George Lucas Calls Disney 'White Slavers' Over Handling of 'Star Wars'

George Lucas ventured to his dark side as he unloaded on the Walt Disney Co. over its treatment of the  “Star Wars” franchise, accusing the company of abandoning his vision in the latest installment.

“They looked at the stories and they said, ‘We want to make something for the fans,'” Lucas told Charlie Rose in an hourlong that aired Dec. 25 and streamed this week. “People don’t actually realize it’s actually a soap opera and it’s all about family problems — it’s not about spaceships. So they decided they didn’t want to use those stories, they decided they were going to do their own thing so I decided, ‘Fine … I’ll go my way and I let them go their way.'”

Of his $4 billion deal with Disney handing off the franchise, he said:  “I sold them to the white slavers that take these things and …,” his voice trailing off.

The new J.J. Abrams-directed “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” has set box office records, amassing more than $1 billion worldwide, and garnered mostly positive reviews from critics and fans.

On Thursday, Lucas issued an apology:

“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 [Lucasfilm chief] Kathy [Kennedy].”