Kathleen Kennedy Will Oversee the Star Wars Galaxy Until 2021
Photo: Christopher Jue (Getty Images)
Since Disney bought out George Lucas back in 2012, the leading force behind the Star Wars franchise has been Kathleen Kennedy. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the high-profile producer has renewed her contract to remain president of Lucasfilm for another three years, through 2021.
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While Kennedy has been lauded for bringing respectability back to Star Wars (after Lucas’ hated prequels), she’s been criticized for being too involved, having fired Chris Lord and Phil Miller from Solo: A Star Wars Story, less than a year before the film’s release.
Kennedy (wisely) replaced Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards with Tony Gilroy for 25th hour re-shoots (though Edwards kept his directing credit). Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow didn’t even get to step onto the Star Wars: Episode IX set as he was given the Sarlacc pit treatment and was replaced with the series’ Episode VII helmer, J.J. Abrams.
The timing of re-upping Kennedy seems odd after the disappointing Solo: A Star Wars Story, but it isn’t surprising. She was Lucas’ hand-picked gatekeeper to the beloved franchise and has guided Disney’s four new Star Wars films, which have grossed close to $4.5 billion at the global box office.
Kennedy, who got her start as an assistant to Steven Spielberg and went onto produce E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, and Schindler’s List, has endured unwarranted fanboy trolling (see above) surrounding Episode VIII (flying Leia, Porgs, Luke Skywalker RIP).
Despite the online hate, Kennedy is a wise (albeit safe) pick to close out the last chapter of the original installments when Episode IX comes out in Dec. 2019. She’ll also take Lucasfilm to television with a live-action series run by Jon Favreau and the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars, both of which will air on Disney’s untitled streaming service, set to launch in the second half of 2019.