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George Lucas likens the sale of Star Wars rights to selling his kids to ‘white slavers’

Star Wars fans are busy making The Force Awakens one of the biggest films of all-time, but creator George Lucas is putting the franchise behind him. In a recent interview with Charlie Rose, the acclaimed filmmaker discussed his decision to let Disney buy Lucasfilm (including Star Wars’ intellectual property rights), likening it to both a breakup and to having sold his kids to “white slavers” (via The Playlist).

When Lucas sold his production company to Disney in 2012, it was clear to him that Disney wasn’t “that keen to have [him] involved,” he told Charlie Rose. The studio wanted to create what he described as a “retro movie,” something he wasn’t interested in. With it looking like there’d be clashes and he wouldn’t have control anyway, he decided it was better to exit.

Related: From Minions to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, 2015 was full of global box office giants

To move on, Lucas treated it like a breakup, explaining that he had to “cut it off” and put it behind him. It wasn’t easy, of course. He said the Star Wars films were like his kids: “I loved them, I created them, I’m very intimately involved with them.” Similar to a disappointed ex, he took his analogy further, joking, “I sold them to the white slavers …” before cutting himself off.

Lucas stated that has plans to make more “experimental” films in the future, and he criticized Hollywood’s for not taking chances. Instead, the film industry largely relies on what’s been “proven,” he argues, in pursuit of profits. Of course, it’s hard to dispute that it works. When Fandango compiled users’ top 10 favorite films of 2015 recently, all but three belonged to existing movie franchises and all had ranked in at least the top 30 highest grossing films at the U.S. box office, according to Box Office Mojo data.

Nonetheless, Lucas has plans to go back to smaller projects, reminding fans of his earlier work, including American Graffiti and THX 1138.