From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
THX 1138 is a 1971 science fiction film directed by George Lucas, from a screenplay by Lucas and Walter Murch. It depicts an Orwellian future, featuring three residents of a dystopia in which a high level of control is exerted upon the populace through ever-present faceless, android police officers and mandatory, regulated use of special drugs to suppress emotion, including sexual desire.
It was the first feature-length film directed by Lucas, and a more developed, feature-length version of his student film Electronic Labyrinth: THX 1138 4EB, which he made in 1967 while attending the University of Southern California, based on a one and a quarter page treatment of an idea by Matthew Robbins.
THX 1138 shares themes with The Machine Stops, Anthem, Brave New World, Nineteen Eighty-Four, The Giver, Ira Levin's This Perfect Day and Yevgeny Zamyatin's We, and was inspired in part by the short film 21-87. The film was produced in a joint venture between Warner Brothers and Francis Ford Coppola's then-new production company, American Zoetrope. A novelization by Ben Bova was published in 1971.