"Star Wars" creator George Lucas apologized Thursday for referring to Disney as "white slavers," calling the phrase "a very inappropriate analogy."
Lucas, who made the harsh comments in an interview with Charlie Rose, also praised Disney's leadership and their work as custodians of "Star Wars."
"Disney is doing an incredible job of taking care of and expanding the franchise," Lucas said in a statement. "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."
In his interview with Rose, which was published online Dec. 25, Lucas remarked that he sold the blockbuster franchise "to the white slavers that take these things."
He went on to deride "The Force Awakens," the latest film episode that has been breaking box-office records.
“They wanted to do a retro movie. I don’t like that,” he told Rose. He said he had worked hard to create movies in the series that were distinct from one another. "I worked very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships -- you know, to make it new,” he said.
But in his statement Thursday, Lucas said he was "blown away" with the "record breaking success of the new movie and am very proud of JJ and Kathy," referring to director J.J. Abrams and producer Kathleen Kennedy.
In his interview with Rose, Lucas described distancing himself from the series as akin to a "break-up" with a lover.
"You have to put it behind you, and it's a very, very, very hard thing to do. But you just have to cut it off and just say, 'OK, end of ballgame.' I've gotta move on. And everything in your body says, 'Don't, you can't.' "