How did George Lucas get the effects to look so realistic in Star Wars? The answer is simpler than you might ever have was all real.

Los Angeles, California 1974.

Lucas is hiding from Amy in his garden shed. He’s meant to of quit smoking, but he likes it too much. So he’s out in the shed, leaning up against the back wall, puffing away on a cigarello, deep in thought, trying to work out how to follow up the success of THX-1138 and American Graffitti, when something catches his eye, through a crack in the shed walls…
He puts his eye up to the crack, and can’t believe what he sees…a cosmic wormhole to an alternate universe! And there’s some kind of Space War going on.
Dozens of Tie Fighters are chasing X-wings and Y-Wings. Shit is blowing up all over the place.
Lucas rips a plank off the shed wall so he can get a better look.
He pokes his head through, eyes wide with wonder, but space is FREEZING. Shivering, he puts the plank back in place, stubs out his cig, and goes back inside, trying to make sense of what he has seen.
Inside, completely oblivious, Amy is making lasagne. George goes to the phone, calls up Harrison Ford, and says “Hazza…you got anything on for the next couple of weeks…I’ve got a pretty interesting documentary/movie thing, and I need an actor to tie the whole thing together.” Harry says “Terrific. When do we start?” George says “Tomorrow.”
George hangs up, then calls his D.O.P. Gilbert, tells him he needs him, a 35mm camera, and enough film to shoot 3 feature’s, and he needs it now. Then he heads down to Spielbergs Jaws lot, to steal a 4 man deep sea diving capsule.

The next day:
Tattooine 4 million BC.

The crash landing in the diving capsule on Tattooine was pretty hairy, but Lucas came out unscathed, and Harrison sustained only a small cut on his chin. Gilbert, still elated from capturing the shot of the Imperial Cruiser chasing the Rebel people carrier, gave George a diehard thumbs up. All 3 men were still tripping on acid as they began trekking to Mos Eisley. Suddenly another pod crashed just over the dunes from the 3 men. Gilbert began filming as Threepio and R-Two clambered out and began bitching to each other.

Day 4.
Tattooine 4 million BC. Skywalker ranch.

After an argument about the lack of hot chicks in the desert, Harrison has left Gilbert and George, to head off to Mos Eisley Space port.
Lucas persuades a young alien of humanoid apperarance, called, of all things, Luke Skywalker, to let him document his adventures.
George’s increasingly beady eyes watch, as a hologram of Princess Leia pleads for Obi Wan Kenobi’s help. Luke is obviously quite taken with the young princess.
“Tell me you’re getting this Gilbert” whispers George.
“I’m getting it…I’m getting it” whispers Gilbert ecstatically.

Day 6.
Mos Eisley Space Port.

Harrison is fending off Chewbacca’s advances. The big lug is obviously smitten by the handsome Earthling, and since Chewie’s packing a spaceship full of space hash, Harry has decided to humour him for a while until he can sample to big apes goods. Harry and Chewie get high together, and then, a little embarrassingly, Chewbacca GIVES Harry his Millenium Falcon starfighter.
Harry needs a drink. The two head to the bar, where they run into Lucas, Gilbert, Luke, and the new old guy, Ben Kenobi. Harry is excited to be on camera for the first time, and improv’s a new character called Han Solo. George is a little concerned when Han actually kills Greedo on film, but it fits in with Luke’s mission to get to Alderan, and Kenobi has already cut off a dudes arm, so he lets it go.
Luke mentions that the Wookie is constantly declaring his love for Harrison, in Wookie speak, but George says it’s irrelevant what Chewie is saying, because humans don’t speak Wookie, and won’t get it. But it's beginning to dawn on Lucas, that giving Harrison Ford a real blaster, and now, his own spaceship, might not be such a good idea. Lucas makes a mental note to acquire his own blaster as soon as possible.

Coming up on George’s Wormhole…the hazardous trip back through the wormhole, to the shed, for more film, acid, and beers.