Lucas himself was short and scrawny as a child; his younger sister reportedly fought with other kids who picked on him.
His experiences growing up in the sleepy suburb of Modesto and his early passion for cars and motor racing would eventually serve as inspiration for his Oscar-nominated low-budget phenomenon, American Graffiti.
The 19-year-olds began slipping away to San Francisco to hang out in jazz clubs and find news of Canyon Cinema screenings in flyers at the City Lights bookstore.
Already a promising photographer, Lucas became infatuated with these abstract films.
His mother was in poor health, often bedridden, throughout Lucas's childhood."George had a very good eye, and he thought visually," he recalls.Lucas then transferred to the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts in Los Angeles.The car rolled; the racing harness that he had installed snapped, and he was thrown from the car.Had the harness not snapped—and Lucas has said it shouldn't have—he would most likely have been crushed to death by the steering column when the car smashed into a walnut tree.