Kathleen Kennedy may leave Lucasfilm if the latest Star Wars rumor is true. Following decades of producing massive hits from Steven Spielberg like the Indiana Jones franchise, E.T., Jurassic Park, as well as Robert Zemeckis' Back to the Future, Kennedy joined Lucasfilm at the perfect time and was named co-chair with George Lucas. Once Disney officially bought Lucas' studio, Kennedy was put completely in charge and immediately began working on a way to bring Star Wars back to prominence.
With the launch of The Force Awakens in 2015, Kennedy proved why she was given this task. The film broke almost every record in the book, but that wasn't enough. The studio moved towards making anthology films and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story once again was a major hit. Last year saw the launch of The Last Jedi, a film that divided fans, but one Kennedy backed and seemingly doubled down on by giving director Rian Johnson a trilogy all his own. Now, Solo: A Star Wars Story is disappointing at the box office - and this could all lead to Kennedy possibly leaving the studio.
What is about to come should be taken with a major grain of salt. Dork Side of the Force shared an excerpt from the latest edition of The Ankler newsletter that says there is "talk" of Kennedy stepping down in September. The report doesn't specify any direct sources, making this sound more like a rumor than anything. Adding another layer of uncertainty to the report is that The Ankler is a paid subscription newsletter that costs $45 for a yearly subscription, so we cannot verify the excerpt shared by Dork Side of the Force is in fact legit. With that said, here is what The Ankler had to say.
While Kathleen Kennedy worked wonders relaunching this property from the abyss of the Lucas prequel trilogy and turning it into a bigger than ever all-devouring cultural force, there has to be more than some thought that it’s time for new blood at the helm. The talk out there is of a September changing of the guards. We’ll see.
This rumor comes after several fans have called for Kennedy to step down because they have not been happy with the recent Star Wars movies. However, Kennedy has as solid of a track record as anyone. The thought of her stepping down in light of Solo's box office alone isn't enough to warrant a change. Kennedy took over the studio in 2012 to help spearhead the creation of new Star Wars movies and she's done that to the tune of over $4.5 billion at the box office so far.
That said, if Kennedy really is thinking about leaving the studio, how Star Wars has fared under her leadership may not be the reason why. She could simply be ready for a new challenge after dedicating six years of her life to Lucasfilm or may be tired of the growingly toxic fans. If Kennedy does wind up leaving as this rumor suggests, then it will mark the end of an era for Star Wars. How it could impact Star Wars 9, any of the discussed standalone movies, or anything else will be one of the bigger questions, outside of why she would leave the job and who would follow in her footsteps. This is just a rumor, though, so Kennedy could very well stay with Lucasfilm for years to come.
Source: The Ankler (via Dork Side of the Force)
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019