George Lucas attends the European premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens at Leicester Square in London on Dec. 16, 2015.
Chris Jackson/Getty Images

George Lucas is backpedaling away from remarks he made during a recent interview in which he referred to Disney movie studios as "white slavers," USA Today reports.

Lucas—the creator of and mastermind behind the Star Wars franchise—sold the franchise to Disney for a little over $4 billion in 2012. In an interview with Charlie Rose that aired in the U.S. on Christmas Day, Lucas slammed Disney for its handling of the new Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Now he's apologizing for his racially charged comment. 

"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," Lucas said in a statement put out Thursday. 

But during the earlier interview with Rose, Lucas complained about how The Force Awakens was too "retro"—meaning that he tried to reinvent the Star Wars franchise every time he put out a new movie by sprucing up the story's elements in each new film. He doesn't feel that this latest movie does that. 

"Every movie, I work very hard to make them completely different, with different planets, with different spaceships; make it new," Lucas explained. "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 any more."

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Well, he must have gotten a pretty nasty call from a Disney executive or another Hollywood executive who advised him not to burn any bridges with Disney, because he was singing a different tune in his statement of apology.

"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 [Chairman and CEO] Bob Iger's leadership," Lucas' statement read. "Disney is doing an incredible job of taking care of and expanding the franchise."

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Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele is a staff writer at The Root and the founder and executive producer of Lectures to Beats, a Web series that features video interviews with scarily insightful people. Follow Lectures to Beats on Facebook and Twitter.

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