Now, if there's one thing that'll give you the confidence to say whatever the hell you like about pretty much anything going, it's likely selling the world's most beloved franchise for $4 billion, and then watching it make most of that money back within the space of a month. After all, there's not many better validations of your life's work than the triple whammy of a bantha-load of money, astonishing commercial success and a whole heap of critical acclaim.
For George Lucas, though - for it is he - that confidence has on occasion led him down some slightly troubling conversational alleyways. While he may not have had anything to do with the making of Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, the multi-billion dollar grossing movie is still a direct continuation of the beloved saga he created, and as such he has recently been asked a whole lot of questions about it.
And sometimes, his answers have been a little... challenging. Like, for instance, that time...
George Lucas Referred to Disney as 'White Slavers'
Specifically, while speaking to Charlie Rose, Lucas discussed his feelings about having sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney back in 2012, and chose to sum them up in a very particular way:
"You have to put it behind you, and it's a very, very, very hard thing to do. But you have to just cut it off and say okay, end of ball game. I got to move on. And everything in your body says, don't, you can't — and these are my kids.
"All those Star Wars films ... I loved them, I created them, I'm very intimately involved in them, and I sold them to the white slavers that take these things..."
Which, unsurprisingly, caused a pretty substantial uproar, especially as he also gently tore into the new movie's approach, adding:
"They wanted to do a retro movie. 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."
Now, most importantly, there's a pretty huge difference between making a movie already beloved by millions of people around the world and physically enslaving millions of people in a horrifying cycle of abuse and systematic unspeakable-ness, making Lucas's analogy distinctly problematic on a whole heap of political and emotional levels. It's also, however, easy to imagine that a whole lot of the folks over at Disney would have been less than thrilled to hear themselves and their shiny new movie described so negatively at the best of times, especially by a man to whom they had so recently paid a proverbial crap-ton of money.
George Lucas Has Now 'Clarified' His Remarks
Or, rather, he has profusely apologized for them, while pretty much completely backtracking on any implied criticism of Disney that may have lain underneath their surface. As he put it in an official statement:
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."
Which, admittedly, may seem a little like the kind of statement you'd make after having been threatened with a huge lawsuit by a gang of terrifying corporate lawyers, but even so - it still sure as hell beats leaving things with the line 'white slavers'.
Nicely saved, George. Nicely saved...
What do you think, though?
via The Verge