Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.

Arts and Entertainment

Bitter George Lucas Says He Sold 'Star Wars' To 'White Slavers' [UPDATE]

George Lucas and J.J. Abrams attend the world premiere of 'Star Wars: The Force Awakens' (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Before you
Dear reader, we're asking you to help us keep local news available for all. Your tax-deductible financial support keeps our stories free to read, instead of hidden behind paywalls. We believe when reliable local reporting is widely available, the entire community benefits. Thank you for investing in your neighborhood.

Breaking up is always the hardest part.

George Lucas, no longer involved in the production of any of the new Star Wars films, isn't taking the separation very well. In an interview with Charlie Rose, he called Disney, to whom he sold Lucasfilm for $4 billion in 2012, "white slavers." "They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway," said Lucas.

He criticized the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens for being too much of a "retro" film. "I don't like that," says Lucas. "Every movie I work very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships, make it new." He's kind of right, you know. (I still liked the movie anyway. Sorry George.)

Support for LAist comes from

In another clip from the interview, Lucas explains his preference for originality:

Responding to Rose quoting Lucas' buddy Steven Spielberg, saying Star Wars changed Hollywood into the blockbuster-driven industry it is today, he slams the industry's "lack of imagination" and "fear of creativity." After the success of Star Wars, he explains, studios kept trying to imitate its epic space battles with much less success.

"We gotta remember, Star Wars came from nowhere. American Graffiti came from nowhere," he says of his own work. "There was nothing like it."

This isn't the first time Lucas has thrown shade at J.J. Abrams' sequel to his work. "I think the fans are going to love it," he told Vulture ahead of The Force Awakens' release. "It's very much the kind of movie they've been looking for."


Star Wars: The Force Awakens, by the way, has made over a billion dollars at the box office.

You can watch the entire 54-minute interview here:

Update [2:15]: George Lucas has issued an apology for his statements to Charlie Rose, saying the "white slavers" remark was "a very inappropriate analogy" and says Disney is doing "an incredible job" with Star Wars. The entire statement, via The Hollywood Reporter, reads as follows:

Support for LAist comes from
I want to clarify my interview on the Charlie Rose Show. It was for the Kennedy Center Honors and conducted prior to the premiere of the film. I misspoke and used a very inappropriate analogy and for that I apologize. 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 Bob Iger’s leadership. 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. Most of all I’m blown away with the record breaking blockbuster success of the new movie and am very proud of JJ and Kathy.