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"Without Laddie there would be no Star Wars. He didn't understand what Star Wars was about, but he believed in me and supported my vision. […] Laddie took a great personal and professional risk on Star Wars, and on me, and for that I will be forever grateful."
―George Lucas, on Alan Ladd, Jr[1]

Alan Ladd, Jr. was an American film industry executive and producer. He was famous for giving George Lucas the go-ahead to make Star Wars while working for 20th Century Fox.

Throughout the troubled production of the film, Ladd resisted corporate pressure to cancel the project and maintained his confidence in Lucas. After that struggle, Ladd finally found himself in joyful tears at a preview screening in 1977 as the tremendously enthusiastic reception proved an overwhelming vindication of his faith in Lucas.

That said, while Ladd was rightly praised for his acumen supporting such a tremendous success, he was also criticized for giving Lucas highly favorable terms for its merchandising. However, that ignored the fact that film company had a poor history with that revenue stream, such as with the infamous flop, Doctor Dolittle, and Star Wars' success was all but unprecedented outside of Walt Disney.

He left the Fox in 1979 and founded The Ladd Company while Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back was still in production. He is the son of the famous American actor Alan Ladd. He died on March 2 2022, aged 84.

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