George Lucas began developing Red Tails around 1988 but was unable to secure funding from any major studio, as any he approached believed that producing a film featuring an all black cast would be unmarketable. As a result, Lucas ended up funding the project with his own money, investing $58 million into the production of the film, and a further $35 million towards marketing.
Anthony Hemingway is a longtime "Star Wars" fan. According to him, when he first met George Lucas, he was so excited that he awkwardly said "May the force be with you" which he regrets. When Lucas later hired him, he was so overwhelmed that he cried.
Aaron McGruder harshly criticized Lucas and Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) in his comic strip "The Boondocks". MacGruder felt that the character of Jar Jar Binks was based on negative African-American stereotypes. But according to McGruder, Lucas did not bring it up during their meetings. They have became friends since their meeting.
The trivia item below may give away important plot points.
James D. Weston II who drives P.O.W Tristan Wilds (Raygun) back to his unit in Jeep (last 10 minutes in movie) was actually a member of the Tuskeegee Airmen (Bay Area Chapter). He also served in the Navy Reserves in an Aviation Support Unit and graduated from Aviation High School in New York.