There has been considerable talk around the Star Wars universe around who would be leading some of the creative charge into the future. While it appeared Disney and the franchise had been split into two (or three) different teams with competing visions, there was some talk that Kathleen Kennedy could be on her way out as the head of Lucasfilms. But that doesn’t appear to be the case with Geekosity reporting that the plan is now for Kennedy to renew her contract this fall, placing her at the top of the studio for the considerable future.
This is something of a surprise to hear the vote of confidence from Disney around Kathleen Kennedy and her proposed creative vision around the Star Wars franchise. That is especially the case when Geekosity also has said that there was never any plan for her ouster from Lucasfilms. This comes in sharp contrast to the rumors floating around for the better part of the last couple of years around her fate within the studio. With Star Wars starting to splinter some in terms of overall content (both movies and series) it did appear that Kennedy could be on the ropes.
Some of this uncertainty for Kathleen Kennedy with Disney stemmed from a couple of different areas where Star Wars was concerned. For starters, the sequel trilogy of films that ended with The Rise of Skywalker faced considerable derision from the fanbase for its seeming lack of interconnectivity and even retconning of certain aspects of the story. Considering Kennedy oversaw this process of films, some thought the proverbial ball had been dropped when it came to putting out worthy successors to the original story. But according to Geekosity, this was less problematic for Disney than it was for the fan base because, in the end, the movies banked at the box office. With a combined $4.5 billion dollars in theater receipts for the three films, on a financial level, these flicks were nothing less than a massive success, fan complaints be damned.
The other purported “issue” at Disney regarding Kathleen Kennedy and her place at the top of the studio was how there seemed to be different creative factions within the Star Wars universe. There is her group which has been in charge of the big-budget film side of things. But then there is the Jon Favreau/ Dave Filoni group which has controlled the Disney+ side of things starting with The Mandalorian and now growing into a number of different series and events including Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka, The Acolyte, and more.
It appears that Disney is crediting Kathleen Kennedy with the success of these shows as well. Long seen as Favreau’s doing, Geekosity is saying that Disney sees Kennedy as having been instrumental in those show’s successes as well as giving her props for creating a more diverse environment for the franchise as well. In all, it is looking like Kathleen Kennedy is here to stay within Disney and Lucasfilms with her creative vision now likely to lead the charge into another set of Star Wars films in the future as well as a wide assortment of other projects in this still-expanding world.