If George Lucas (California, 1944) had not been in a near-fatal car crash as a teenager, Star Wars would probably not have meant much to us now. Because Lucas, the creator of Star Wars, originally wanted to become a racing driver. After the accident he changed his mind and decided to go into filmmaking instead. He started as an intern for Francis Ford Coppola and then set up his own film production company. In 1977 he released the first Star Wars movie which unexpectedly became a huge hit. He earned most of his 4.9-billion-dollar fortune from the rights to Star Wars merchandising.