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- "People go to these movies because they want to see Steven do his brilliant turn as a director. If anyone else did the story it wouldn't be as good. He can do anything — Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan... But this is the kind of movie he can do in his sleep. Not that he does it in his sleep — he actually gets a kick out of it!"
- ―George Lucas, Total Film magazine, May 2008 issue, p. 137
It was Spielberg who introduced Lucas to John Williams, who would go on to create the musical score for many of their films.
In 1980, Spielberg directed Raiders of the Lost Ark, which Lucas executive produced. The pair went on to work together to produce and create the stories for Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Rumors persist that Spielberg was Lucas's first choice to direct Return of the Jedi, but was unable to do so due to Lucas's departure from the Directors Guild of America.
During the animatics stage of of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith, Lucas invited Spielberg to "play with" a bit of the Mustafar duel, and Yoda's duel with the Emperor, along with a couple of others," according to The Making of Star Wars Revenge of the Sith. It is unclear how much of Spielberg's work appears in the final version of the film, but he is credited as an Assistant Director.
Being friends for years, Spielberg and Lucas have often traded references to each other's previous works in their films. For example, Indiana Jones is seen fleeing a nightclub named "Club Obi-Wan" in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In Spielberg's film E. T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Elliot showed some action figures, including Lando Calrissian, to the alien of the film's title; later, E.T. met a child dressed as Yoda on the street on Halloween. In Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, several members of E.T.'s species were visible in one of the floating pods in the Senate room, and the Senator Grebleips was named for Spielberg.
- Steven Spielberg on Wikipedia