George Lucas Was Eaten By Jaws

By TeeJay Small | Published

  • George Lucas was the first victim of the shark in Jaws.
  • While working on set, George Lucas went to fix Bruce, the mechanical shark in Jaws, when Spielberg pulled a prank.
  • George Lucas and Steven Spielberg were long-time friends, and Jaws was one of many collaborations.
  • The mechanical shark didn’t hurt George Lucas and his work on Jaws helped make it the first summer blockbuster.

These days, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are credited with essentially launching the template for the modern blockbuster film. The pair, who came up in the Hollywood scene together throughout the 1970s and beyond, often collaborated closely behind the scenes, helping each other to refine and rework elements of their films, both from a writing standpoint and during the actual production of their movies. In fact, most audiences have no idea that George Lucas was the first ever victim to be eaten by the mechanical shark from Spielberg’s 1975 classic film Jaws.

George Lucas Devoured By Bruce The Shark


The jaws of Bruce the animatronic shark, who was named after Speilberg’s real-life lawyer, would often become stuck after snapping shut during the production of the film, frequently causing delays and headaches for the cast and crew. George Lucas was the first victim to be chomped on by the shark from Jaws, as he peaked inside the head to inspect the mechanical parts. The nature of Lucas’ peril wasn’t an accident, it was a planned prank by Spielberg himself along with Red Dawn filmmaker John Milius.

A Horrible Time For A Malfunction

george lucas

Unfortunately, once Milius and Spielberg finished catching their breath from their laughter, they realized the shark’s mouth wouldn’t reopen, trapping George Lucas in the jaws of the film’s primary antagonist for a prolonged period.

Change Of Plans

movie sequel

This wasn’t the last time the shark malfunctioned either, and the constant difficulty posed to the production, along with some thoughtful insight from Alfred Hitchcock, led Spielberg to hide the animatronic great white for the majority of the film. Thanks to George Lucas getting stuck, this method of obfuscating the monster for most of Jaws‘ run-time is one of the major contributing factors to the film’s success, with the scant-seen sea creature instilling fear in the hearts of viewers from just a few stabs of tuba instrumentation.

Lucas And Speilberg Are Frequent Collaborators

george lucas

One could almost credit George Lucas for assisting Steven Speilberg in making Jaws so successful, as Lucas had a well-documented penchant for animatronics and practical effects. Though the filmmaker would later go on to be known for his love of CGI and computer-altered graphics, his roots in the film world were displayed in the original Star Wars trilogy, which in turn had a great deal of input from Steven Speilberg. That being said, the shoestring budget and technological constraints of the emerging filmmakers in 1975 left the Bruce the shark robot with a lot to be desired visually, and the creature would have cheapened the movie’s overall production if they’d leaned on showing it too frequently.

George Lucas Was Unharmed By His Shark Encounter

Luckily, George Lucas wasn’t seriously harmed after being devoured by the jaws of Bruce, save for a bruised ego. Shockingly enough, the incident didn’t seem to leave a lasting scar on Speilberg either, as he would later oversee several dangerous incidents such as this during the production of his 1993 classic Jurassic Park. The animatronic T-Rex used in the production was known to malfunction and trap puppeteers inside the belly of the beast while shooting, which seemingly establishes a startling pattern of success.

Subscribe For

Star Wars News

Expect a confirmation email if you subscribe!