Monday, July 22

George Lucas Drops the Mic, ‘The Acolyte’ First Reactions, and More

Welcome to a new edition of “This Week, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away“, where I’m here siding with all Star Wars authors and members of the publishing team who didn’t get the invite to the Acolyte premiere on Thursday night! It’s been an intense weekend over at Star Wars News Net, as we try to parse through everything George Lucas said in Cannes, as well as gather the latest to stem from the Leslye Headland show, which is now just 9 days away from launching on Disney Plus.


This week was also a big one for Ray Stevenson. On Tuesday, we marked the one-year anniversary of his passing. On Saturday, May 25, he would have turned 60 years old. On a happier note, Saturday also marked the 47th anniversary of Star Wars, 41st of Return of the Jedi, and six years since Solo: A Star Wars Story came out. May is a huge month for Star Wars.


Before we dive in, allow me to plug the sophomore entry in our new series of articles that Josh is writing, spotlighting tier-B-and-below Star Wars characters. This Friday, we published a highlight of Quinlan Vos; check it out here.


More plugs: The latest episode of SWNN Live! features Jay and Tyler as they continue to discuss the Skywalker Saga films; this week, it’s time for The Empire Strikes Back. Ever heard of that one? If you’re looking for movie recommendations, though, check out my Furiosa review on our sister site


Three Things That May Have Flown Casual


  • Not everyone wants a job: Had to happen right?! One day, after years of reporters asking Star Wars actors whether they’d like to star in their own spin-off, one said no! And it had to be Adria Arjona, who is slowly becoming a favorite actress of mine (watch out for Hit Man coming to Netflix in a few days!). Now, I have all the more respect for her. Can’t wait to see Andor season 2.
  • Live-action minor updates: It’s not time to hit the panic button on New Jedi Order by any stretch, but I was surprised and slightly concerned to see that Daisy Ridley hasn’t read a script yet. Steven Knight will move on to the Peaky Blinders movie this summer, so time’s running out. Elsewhere, we got our first look at the four kid characters from Skeleton Crew via a toy. Ah, the good ol’ days. Now, where’s Kerry Condon?
  • Publishing news: We got a new excerpt for Temptation of the Force this week, as well as our first look at the August 2024 comic slate. Also, new reviews: Mace Windu #4 (Jay) and Star Wars #46 (Josh),




Everything The Acolyte All The Time


Disney hosted the premiere of their new Star Wars show The Acolyte in Los Angeles this past Thursday, and shortly thereafter, the first wave of reactions poured on social media. No surprise here, they were glowing! There’s really so much weight you can put into these initial reactions, for a couple of reasons.


First, they’ve only seen the first two episodes (note that some members of the press have seen the first four, though), and Disney Plus Star Wars tends to have a pretty good track record with beginnings — it’s how they land the plane that ultimately matters. Also, and this especially applies to people attending the live event, you’re surrounded by a mostly positive environment, so it’s easy to overstate your enjoyment because of that.


Mae (Amandla Stenberg) in Lucasfilm’s THE ACOLYTE, exclusively on Disney+. ©2024 Lucasfilm Ltd. & TM. All Rights Reserved.


I’ve admittedly not seen a second of the show beyond what’s in the trailers, but this is something we should all take into account when reading through social media posts about a new show — and it applies to my own, too, should they happen in the future.


But there’s been so much more happening in The Acolyte camp this week. Empire Magazine has published their full interviews with Amandla Stenberg, Lee Jung-jae, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Dafne Keen. Leslye Headland also talked to Den of Geek about the series and why they will be missing out on Darth Bane references in season 1.


There have also been plenty of new clips and behind-the-scenes featurettes; check them out below! Plus, Amandla delighted us on Monday with a video playing on her violin a special arrangement made exclusively for her by John Williams. If that doesn’t enlarge his legend even more, I don’t know what does.





The Acolyte | Who Trained You | Streaming June 4 on Disney+
byu/DiamondFireYT inStarWarsLeaks


George Lucas Drops the Mic At the Cannes Film Festival


George Lucas’ biggest return to the public forum in years happened this weekend when he visited the South of France to receive the Honorary Palme d’Or on Saturday (and later stayed to watch the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix — fast cars!)


But in a conversation on Friday, George Lucas dropped a bunch of pearls regarding the future of cinema, the Star Wars franchise, and pretty much everything that’s going on in the entertainment industry. First, there’s the question about representation in Star Wars and the pointing of fingers at the fact that the original trilogy is mostly all white men:


“They would say, ‘It’s all white men.’ Most of the people are aliens! 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. The idea is all people are equal.

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.”



As it had to happen, the conversation eventually included the Disney-era Star Wars movies, which George Lucas has his own thoughts on — though he rarely shares them publicly:


“I was the one who really knew what Star Wars was, who actually knew this world, because there’s a lot to it… Nobody understood the Force. When they started other ones after I sold the company, a lot of the ideas that were in [the original] sort of got lost. But that’s the way it is. You give it up, you give it up… [The new films have] a lot of talent, great ideas, and production. I feel like they come from my children, and sometimes it hurts a little when they grow up and get away from you.”


It’s certainly an interesting choice of words. He’s not quick to criticize the sequels but simply laments the fact that his ideas were abandoned along the way. But the comment about them feeling like they come from his children is a bit puzzling. One would have thought he means Dave Filoni, and perhaps even Jon Favreau to an extent, but neither one has made a Star Wars feature film yet. Another, more likely candidate, is probably Kathy Kennedy.


Star Wars: A New Hope BTS


Perhaps my favorite quote of his in this interview happened when said he and Steven Spielberg were building sand castles in Hawaii unbeknownst to the fact that Walter Cronkite, the biggest news anchor in the US back then, was prepping a special report on how Star Wars was a massive phenomenon. I knew about Hawaii and Spielberg, but the detail about the sandcastles just put it over the top for me:


“When it came out, people [lined up] around the block. I said to Alan Ladd Jr., who was president of the studio, ‘Look, all science-fiction films do well in the first week. That’s just the way it is. Let’s not worry about lines around the block in the first week. They just like science-fiction films.’ And then I went off on Hawaii to be on the beach, and Steven Spielberg and I sat around and made sandcastles and things, and then some of my friends from the United States called and said, ‘Turn on Walter Cronkite tonight, turn on the news!’ I turned it on, and he did a whole thing about what a phenomenon it was, and that’s when I finally realized that it was a phenomenon.”


But what’s especially unique about these conversations is that we get to hear the Maker’s actual thoughts on some of the hottest topics in entertainment these days. After recently turning 80, he has nothing more to prove, and if he ever had anyone to answer to, he no longer does. So he can just speak his mind freely. And that’s what he did, on topics like streaming (“I just said ‘Look, I don’t know what this is gonna be. There’s gonna be a giant transition in the business; I don’t know much about it.’ And I sold the company and I retired, basically.”), artificial intelligence (“We’ve been using it for 25 years. It’s not AI, but we used all the digital technology, because we helped pioneer a lot of that.”), the future of Hollywood (“Big studios [just] want something that’s like something they’ve seen, because they don’t have the imagination to see something that isn’t there.”), and even Martin Scorsese’s one-sided war against Marvel Studios (“Look – cinema is the art of the moving image, so if the image moves, then it’s cinema.”)



George Lucas became what we should all aspire to be: someone who carved his own path, followed his own instinct and achieved all of his dreams. He now gets to enjoy the spoils, living a quiet life surrounded by the same vineyards he grew up in, and getting to spend his last days on Earth surrounded by his loved ones. Having conversations like this one with the Man himself is a treasure, and I feel very lucky that I was here to read them live. He has a unique mind, full of original thoughts and ideas that we can all dream of. In his speech accepting the award, he was visibly emotional, but his age also showed. And that’s just George being George: he doesn’t care about appearances, he just wants to be with his loved ones.


Congratulations to George Lucas on receiving the Honorary Palme d’Or, and please, let’s try to get a mic in front of him every once in a while. Not that he owes us anything, though.



What did you think of the latest edition of “This Week, In a Galaxy Far, Far Away”? Let me know your thoughts and suggestions down below in the comment section. You can also send them, or reach out with any information tips, directly via our Contact page.


Have a great week!


Miguel Fernández is a Spanish student that has movies as his second passion in life. His favorite movie of all time is The Lord of the Rings, but he is also a huge Star Wars fan. However, fantasy movies are not his only cup of tea, as movies from Scorsese, Fincher, Kubrick or Hitchcock have been an obsession for him since he started to understand the language of filmmaking. He is that guy who will watch a black and white movie, just because it is in black and white.