In a recent interview, George Lucas revealed that, up until he sold the whole kit and caboodle to Disney, he was planning to release Episode VII himself. Oh, what could have been.
Speaking to USA Today in advance of Strange Magic, Lucas says that he had started to develop a third trilogy. Which is pretty surprising, because he had always seemed to be completely done with making Star Wars feature films after the prequels came out. He sworn off making another trilogy more than once. Granted, there were always rumors that more were in the pipeline.
At the time, Lucas' plan was to make the first one and then leave the second and third films for whoever bought the company after May, 2015. Oh yeah, selling Lucasfilm was always part of the plan. He'd just had a daughter and wanted to step away from the company, and a new trilogy was a ten-year commitment.
In that case, it makes total sense that when Disney came along and gave him a chance to get out early, he did. "It's better for me to get out at the beginning of a new thing and I can just remove myself," he told USA Today. "The time is more important to me than the money."
And Lucas is plenty glad to be able to experience The Force Awakens as a fan, saying:
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.
Anybody else who created that universe.