The Sacrifice George Lucas Made That Paved The Way For The New Star Wars Films (VIDEO)

05/02/2014 09:14 pm ET | Updated May 02, 2014

As excitement for the new "Star Wars" films heats up, we take a look back at George Lucas' 1997 appearance on "The Oprah Winfrey Show." It was the 20th-anniversary reissue of the iconic series' first film, "Star Wars: A New Hope," and Lucas was astonished at the film's continued success.

"I was just hoping it would make its money back," Lucas tells Oprah.

He also discusses the sacrifice he made long ago in order to have creative control of the franchise. Lucas gave up his director's fee in order to maintain sequel rights -- a decision that ended up being very smart indeed.

"I took the first act and made that into a film," Lucas says. "But as all writers do, as I put the other acts on the shelf there I said, 'I will get back to you, I will see to it you get made.' So my main goal in getting the sequel rights was to be able to make and finish the film."

Also in the clip, Oprah asks Lucas if he had fun while making the Star Wars films. His answer? Watching a movie is very different from making one.

"It wasn't very much fun," he admits. "It was a lot of very hard work, and somehow we survived it."

Find more clips from "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Oprah.com.

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