George Lucas hits back at 'Star Wars' diversity criticism: 'Most of the people are aliens!'

  • George Lucas has hit back at claims that there is a lack of diversity in the first six "Star Wars" films.

  • The filmmaker made the comments at the Cannes Film Festival in France.

  • "They would say, 'It's all white men.' Most of the people are aliens!" he said of the movies' critics.

"Star Wars" creator George Lucas has hit back at criticism that the first six films in the franchise lacked diversity.

"They would say, 'It's all white men.' Most of the people are aliens!" Lucas said of the movies' critics while speaking at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday, Variety reported.

"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," he said. "The idea is all people are equal."

Lucas added that robots were the only things in the Star Wars universe that faced discrimination.

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

Lucas also spoke about the issue of race in the movies.

"In the first one, there were a few Tunisians who were dark, and in the second one I had Billy Williams, and the [prequels], which they were also criticizing, I had Sam Jackson. He wasn't a scoundrel like Lando. He was one of the top jedi," he said.

Samuel L. Jackson plays Mace Windu in "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones."
Samuel L. Jackson plays Mace Windu in "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones."Star Wars / YouTube

Lucas sold Lucasfilm, the production company behind the franchise, to Disney for $4 billion in 2012.

And the iconic franchise is now set to enter another new era, with Pakistan-born Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy set to become the first person of color to direct a Star Wars feature film.

Her installment, written by "Peaky Blinders" creator Steven Knight, is due to begin filming this year.

"We're in 2024 now, and it's about time that we had a woman come forward to shape a story in a galaxy far, far away," Obaid-Chinoy told CNN.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy at the South Asians at the Oscars Pre-Party held at Paramount Pictures Studios on March 4, 2024 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Gregg DeGuire/Variety via Getty Images)
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.Variety/Getty Images

Lucas also touched on the issue of gender equality in the conversation in Cannes, pointing out that many women have starred in heroic roles in the franchise, such as the late Carrie Fisher.

"Who do you think the heroes are in these stories? What do you think Princess Leia was?" he said.

"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," he added.

Lucas has previously helped fund a student diversity program at his alma mater, the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts.

In 2017, the George Lucas Family Foundation donated $10 million to the program to support students from underrepresented communities — its second such donation, according to USC Today.

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