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George Lucas apologizes for ‘white slaver’ comments on selling ‘Star Wars’

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  • Mellody Hobson, left, and George Lucas arrive at the world premiere of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” at the TCL Chinese Theatre on Dec. 14 in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

George Lucas may have mixed feelings about parting ways with the galaxy he built. In an interview on “Charlie Rose” the “Star Wars” creator called the past films he directed his “kids” and likened the split from the franchise to that of a breakup with a romantic partner. And then Lucas implied that he had sold those kids to “white slavers.”

In a 50-minute interview with Rose, Lucas discussed his long career as well as the task of parting ways with the space opera he’s been a part of since 1977. Lucas lamented that he avoids the movies now much as one would avoid someone they have severed ties with in a relationship — no phone calls and definitely do not drive by the person’s home.

“You have to put it behind you and it’s a very, very, very hard thing to do,” Lucas told Rose. “But you have to just cut it off and say, ‘End of ball game, I gotta move on.’ Everything in your body says, ‘Don’t, you can’t.’ These are my kids. … All the ‘Star Wars’ films. I loved them, I created them. … I’m very intimately involved in them. … I sold them to the white slavers that take these things and … “

Lucas also didn’t seem terribly pleased with the direction of new film “The Force Awakens.”

“They wanted to do a retro movie,” Lucas said. “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, make it new.”

However, the filmmaker went on to explain that he was at peace with everything despite dealing with the earlier breakup issues.

The public was not. The comments, particularly those about “white slavers,” hit the media with a whirlwind. Lucas has since responded with an apology and a statement released to the media (via Deadline):

“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 J.J. (director J.J. Abrams) and Kathy (producer Kathleen Kennedy).”


©2015 Los Angeles Times

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  • Lucas and the Force he awakened 38 years ago have parted company. No amount of ex post facto fence mending will lessen the pain he must bear. Like many a genius before him, pain, suffering and misery are the price he must pay for his gift. Should one encounter him, an appropriate greeting would be “Glad to see you – – wouldn’t want to be you.”

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