George Lucas to be given honorary Palme d’Or at Cannes Film Festival

George Lucas is set to be given an honorary Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

The American writer, director and producer, 79, created the Star Wars franchise beginning with the first film in 1977 and wrote the story for the first four Indiana Jones films.

Last year, Indiana Jones and Star Wars actor Harrison Ford was given the French film festival’s highest honour.

Lucas said: “The Festival de Cannes has always held a special place in my heart. I was surprised and elated when my first film, THX-1138, was selected to be shown in a new program for first-time directors called the directors’ fortnight.

“Since then, I have returned to the festival on many occasions in a variety of capacities as a writer, director and producer. I am truly honoured by this special recognition, which means a great deal to me.”

Lucas first worked with Ford on the 1973 comedy American Graffiti before casting him as Han Solo alongside Mark Hamill, who played Luke Skywalker, and Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, in the now-titled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

The 1977 science fiction film became a sensation, winning seven Oscars, and saw two more movies released in the 1980s before spawning more sequels, spin-offs and other material.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny UK premiere – London
Harrison Ford won the honorary Palme d’Or last year (Ian West/PA)

In 2012, he sold Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney Company for 4.06 billion US dollars (£2.7 billion) and the film studio has since gone on to release a Star Wars trilogy with Daisy Ridley taking a starring role and the series The Mandalorian.

Ridley, who began with 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is expected to reprise her role as Rey in future movies.

The honorary Palme d’Or will be presented during the closing ceremony of Cannes on May 25.

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