George Lucas wasn’t involved in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as he sold the franchise to Disney for $4 billion in 2012. He also didn’t seem to be the most chipper little trooper about how the movie turned out in this interview with Charlie Rose, in which he said he sold Star Wars to “white slavers” whom he disagreed with because, “They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that. Every movie I work very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships, make it new.”
That approach seemed to work incredibly well for the prequels.
Ahem, anyway. We are now at the “retraction and clarification” section of this kerfuffle. Lucas has released a statement to explain he didn’t mean it when he said the thing everybody quoted directly.
“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.”
For what it’s worth, the Wednesday box office numbers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens are in, and it just passed Frozen to become the eighth highest-grossing movie of all time with $1.2931 billion worldwide so far. Perhaps this news will make Disney look at Lucas’ insult and ( •_•)>⌐■-■ … (⌐■_■) … let it go. (I’m so sorry.)
If you’re keeping track, The Force Awakens is already the highest-grossing Star Wars movie, broke a ton of records, and was originally estimated to earn $2 billion, which would make it the third highest-grossing movie after Avatar and Titanic. Similar early estimates predicted a domestic opening weekend of $225 million; it actually opened even higher: $248 million.
With all these outsized profits, we wonder if Lucas regrets selling the property. Let’s check in on him…
We’ll venture a guess that everyone here will probably be okay.