J.J. Abrams admits it must have been a "complicated thing" for George Lucas to sell the rights to 'Star Wars'.

J.J. Abrams

J.J. Abrams

The filmmaker has directed two films in the new 'Star Wars' trilogy, including the upcoming concluding chapter 'The Rise of Skywalker', which has been made since Lucas sold Lucasfilm and the rights to the sci-fi franchise that he created to Disney in 2012.

Disney CEO Bob Iger recalled in his memoir that Lucas, 75, was "upset" that 'The Force Awakens' would ignore the plot he had planned for any sequel to 'Episode VI - Return of the Jedi'.

Iger wrote: "George immediately got upset as they began to describe the plot and it dawned on him that we weren't using one of the stories he submitted during the negotiations.

"George knew we weren't contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we'd follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded."

Abrams, 53, has met Lucas and insists he has never indicated that he was disappointed with 'Episode VII' and appreciates just how hard it must be to let go of something you made.

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Abrams said: "I've only had gratitude for George. It's probably a complicated thing for him. To decide you're going to sell this thing that you created, that was your baby, to anyone - that must be more complicated than signing a cheque and smiling about it. But he's been incredibly gracious. He's been super-generous."

Abrams previously revealed that he and Lucas had exchanged ideas during the production of 'The Rise of Skywalker'.

Abrams told Total Film Magazine: "He had a lot of things to say about the nature of the Force, the themes he was dealing with when he was writing the movies.

"Yes, there were some conversations about Midi-chlorians - he loves his Midi-chlorians. But it was a very helpful thing. Sitting with him is a treat, just to hear him talk, because it's f***ing George Lucas talking about 'Star Wars'. I always feel it's a gift to hear him talk about that stuff. Because the effect he had on me at 10 years old is utterly profound."