George Lucas is rolling back and apologizing for his comments about Disney and its ownership of the Star Wars series after he compared the company to “white slavers” in a recently published national interview.
In a statement to Variety, Lucas said he’s “thrilled” to see Disney take Star Wars in “exciting directions” across categories.
“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,” Lucas said in his statement Thursday. “Disney is doing an incredible job of taking care of and expanding the franchise. 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.”
Lucas added: “Most of all, I’m blown away with the record-breaking blockbuster success of the new movie and am very proud of [director JJ Abrams] and [Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy].”
The interview in question was a lengthy one that Lucas gave to GameSpot sister site CBS News. In the sitdown with Charlie Rose, Lucas said he was not a big fan of the “retro” feel that Disney decided on for the smash hit Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Lucas had already said the movie strayed from his original vision.
“They wanted to do a retro movie,” Lucas said during the interview. “I don’t like that. ‘Every movie, I worked very hard to make them different. I made them completely different–different planets, different spaceships to make it new.”
Lucas sold the Star Wars series to Disney in 2012 for over $4 billion. The Force Awakens is the first Star Wars film to be released since then. It’s gone on to make lots and lots of money.
You can watch the full interview through the video embed below.