There are quite a few questions surrounding the Star Wars franchise right now. How will they handle a new set of movies? Will the television series completely take over this universe? What is the direction for the larger story and will they create a totally new one? There is a lot under consideration, but another major question behind the scenes. That has to do with who will run the studio and helm Star Wars moving forward.
It’s been Kathleen Kennedy heading things up at LucasFilm for some time, but in the short term, Dave Filoni has been slowly moving into more decision-making positions. And now, according to Cosmic Book News, Filoni may have gotten one step closer to ultimately replacing Kennedy in Star Wars with the former being promoted to Executive Creative Director of LucasFilm.
The news about Dave Filoni’s seeming promotion within the Star Wars ranks had fans initially excited both for the prospects of getting another creative voice into the mix for upcoming movies, but also because it might have meant Kathleen Kennedy and her influence over the franchise was being sidelined. The latter is seen, by some, to be responsible for the mishandling of the sequel trilogy of films that ended with The Rise of Skywalker. The herky-jerky narrative over the course of the three films along with some retconning along the way drew ire from fans about the cohesiveness (or lack thereof) of the narrative.
Dave Fiiloni getting a promotion to Executive Creative Director did appear, at the outset, like a move to possibly have a new voice in the mix for future movies and/or to limit Kathleen Kennedy and her influence over projects going forward. There was speculation that the studio was unwilling to repeat the mistakes of the past when it came to putting together Star Wars movies. Putting Dave Filoni in charge of more creative vision was seen as a move away from Kennedy considering it’s been speculated that his faction within Star Wars was seen as at odds, creatively, with the studio head.
Filoni is the executive producer for The Mandalorian, among other projects in the universe, and is aligned with Jon Favreau’s creative vision for the Star Wars franchise. According to recent leaks, it had been out there that he and Favreau wanted to employ a more traditional storytelling model to future movies while others in the company, Kathleen Kennedy included, desired a more aesthetic and open-ended approach. With a new set of movies apparently being discussed and possibly already in development, having the studio at odds on the creative side could be problematic.
Where this might not be as big a deal as originally expected is when Disney came out in the wake of this reporting to say that Filoni has been in this position for the studio for some time. The “announcement” as it were was simply an update to the website rather than a formal press release. This could be not all that big of a deal for Kathleen Kennedy and her position as creative head of LucasFilm. That being said, there are clearly factions within the Star Wars franchise who have differing goals. It’s meant some splitting of projects and a delineation between the Disney+ programming and the future of the movies. We are sure to continue hearing about this relationship as new projects are developed.