After enjoying one of the most successful runs in Lucasfilm history, it appears that studio head Kathleen Kennedy is on some pretty shaky ground nowadays thanks to disagreements over the future of the Star Wars franchise. A series of disagreements, mishaps, and overall poor fan reception has actually led to a call for her to be fired from the studio.
This all seems like a lot to unpack, but who exactly is Kathleen, what role does she play at Lucasfilm, and how have her actions impacted the trajectory of Star Wars over the years? Here's everything we know so far.
Kathleen has been a studio head at Lucasfilm for quite some time, but now fans want her fired.
Although her name has come into the news a lot more as of late, Kathleen has actually worked with Lucasfilm and Amblin Entertainment over the decades on some of their biggest projects ever. From Raiders of the Lost Ark to E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, to Jurassic Park, to Back to the Future, to even Congo, Kathleen has been a production powerhouse for years.
Nonetheless, some fans find her input on the recent string of Star Wars films, television shows, and general content lackluster, to say the very least. Her decision to not plan the sequel trilogy in advance, alongside disputes over directors and the overall game plan for each film meant that the recent Star Wars trilogy left many fans wanting much more.
There have also been reports of behind-the-scenes drama. Some believe Kathleen was instrumental in the cancellation the Solo: A Star Wars Story TV show (it ultimately became a movie). For all those reasons and more, a large swathe of fans is calling for Kathleen to be removed from her position at Lucasfilm when her contract ends in 2021.
A blog thread suggests another theory: that there is a power struggle at Disney now over the direction of Star Wars as a whole, which might spell the end of Kathleen's time with the company.
"The ongoing battle over Lucasfilm’s direction continues," the thread states, "with Kathleen Kennedy and Jon Favreau factions fighting over the studio. It’s fairly well known at this point that the beef between Kennedy and Iger is real, given that Iger essentially ignored her in his memoirs."
The blog continues, "It’s also hard to lose sight of how many projects Kennedy has seen fail at Lucasfilm (Star Wars Resistance, Star Wars Forces of Destiny, Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures, Solo, and the sequel trilogy falling in revenues with each release), while Favreau seemingly struck it out of the park with The Mandalorian — a series for Disney Plus that even Iger was giving creative suggestions for and taking notes on each episode."
Nonetheless, it ends by noting that Kathleen has weathered many storms before in the past, and it's likely that this won't result in an outright firing any time soon. Of course, as more details emerge we'll be sure to update to include them.