picks for the best “Star Wars” Blu-ray box sets.
Lucas served as an executive producer on this ambitious puppet musical from Jim Henson. It follows a teenage girl trapped in a maze with a Goblin King (played by David Bowie) and a cast full of puppets. The cult classic is about as ’80s as you can get, but it’s still ridiculously fun to watch. You can stream “Labyrinth” on HBO Max.
One of the final films of Lucas’ career, “Red Tails” tells the story of the Tuskegee Airmen, the Black pilots who served in the US Air Force during World War II. It was a passion project for Lucas, who continued to push the boundaries of special effects with the film’s complex flight sequences. “Red Tails” is available to stream on Disney+.