In 1982, The Walt Disney Company opened the massive EPCOT Center in Orlando and the response was tepid. The company had spent billions on the place, but hardly anyone was showing up. Despite inheriting this headache from the previous CEO who had been chosen by Roy Disney, Walt Disney's son-in-law Ron Miller felt he had to step things up to get the company back on track. He decided the person who could help him do that was George Lucas.
The company had been presented with motion simulator technology and felt that it could be used for a space themed attraction. Ron wanted the space attraction to be based on the biggest franchise around at the time- Star Wars.
George Lucas was extremely interested and even came up with another possible attraction- Captain EO. Unfortunately, the company wasn't patient with Mr. Miller and ousted him in 1984. His replacement put things on hold, but eventually the great idea was approved and it became an iconic DISNEYLAND attraction.