Francis Ford Coppola Presents George Lucas With Honorary Palme d’Or as the Iconic Directors Reflect on an ‘Association That Has Lasted a Lifetime’

George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola reflected on their lifelong bond as the “Megalopolis” director presented the “Star Wars” visionary with Cannes Film Festival’s honorary Palme d’Or on Saturday night.

Before Lucas received the award, he was greeted in the theater by a several-minute standing ovation, during which he gave the crowd a thumbs-up and got a little teary-eyed. When Coppola came on stage, the two embraced and exchanged some private remarks.

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In his speech, Coppola recalled his first meeting with Lucas, who shadowed him on the set of his film “Finian’s Rainbow” in 1968.

“Pleased to have someone in my own generation, I suggested he come every day, but only on one condition: That he come up with a brilliant suggestion every day, which he consistently did. And with that began an association that has lasted a lifetime,” Coppola said. “And he went on and on, making film history, story history, business history and now history in France.”

Coppola also mentioned when Lucas was rejected by the owners of the “Flash Gordon” comic strip when he pitched a film adaptation. “He looked at me and he said, ‘Well, I’ll make my own movie, I’ll call it “Star Battles” or “Star Wars” or something.’ And so he did, and in the process risked everything he had to make it. Congratulations George, not only am I and your many friends proud of you, but the world is here, proud to honor you.”

Accepting the award, Lucas said, “I can’t thank all of you enough because I’m just a kid that grew up in a vineyard in Modesto, Calif., who makes movies in San Francisco with Francis.”

Looking back on his nearly 60 years in the film industry, Lucas added that “it’s definitely a different world” now.

“I’ve actually never made a film in Hollywood as a director, so it’s a real honor to be here,” he concluded. “Thank you so much.”

Lucas and Coppola held hands as they walked across the stage to take photos together with the award, supporting each other in more ways than one.

At a conversation at the festival on Friday, Lucas reflected on some of the criticism he received of the first six “Star Wars” films over the years.

“They would say, ‘It’s all white men,’” Lucas said of the films’ critics. “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.”

The most recent “Indiana Jones” installment, “The Dial of Destiny,” premiered at Cannes last year, but Lucas did not attend the festival, making his appearance at the 77th edition even more special. Beyond Coppola, Lucas joins a number of auteurs on the Croisette this year, including Paul Schrader, who brought his Vietnam drama “Oh, Canada” to the fest, and David Cronenberg, who premiered his latest film “The Shrouds.”

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