When you go to Walt Disney World, there are certainly a few celebrities that you’re hoping to meet, Mickey Mouse, Goofy, maybe Cinderella if you’re lucky. But one family that visited Magic Kingdom back in 2005 appears to have very nearly had a run in with an even bigger star, Star Wars creator George Lucas.
A viral tweet from @markvchase shows the picture, taken at Disney World in 2005, which includes a man sitting on a bench in the background, who looks an awful lot like George Lucas. Apparently, it was something of a family joke that the guy in the background was Lucas, but now it looks like the joke is on them, as this is almost certainly him.
Disney World publicity photos at the time confirm that, at the end of February 2005 when this photo was taken, George Lucas was at Disney World. It was just a few months before Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith hit theaters, and while Disney was almost a decade away from buying Lucasfilm (and bringing lots of Star Wars to Disney World) Star Wars already had a presence at the then Disney/MGM Studios in the form of the Star Tours attraction. And Lucas even took pictures with a Jedi Mickey Mouse.
At this point, post-production on Sith was likely done, or very close to it. And honestly, if you had just completed a major movie trilogy that had taken up years of your life, you’d want to go on vacation to Disney World too. The wildest thing about this picture is that it looks like Lucas is alone, and doesn’t have a plaid Cast Member waiting on him, which is a bit surprising, but also sort of cool.
While the color of the two pictures is off, the man in the back of the family photo appears to be wearing a darker shirt and lighter jeans than Lucas in the Mickey photo, which can be chalked up to lighting conditions and camera settings. The general look of the two men, including the sneakers, is nearly identical. If this isn’t Lucas in the background of the family photo, it’s one of the most random coincidences in history.
George Lucas has a long history with Disney Parks. He grew up in Southern California and says he attended Disneyland’s second day of operation (which was technically its first day open to the public). When then Disney CEO Michael Eisner approached him with the idea of bringing Star Wars and Indiana Jones to Disneyland, Lucas reportedly jumped at the chance, and together they created iconic attractions that are still among the most popular in Disney’s Parks around the world.
In 2005 Star Tours would have still been running the original version of the attraction, which saw the robot pilot, voiced by Paul Reubens, take guests inside a comet and on the Death Star trench run. A Few years later the ride would be retooled and the prequel trilogy, which Lucas would help promote here, would become a major part of the ride.