He then started digital capture and exhibition in the prequel SW trilogy, changing the industry.
He also built his own studio (Lucasfilm) which was the dream of all the 1970s New Hollywood filmmakers. He did it by himself, on the basis of pretty much original IP.
George Lucas is absolutely a visionary.
With all due respect with Lucas filming technology and endeavours.
As for directing, evidently he did approach a few directors initially. They all said he should do it himself. After his picks turned him down, he surely didn't want to let just anybody direct it, so maybe that's why he decided to do it. From wikipedia:
In November 2015, Ron Howard confirmed that he, Robert Zemeckis, and Steven Spielberg were approached by Lucas to direct The Phantom Menace. All three approached directors told Lucas that he should direct the film, as they each found the project "too daunting."
It seems he was obsessed with cool vehicles. That cover art as well shows a hybrid between a WWI triplane and a San Francisco townhouse, flying over an American wasteland dropping confetti over it and probably blasting psychedelic music from its attached loudspeakers. Bathing at Baxter's was the group's code for taking LSD.
Though, even with his design talent, Space Truckers was still a washout.
He had been one of the early employees of Rocket Science, whose goal was to being Hollywood quality movie experiences to console games. Several of his designs from Space Truckers were brought in for vehicle design and I believe he wrote the story.
It’s become one of my favorite bits in that collection.
Throughout my research I also came across Elon Musk being an early contractor there who wrote their video compression algorithm for the PC versions.
Designing an object in a fantasy world does seem to resemble building a great character that 90% invisible to the audience.
Inspired a lot of kids like me to draw their own ships.