Star Wars creator George Lucas has been described as “crass and outdated” and has issued an apology following a controversial TV interview in the US.
During an hour-long interview on The Charlie Rose Show, Lucas referred to the brand’s parent company, The Walt Disney Company, as “white slavers”.
Lucas was talking about Disney’s purchase of the film franchise from him. He said he was frustrated by the direction Disney took the series with Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
He said of the new instalment: “They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that.
“They weren’t that keen to have me involved anyway, but if I get in there, I’m just going to cause trouble, because they’re not going to do what I want them to do.
“And I don’t have the control to do that any more, and all I would do is muck everything up. And so I said, ‘OK, I will go my way, and I’ll let them go their way.’
“You have to put it behind you and it’s a very, very difficult thing to do. But you’ve got to move on. Everything in your body says you can’t.
“These are my kids, all the Star Wars films. I loved them, I created them, was very intimately involved with them. I sold them to the white slavers that take these things.”
Lucas initially tried to laugh off the comment, but it soon became apparent that many were offended by his choice of words.
Lucas said in a statement: “I misspoke and used a very inappropriate analogy and for that I apologise.
“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.
“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.”
The seventh instalment of the Star Wars series is set to become the most successful film of all time. It has become the fastest film to reach $1bn at the international box office.
Lucas sold his company, Lucasfilm, to Disney in 2012 for just over $4bn.