While promoting his new movie, Strange Magic, George Lucas revealed that he’d originally hoped to release Episode VII before he sold Lucasfilm. He said that all changed when he met his wife, got married, and decided to have a child.
Lucas had even started writing the new trilogy and planned to include Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher, but the ten year commitment to a new trilogy was too much. He told USA Today:
It’s better for me to get out at the beginning of a new thing and I can just remove myself. The time is more important to me than the money.
Not only does letting someone else completely take the reins work better for his personal life, it will finally allow him to see the films just like everyone else.
The only thing I really regret about Star Wars is the fact I never got to see it — I never got to be blown out of my seat when the ship came over the screen. The next one, I’ll be able to enjoy it like anybody else.
As you may have heard, he claims to be so committed to this that he hasn’t even watched the teaser trailer yet.