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The Women Who Shaped the Star Wars Franchise

Kathleen Kennedy Lucasfilm Chief

Kathleen Kennedy

Kathleen Kennedy is a film producer and has been the president of Lucasfilm since the 2012 Disney purchase from George Lucas. Lucas personally chose Kennedy, a long-time friend of both Lucas and Spielberg, to be the new executive behind Star Wars. Before becoming the president of Lucasfilm, Kennedy produced films including E.T. (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler’s List (1993).

Kennedy has been the main driving force for the new Star Wars films and has been heavily involved in hiring directors and actors, including relative unknowns Daisy Ridley and John Boyega. Kennedy is also responsible for several creative decisions that greatly influenced the final films: she coordinated reshoots for Rogue One (2016) which greatly modified the third act of the film; she replaced Solo (2018) directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller during the film's production with veteran Ron Howard; and she fired Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow during development and brought J. J. Abrams back to direct the film. While Kennedy is not a director, she is arguably the single most important person in the development of the post-2012 Star Wars films.

More: Lucasfilm May Already be Hiring For The Next Animated Star Wars Show

 Kiri Hart

Kiri Hart and Kathleen Kennedy at Star Wars Celebration 2016

Kiri Hart is the Senior Vice President of Development at Lucasfilm, one of the producers of Star Wars Rebels (2014), and the leader of the famed Lucasfilm Story Group; the eleven-person group is consulted for all Star Wars projects, defines the parameters of Star Wars canon, and ensures consistency across the Star Wars universe. According to the Wall Street Journal, one filmmaker described Hart as the Lucasfilm equivalent to Marvel's Kevin Feige.

Related: Multiple New Star Wars TV Shows Are In Development

The Story Group that Hart heads has three other women: Carrie Beck, Rayne Roberts, and Diana Williams. Five members of the Story Group - Hart, along with Roberts, Williams, Pablo Hidalgo, and Leland Chee - are people of color.

Carrie Beck

Carrie Beck is a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group and is the Vice President of Lucasfilm Animation. Beck is also one of the creators, writers, and producers of the popular animated series Star Wars Rebels (2014). Beck is also an executive producer of both Lego Star Wars: The Freemaker Adventures (2016) and Star Wars: Forces of Destiny (2017). Forces of Destiny specifically tells the stories of women within the Star Wars universe - including Leia, Rey, Hera, Sabine, and Jyn - and is meant to appeal to both young fans who are new to Star Wars and old fans alike. As the Star Wars universe expands, its animation division will continue to grow under Beck's supervision.

Key Release Dates
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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