Billion-Dollar Man

“GEORGE LUCAS MOVED to Marin in 1969 as a struggling filmmaker,” writes Barry Spitz in Marin, A History. In 1975, Lucas founded Industrial Light and Magic, a company based in San Rafael that would create special effects for a movie he was making. The film, Star Wars, was released by 20th Century Fox on May 25, 1977, and went on to become a worldwide pop culture phenomenon and win numerous Oscars. Its protagonist was Luke Skywalker. Then in 1978, using his newfound wealth, George Lucas bought a 2,700-acre ranch on Lucas (named for a pioneer Marin rancher named John, not a young filmmaker named George) Valley Road and called it … Skywalker Ranch. In 2012, The Walt Disney Company acquired Lucasfilm for more than $4 billion.