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One of the more interesting meta-narratives of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” mania has been monitoring the reactions of franchise creator George Lucas. It’s the first Star Wars film since Lucas sold Lucasfilm — and the rights to virtually all things Star Wars — to Disney in 2012, and though he’s been largely supportive, he’s also made a couple eyebrow-raising comments. In a newly released 50-plus minute interview with Charlie Rose, he made his most eyebrow-raising-est comments yet.
Around the 50-minute mark, Lucas discusses the inherent difficulty in seeing Star Wars handled by other people, calling the movies “his kids.” “I loved them, I created them, I’m very intimately involved with them,” Lucas said.
When Rose brings up the sale, Lucas — jokingly but unwisely — called Disney “white slavers.” “I sold them to the white slavers that take these things…” Lucas said, before trailing off and laughing.
Lucas later explains that he knew it was time to “move on” from Star Wars, and said he didn’t share Disney’s direction for Episode VII. “They wanted to do a retro movie, I don’t like that. Every movie, I work very hard to make them different. I make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships — to make it new.”
Judging “The Force Awakens” as “retro” is a common criticism of the film’s increasingly vocal detractors, who cite an over-reliance on familiar story beats from 1977’s original “Star Wars: A New Hope.” Of course, that notion hasn’t held the film back: It’s received nearly universal critical acclaim, and has made more than $1.2 billion at the box office.
On the more positive side, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has stated that Lucas “really liked” “The Force Awakens,” and the legendary director attended the Hollywood premiere of the film earlier this month.
The interview, part of PBS’ “Charlie Rose” series, can be viewed in full below.