Despite coming under fire from many Star Wars fans, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy’s status at Lucasfilm, Ltd. has seemingly never been in question.
At the 2021 Walt Disney Company Meeting of Shareholders, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Chapek was asked if Mandalorian showrunner Jon Favreau, Lucasfilm Executive Creative Director and Mandalorian executive producer Dave Filoni, or someone else would take the reigns at Lucasfilm when Kennedy’s contract expired at the end of October 2021. Chapek stated unequivocally:
“We look forward to having Kathy direct the activities of the entire Lucasfilm organization for many years to come.”
Now, of course, October has come and gone, with Disney quietly renewing Kennedy’s contract. As of today, she is still listed as President on the Lucasfilm Leadership Team webpage — Disney, however, has not made an official announcement regarding the details of the Indiana Jones producer’s contract extension.
Although George Lucas was involved in the decision to hire Kennedy to lead his studio when he sold it to The Walt Disney Company in 2012, a number of her decisions have been controversial. The Lucasfilm Story Group and the Star Wars sequel trilogy, for example, have divided the Star Wars fandom.
The Skywalker Saga officially ended with Disney’s sequel trilogy on Kennedy’s watch — Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi (2017), and Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) divided the Star Wars fandom.
Some found the story to be stale, the main characters — Rey (Daisy Ridley), Finn (John Boyega), and Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) — to be too similar to the original trilogy’s core trio of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), and Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
Others were displeased with the inconsistencies and lack of clarity in regard to Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (Adam Driver), and their relationship to both Emperor Palpatine (Ian McDiarmid) and the Knights of Ren.
Are you glad Kathleen Kennedy will continue to lead Lucasfilm and the Star Wars story moving forward?