Major Controversy Unfolds at Lucasfilm, “Nuclear Bomb” About To Drop

in Star Wars

Kathleen Kennedy at Comic Con

Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Rumor has it that a “nuclear bomb” of information is about to drop about Lucasfilm.

In the 52 years since Lucasfilm Ltd. was founded by filmmaker George Lucas, things have never really run smoothly for the studio. Based in San Francisco, it’s the powerhouse behind mega franchises like Star Wars and Indiana Jones – and famous for its advanced development of special effects, sound, and computer animation – but has faced its fair share of drama over the decades.

Grogu shocked in 'The Mandalorian'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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A history of drama

Back in the 1970s, George Lucas hired Los Angeles-based real-estate specialist Charles Weber to run the company. While Lucas wanted to focus on making independent films, the company soon ballooned in size.

By 1980, Weber was asking Lucas for $50 million for new investments. To raise the funds, he suggested that they sell Skywalker Ranch, the land owned by Lucas. Lucas promptly fired Weber and let go of half of Lucasfilm’s team in Los Angeles.

Princess Leia in her white hooded robes in 'A New Hope'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Fans rejoiced when Lucas announced a Star Wars prequel trilogy in the 1990s, but this was (at the time) widely panned by both moviegoers and critics, with many considering Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1998) to be the worst in the entire franchise. In 2012, Lucas stepped down, with Kathleen Kennedy – a former producer for Indiana Jones – stepping up to take his place.

By October of that year, The Walt Disney Company announced its acquisition of Lucasfilm for $4.05 billion and plans for a sequel trilogy. The first film, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens, was released in 2015, and introduced fans to the next generation of heroes and villains, including Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Kylo Ren (Adam Driver).

While Lucas was originally announced as a creative consultant for new Star Wars films, this ultimately did not end up happening. Disney threw out the story treatments he submitted for the sequel trilogy, with Lucas since expressing regret over selling the studio. “These were my kids, all the Star Wars films,” he told Far Out Magazine in 2015. “I loved them, I created them, I’m very intimately involved in them, and I sold them to the white slavers that take these things.”

A new era of chaos at Lucasfilm

There’s just as much discontent on the Disney side of things. While the sequel trilogy brought in billions for the company, they received incredibly mixed reviews, with Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019) scoring the lowest score (51%) of the Skywalker Saga on Rotten Tomatoes.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) getting into combat position to face Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) on Pasaana in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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The latter also underperformed at the box office – as did the controversial attempt at a prequel, Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018), which saw Harrison Ford replaced by Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. Several projects set in the Star Wars universe were announced (remember when Disney promised another trilogy led by Rian Johnson?) before disappearing into the abyss. Lucasfilm also closed its Singapore studio.

With responses and viewership all over the board for Star Wars projects on Disney+, it came as no surprise when Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed in May 2023 that they’d pull back on the amount of Star Wars (and Marvel) content in production.

'The Madalorian's Cara Dune played by Gina Carano
Credit: Lucasfilm

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Behind the scenes, the situation seems much more complicated. Actress Gina Carano – who previously portrayed Cara Dune in the Disney+ series The Mandalorian until she was fired for sharing a controversial social media post in which she compared people with unpopular political views to Holocaust victims – put Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy on blast earlier this week.

Kennedy was mocked on South Park, with the show blaming her for “why all Disney movies suck now.” In response, Carano wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter): “This is the part where KK [Kathleen Kennedy] demands any YouTubers get censored off of YouTube for sharing and laughing at this hilarious episode, she’ll have YouTube disable the thumbs down option because of the ratio she’ll receive, then she’ll have her publicist ghouls make sure Variety and Hollywood Reporter run hit pieces about the South Park creators and their families smearing their names through every useful idiot she has under her thumb who would sell their soul to work for Lucasfilm.”

Din Djarin (Pedro Pascal) and Cara Dune (Gine Carano) in 'The Mandalorian'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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She also predicted that Kennedy would “activate her online mob to repeat that the South Park creators are racist, bigot, transphobes, and demand the South Park creators publicly apologize by only using words she approves of. And finally she’ll demand they subject themselves to a re-education course of 45 people in the LGBTQ community zoom call to sit there and listen of how badly they got their feelings hurt all over a little boop of a South Park episode. But maybe just maybe the jig is up.”

Carano later added in a separate social media post that working under Kennedy at Lucasfilm meant she was requested to unfollow those who had said a “bad thing about Kathleen Kennedy” on social media. “They fired and dehumanized people like me who did absolutely nothing wrong, all to virtue signal people like you, the Yes Men.”

More chaos to come

It seems like this isn’t the last drama to come out of Lucasfilm. YouTuber and podcaster Drunk3PO claimed on Culture Casino’s Late Night Culture that there’s a “nuclear bomb” of information ready to come out about how Lucasfilm is run under Kathleen Kennedy.

Kathleen Kennedy at an earlier Star Wars Celebration. Credit: Lucasfilm
Credit: Disney

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“The day is coming,” he said. “The day is coming and I know the day is coming where there is a lot of emails, there is a lot of notes that someone has collected. And when you see this it will blow your face off as to how disgusting this woman is, Kathleen Kennedy and the people that running Lucasfilm especially over there at the storyboard group.”

Later on in the episode, he added, “Again, there’s something, there’s a nuclear bomb that’s coming and just be ready. All of our YouTube channels will benefit once this stuff hits.”

Over the years, Kennedy has faced a barrage of vitriol from fans – particularly those who blame her for a surge in “woke” storytelling in the Star Wars franchise, and supposedly ruining legacy characters like Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Some have also called for her to be replaced by Dave Filoni, the director and producer behind projects like Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels, and Ahsoka.

Kathleen Kennedy at Comic Con
Credit: Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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This summer, “Kathleen Kennedy fired” started trending on X (formerly known Twitter) when it was reported that with Kennedy’s contract at Lucasfilm expiring in 2024, she may be relieved of her responsibilities early due to the recent flop of Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny (2023).

Just how true these rumors are remains to be seen. However, if there really is a “nuclear bomb” of information set to drop at some point soon, it seems likely that the face of Lucasfilm will soon look very different.

Do you think Kathleen Kennedy should be replaced at Lucasfilm? Let us know in the comments!

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