Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been a pretty incredible success, earning glowing reviews, breaking cinema records, and helping to make 2015 the highest grossing year in US box office history. However, at least one person isn't completely happy with the new film: George Lucas. In an interview with Charlie Rose, the Star Wars creator compares selling the rights to the films to selling his kids to "white slavers," and says, regarding the possibility of him helping out with the new movies: "They weren't that keen to have me involved."
Lucas is still conflicted about selling Star Wars
In a fairly wide-ranging interview, Lucas touches on a number of topics, including his competition with Steven Spielberg, the narcissism of directors, and the deep roots of mythology. But, around 45 minutes in, the question of how Lucas feels about Star Wars: The Force Awakens is broached. Here's what he has to say:
The first three movies had all kinds of issues. [Disney] looked at the stories and they said we want to make something for the fans. So I said all I want to do is tell the story of what happened. You know, it started here and it went there. It's all about generations and it's about, you know, the issues of fathers and sons and grandfathers; it's a family soap opera. I mean, ultimately. We call it a space opera, but people don't realize it's actually a soap opera. And it's all about family problems — it's not about spaceships.
So, they decided they didn't want to use those stories. They said they were going to go do their own thing, so I decided, fine, but basically I'm not going to try to... they weren't that keen to have me involved anyway. But at the time I said ... if I get in there, I'm just gonna cause trouble, because they're not gonna do what I want them to do, so. And I don't have the control to do that anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up. So I said, okay, I will go my way, and I'll let them go their way.
And it really does come down to a really simple rule of life, which is when you break up with somebody, the first rule is no phone calls. The second rule, you don't go over to their house and drive by to see what they're doing. The third one is you don't show up at their coffee shop or the thing ... you just say: nope, gone, history — I'm moving forward... Every time you do something like that, you're opening the wound again, and it just makes it harder for you. You have to put it behind you, and it's a very, very, very hard thing to do. But you have to just cut it off and say okay, end of ball game. I got to move on. And everything in your body says, don't, you can't — and these are my kids.
All those Star Wars films ... I loved them, I created them, I'm very intimately involved in them, and I sold them to the white slavers that take these things and uh, and ... [laughs]
Rose never pushes Lucas on this last comment, but it's clear that Lucas still feels conflicted about selling the films. Although he says he's at peace with what happened, he suggests that the style of The Force Awakens isn't to his taste. "[Disney] wanted to do a retro movie," said Lucas. "I don't like that." You can watch the full interview below: