What?! No, he wasn't involved. That "early development" was discarded. They started over, because everything that had been worked on was based on Lucas' outlines. They discarded those and started their own story and respective production. The development of Lucas' Episode VII is not the development of The Force Awakens. When Abrams was hired, Disney had already decided to drop it all and do their own thing. Twist reality?! I'm sticking to the reality, not twisting it by pretending it to have been something else. Yes, it does. They said so themselves. Lucas confirmed it too. Everything that was worked on was discarded. Every element that Lucas conceived and approved was either dropped or changed into something else entirely. It's a completely different story. The reality is that he was not involved. Exactly.