George Lucas has apologized for comments he made regarding the new Star Wars franchise following a Charlie Rose interview where the series creator admitted he wasn't a fan of the record-breaking The Force Awakens' "retro" approach and likened Disney to "white slavers." "I misspoke and used a very inappropriate analogy and for that I apologize," Lucas said in a statement.
"I have been working with Disney for 40 years and chose them as the custodians of Star Wars because of my great respect for the company and [Disney CEO] Bob Iger's leadership. Disney is doing an incredible job of taking care of and expanding the franchise," Lucas continued (via The Playlist).
"I rarely go out with statements to clarify my feelings but I feel it is important to make it clear that I am thrilled that Disney has the franchise and is moving it in such exciting directions in film, television and the parks. Most of all I'm blown away with the record breaking blockbuster success of the new movie and am very proud of J.J. [Abrams, The Force Awakens director] and Kathy [Kennedy, Lucasfilm president and Star Wars brand manager]."
Lucas added that the Rose interview was filmed prior to the Kennedy Center Honors taping – the ceremony took place in Washington, D.C. on December 6th – but was broadcast after The Force Awakens was released to theaters December 17th and the Kennedy Center ceremony aired December 29th.
In the Rose interview, Lucas expressed some disappointment that his ideas for Episodes VII through IX were dismissed by the current Star Wars brain trust. "They looked at the stories, and they said, 'We want to make something for the fans,'" Lucas said of Disney, who bought the rights to Lucasfilm's cinematic properties for $4 billion.
"They decided they didn't want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing … They weren't that keen to have me involved anyway, but if I get in there, I'm just going to cause trouble, because they're not going to do what I want them to do. And I don't have the control to do that anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up."
Lucas also referred to the Star Wars films as his "kids" in the interview.