George Lucas responds to diversity criticism in 'Star Wars' franchise

Renowned filmmaker and "Star Wars" creator George Lucas recently addressed criticisms surrounding the lack of diversity in the first six films of the franchise. While speaking at the Cannes Film Festival, Lucas defended his movies by pointing out that the characters in the Star Wars universe were not just white men, but a diverse range of aliens that were meant to symbolize acceptance and equality.

Lucas emphasized that the theme of discrimination was actually portrayed through the robots in the films, suggesting that humans tend to discriminate against things they perceive as different. He also highlighted the presence of actors of color in the Star Wars saga, such as Billy Williams and Samuel L. Jackson, who played prominent roles in the series.

Furthermore, Lucas acknowledged the importance of gender equality in the franchise, noting that strong female characters like Princess Leia have played heroic roles throughout the films. He emphasized that heroism is not defined by one's appearance or attire, but rather by their intelligence, planning, and logistics skills.

In a move towards greater diversity and representation, Pakistani-born Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is set to become the first person of color to direct a Star Wars feature film. Lucas expressed his support for this milestone, underscoring the need for more diverse voices in shaping stories within the Star Wars universe.

Additionally, Lucas has supported initiatives to promote diversity in the film industry, including funding a student diversity program at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. Through his contributions, Lucas aims to provide opportunities for students from underrepresented communities to pursue careers in filmmaking.


More from Press Rundown