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LOS ANGELES (AP) — George Lucas has apologized for criticizing Disney’s handling of “Star Wars” and saying he had sold his characters to “white slavers” in a recent interview with Charlie Rose.

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In a statement issued Thursday, Lucas says he misspoke and used a “very inappropriate analogy.” It’s not clear what he meant, and Rose didn’t ask a follow-up question on his PBS show that aired Dec. 24.

The “Star Wars” creator sold Lucasfilm to the Walt Disney Co. in 2012 for $4.06 billion, and the studio developed “The Force Awakens” with J.J. Abrams and Kathleen Kennedy.

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Lucas discussed his decision to stay out of the new installment in the hour-long interview with Rose and criticized Disney’s retro, fan-centric approach to the sequel.

In the statement, Lucas says Disney is moving the franchise in exciting directions.

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