George Lucas has, on numerous occasions, made it clear that he admires the Leni Riefenstahl's work on Triumph of the Will (a famous Nazi propaganda film showing the highlights of the 1934 Nazi Party rally at Nuremburg). While the subject matter is vile, the film certainly is a masterpiece of cinematography, and it influence Lucas's work (most clearly in the award presentation scene at the end of A New Hope).
The proper name "Whills" has been around in Star Wars lore for a very long time, and it occurred to me just recently that it might have been chosen as an homage to Riefenstahl. Lucas has never been shy about giving his positive opinion of Riefenstahl's work, but it might still be considered in bad taste to make an explicit reference in this way. Has this question ever been raised?