George Lucas made quite an appearance at the 77th Cannes Film Festival, where he was celebrated with the esteemed Palme d’Or prize for his monumental contributions to cinema, sparking stimulating conversations about his iconic creation, Star Wars. At the event, Lucas touched on the long-standing love-hate relationship fans and critics have had with the Star Wars saga, particularly focusing on the much-debated prequel trilogy.

Reflecting on the backlash against the prequels, particularly “The Phantom Menace,” Lucas suggested that harsh critiques came from audiences who, as children, adored the original trilogy and struggled with the more juvenile tone of the new movies. Drawing parallels to the initial reception of characters like C-3PO and the Ewoks, Lucas emphasized that Star Wars was always intended to be a children’s story, fundamentally aimed at young audiences facing life’s big questions. Despite initial reactions, many who grew up with the prequels now hold them in high regard.

Lucas also expressed mixed feelings about Disney’s handling of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, post his sale of Lucasfilm. He remarked that many core ideas and the essence of the Force were lost in translation, acknowledging that after letting go of his creation, he had to accept the subsequent changes.

Addressing longstanding criticism regarding the diversity—or lack thereof—in his films, Lucas defended the inclusivity embedded within the Star Wars universe. He highlighted the variety of alien characters and pointed out that significant roles were given to actors of different ethnic backgrounds throughout the saga. Furthermore, Lucas responded to criticisms about gender representation by underscoring the pivotal roles played by Princess Leia and Queen Amidala.

As Lucas concluded his reflections, he maintained that while the universe of Star Wars continues to expand under new leadership, its heart remains consistent with his original vision—a blend of diverse characters and stories aimed at inspiring the imagination of younger generations. With the upcoming release of “Star Wars: The Acolyte” on Disney+ on June 4, fans have much to look forward to.

Share your thoughts! How do you feel about Lucas’s comments on the prequels, sequels, and diversity criticisms? Do you think the essence of Star Wars has changed under Disney? Join the conversation in the comments below and don’t forget to share this story on social media. For more updates, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, and subscribe to our newsletter!

Special thanks to The Hollywood Reporter for insights featured in this article.