George Lucas on equality and female heroes in his ‘Star Wars’ films

George Lucas on equality and female heroes in his ‘Star Wars’ films
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

George Lucas is at the Cannes Film Festival to receive an honorary Palme d’Or on Saturday, and at a press event a day prior, he answered some criticisms about his six Star Wars films.

“They would say, ‘It’s all white men,'” the 80-year-old said, according to Variety.

“Most of the people are aliens!” he corrected. “The idea is you’re supposed to accept people for what they are, whether they’re big and furry or whether they’re green or whatever … all people are equal.”

As for casting, Lucas explained, “In the first one, there were a few Tunisians who were dark, and in the second one I had Billy [Dee] Williams, and the [prequels], which they were also criticizing, I had Sam Jackson. He … was one of the top Jedi.”

Only droids faced discrimination in his movies, he said.

“That was a way of saying … people are always discriminating against something and sooner or later, that’s what’s going to happen,” Lucas said. “I mean, we’re already starting with AI, saying, ‘Well, we can’t trust those robots.'”

And as for claims the Star Wars sequels — which he wasn’t a part of — broke ground with strong Star Wars heroines, Lucas said, “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 … and trying to save the Rebellion with these clowns. … And it’s the same thing with Queen Amidala [from the prequels].”

Lucas continued, “You can’t just put a woman in pants and expect her to be a hero. They can wear dresses, they can wear whatever they want. It’s their brains and their ability to think and plan and be logistical. That’s what the hero is.”

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