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It's a weird feeling when everyone is talking about your ex-girlfriend.
Or your estranged child. Or however you'd like to characterize "Star Wars" with respect to series creator George Lucas.
As Disney's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" barreled its way toward its second billion in box office bucks, Lucas sat down with Charlie Rose to chat about life, the universe and everything.
To many, the most interesting parts of this long interview may be the ones about the (Star Wars) universe. These came at around the 50-minute mark.
It was here that Lucas declared that the franchise movies were "my kids." Said Rose, eminently straight-faced: "And you sold them."
Here, naturally, was the opportunity to continue with the metaphor. Lucas obliged: "I sold them to the white slavers that take these things and...."
Then he chuckled, knowing that continuing along these lines might lead to some tortured vocabulary and, perhaps, some regrets.
Indeed, Lucas subsequently apologized for some of his comments. As the Hollywood Reporter has it, he released a statement that reads, in part:
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 [Abrams, director of "The Force Awakens"] and Kathy [Kennedy, a producer of the film].
But surely many who have seen "The Force Awakens" would be in agreement with Lucas on another point he made to Rose. Explaining that he's now 70 and knew it was time to move on, Lucas said of Disney: "They wanted to do a retro movie. I don't like that. ... Every movie I make, I work very hard to make them different."
Point taken on the retro aspects of the new movie. "The Force Awakens" could have easily run in 1982. There's little about it that's different or remotely surprising. It has, of course, pleased the fans.
This was Disney's clear intention. Lucas said in the interview with Rose: "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 anymore, and all I would do is muck everything up."
All it took was for Disney to pay $4 billion for Lucasfilm and muckups were avoided. Lucas explained that once the sale was made, it was like a breakup. You don't stalk your ex's house. You don't try and call them. Just let it be. Very sound relationship advice, that.
He claims that talking about the new movie doesn't pain him. He's now focused on making smaller, more personal films.
And why not? He also has time to focus on building affordable housing in one of the snootiest parts of America.
It can't be a bad thing being George Lucas. Just look at all the hype and pressure he's avoiding. Who needs that?