Inside the Billionaire Star Wars Creator's Marriage to Wife Mellody Hobson: George Lucas Turns 80

George Lucas is marking a milestone birthday

Published Time: 14.05.2024 - 17:31:05 Modified Time: 14.05.2024 - 17:31:05

George Lucas is marking a milestone birthday.

The iconic filmmaker behind Star Wars and Indiana Jones turned 80 on May 14. While Lucas does not frequently work in the film industry anymore (he last received an executive producer credit on 2023's Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny and has not directed a movie since 2005's Revenge of the Sith), he is spending quality time with his wife of nearly 11 years, Mellody Hobson.

Hobson is the president and co-CEO of Chicago-based investment firm Ariel Investments, and she has also worked as Starbucks's chairperson of its board of directors since March 2021 and previously was the chairperson of DreamWorks Animation.

Lucas and Hobson met at a business conference in 2005 and began dating some time after their initial meeting, according to a 2015 Vanity Fair profile on Hobson. After dating for several years, the pair announced their engagement in January 2013 and later married in June 2013 at a star-studded ceremony at Lucas' Skywalker Ranch in Marin County, California.

Samuel L. Jackson,Ron Howard,Steven Spielberg,Harrison Ford,Calista Flockhart,Tyler Perryand Oprah Winfrey were among the guests at that wedding, PEOPLE reported at the time.

The couple held a second party a week later in Hobson's hometown Chicago, which Robin Williams,Mark Hamill, Al RokerandGayle King attended and Prince performed at, as The Hollywood Reporter reported at the time.

Lucas and Hobson's marriage came months after Lucas sold Lucasfilm — the movie studio he founded and made the first six Star Wars movies with — to the Walt Disney Company for $4.05 billion. The sale effectively ended his active work with the Star Wars franchise since he created the series with 1977's A New Hope.

“We have the same values. Star Wars was written for 12-year-old boys to teach them right and wrong.” -

Hobson told Vanity Fair of the couple's relationship in 2015. “By values, I mean what’s right and what society expects of us.”

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Just a few months after their marriage, Lucas and Hobson welcomed their daughter Everest via surrogate in August 2013. In addition to Everest, 10, Lucas also shares daughter Amanda Lucas, 42, with his ex-wife Marcia Lou Griffin; after their 1983 divorce, he also adopted daughter Katie, 36, and son Jett, 31, as a single parent.

Lucas remains semi-retired from filmmaking after selling Lucasfilm in 2012. He remains credited as an executive producer on all things Star Wars. J.J. Abrams, who directed 2015 entry The Force Awakens and 2019's trilogy-capping The Rise of Skywalker, said in a 2019 interview with IGN that he and his team "met with George Lucas before writing the script" to the 2019 sequel.

As for the legendary filmmaker and Hobson, they remain committed to charitable work. In 2010, the pair signed The Giving Pledge, which was created by Warren Buffett, Melinda French Gates and Bill Gates as an invitation for billionaires "to publicly commit to give the majority of their wealth to philanthropy either during their lifetimes or in their wills."

"My pledge is to the process. As long as I have the resources at my disposal, I will seek to raise the bar for future generations of students of all ages," Lucas wrote in his 2010 pledge letter.

In 2021, Lucas and Hobson donated money to New York University to found the Martin Scorsese Institute of Global Cinematic Arts. The school described Lucas and Hobson's gift in a release at the time as "the largest in the school's history."

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