George Lucas initially planned on finishing Star Wars: The Force Awakens before selling Lucasfilm.
Historically, there has been some minor debate about Lucas’ involvement and intentions with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. USA Today has an interview with George Lucas about his next film Strange Magic and a little tidbit about Star Wars: The Force Awakens is dropped:
Lucas already started to develop the next three Star Wars films, but he knew a third trilogy was a 10-year commitment at least. He at first expected to finish Episode VII, release it in May 2015 and then sell the company afterward.
But Disney expressed interest and came along at the right moment, Lucas says. “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.”
So there you have it, Lucas was going to be involved in the entire development of the film until the opportunity to sell came earlier than expected. Lucas and Iger discussed the possibility back when Star Tour II was being relaunched. It seems as if Lucas wrote the treatment for the film and Micheal Arndt then expanded it. It seems doubtful Lucas ever intended to direct it himself. The point being there is a good chance Lucas’ outline is what we will have as the skeleton of this film.
Thanks to Alex for the heads up!