'People Are Equal': George Lucas Claps Back At 'All White Men' Diversity Criticism Of First 6 Star Wars Films

Stars Wars is a commentary on how people will always find something to discriminate against, says George Lucas as he claps back at critics.

Published on May 25, 2024  |  01:02 PM IST |  56.3K
George Lucas and Anthony Daniels in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) via IMDB
George Lucas and Anthony Daniels in Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002) via IMDB

On Friday at the Cannes film festival, George Lucas had an open discussion about criticisms against the first six Star Wars movies. Lucas had earlier spoken about the backlash he has been hit with over the years ahead of receiving the festival’s honorary Palme d’Or. He reminded everyone that Star Wars characters are mostly aliens.

George Lucas snaps at critics of his Stars Wars franchise

He reflected on criticisms directed towards this franchise saying, “They would say, ‘It’s all white men.’ Most of the characters are aliens!" The central message is one that accepts people as they are – irrespective of their size or color. It means equality.

Lucas underscores the fact that robots in the Star Wars universe suffer discrimination and uses it as a parable for racism in real life. “It’s a commentary on how people will always find something to discriminate against." He compared it with artificial intelligence takeover saying, "We’re already starting with AI, saying, 'Well, we can’t trust those robots.'"

Speaking on the issue of racial discrimination, Lucas explained that in the first film, there were some dark-skinned Tunisians. In film number two he cast Billy Dee Williams. In his defense he continued, "I had Sam Jackson. He wasn’t a scoundrel like Lando. He was one of the top jedi." According to him, he was not a swindler like Lando; rather he was a major Jedi.

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George Lucas defends his Star Wars movies in terms of racial discrimination and depiction of women

With respect to women's portrayals, Lucas said, "It’s their brains and their ability to think and plan and be logistical. That’s what the hero is.” 

Lucas retorted, "Who do you think the heroes are in these stories? What do you think Princess Leia was? She’s the head of the rebellion. She’s the one that’s taking this young kid who doesn’t know anything and this boisterous, I-know-everything guy who can’t do anything and trying to save the rebellion with these clowns … And it’s the same thing with Queen Amidala."

He is currently in Cannes for the closing ceremony on Saturday when he will receive an honorary Palme d’Or at this year’s event. He became famous through creating Star Wars and Indiana Jones franchises as well as founding companies such as Lucasfilm, LucasArts, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), and THX.

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