Lucas told actor Warwick Davis, who was moderating the event’s opening panel, that Star Wars was always intended to be enjoyed by “12-year-olds.” He went on to admonish critics for “being mean” and talk about what Star Wars stands for in his mind.
“Friendships, honestly, trust, doing the right thing, living on the right side and avoiding the dark side,” Lucas said. “Those are the things it was meant to do.”
Lucas said that while certain fans and critics can be overly critical of the movies — with the prequel trilogy garnering overwhelmingly negative attention in particular — seeing children enjoy the movies that he’s created is a reminder of why he started to begin with.
Lucas brought up a memory from shooting a scene from one of the prequel movies in Spain, and seeing the “thousands” of Star Wars fans line up to meet him.
“There were all these tiny kids,” Lucas said. “They were all reaching their hands out, and they had no idea what was happening, but all they wanted to do was touch my hand.
“That’s all I’ve ever wanted, and it reminds me why I continue to do it.”
Star Wars Celebration runs today through April 16. Polygon will have ongoing coverage all weekend.