Lucasfilm reportedly announced a major executive decision yesterday that might leave Star Wars fans scratching their heads. Collider reported that Lucasfilm would be extending its contract with current president Kathleen Kennedy. And considering Kennedy’s numerous movie flops and reported disputes with directors, it seems the force may be out of balance at Lucasfilm and Disney.
The news of Kathleen Kennedy’s contract extension was seemingly kept quiet, as neither Disney nor Lucasfilm has made any official statement regarding the matter. However, multiple news outlets have reported that the Lucasfilm head will remain president until 2024. Kennedy’s career at Lucasfilm began in 2012 after the company was acquired by Disney. George Lucas stepped down and personally hand-picked the accomplished producer, who already boasted an impressive film resume working on fan favorites such as E.T, Gremlins, The Goonies, and The Color Purple. With over three decades of film work alongside some of the most renowned filmmakers in the world, Kennedy appeared on paper to be the perfect fit to keep the franchise going in a galaxy far, far away.
Kathleen Kennedy’s tenure with Lucasfilm unfortunately has been marred with controversy and a slew of criticism over the direction she took the Star Wars franchise. Under Kennedy’s supervision, Lucasfilm released the three film Skywalker saga, and Solo: A Star Wars Story, both of which were regarded by many as a disaster amongst the ranks of Star Wars films, leading many to believe that Kennedy didn’t have what was needed to run Lucasfilm and give the franchise it’s proper revival. But splitting the Star Wars fandom wasn’t the only thing causing a ripple in the force. Kennedy also was reported to butt heads with filmmakers involved with Lucasfilm projects.
Kathleen Kennedy is known for sparring with the previous producers on the films, which often led to high-profile producers being brought in to finish them. But even bringing in veteran directors like Ron Howard and JJ Abrams was not enough to save the films’ reputation. Interestingly, it seems Kennedy is at it again, as reports that the indefinite delay of the upcoming Rogue Squadron project that was planned for release in 2023 was due to creative differences between the film’s director Patty Jenkins and Kennedy, who didn’t agree with Jenkins on the script.
While many fans of Lucasfilm have been crying for Kathleen Kennedy’s dismissal, rumors were circulating that the studio would be ending Kennedy’s contract, and many pointed to the lack of Lucasfilm representation during Disney’s recent Disney+ day. Many were even hopeful that the studio would appoint someone like Jon Favreau, the creator of one of the few Lucasfilm projects Kathleen oversees that has had success. But in actuality, all signs pointed to the fact that Disney would keep Kennedy. Just earlier this year, Disney CEO, Bob Chapek praised Kennedy during Disney’s annual shareholder meeting. With three more years of a Kennedy run at Lucasfilm, she will also helm projects such as the next installment in the Indians Jones franchise, and the upcoming Willow reboot.