According to a report put out by The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, president of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, has renewed her contract with Lucasfilm to continue being the lead producer and architect of everything Star Wars at least until the end of 2021.
Kennedy has been the president at Lucasfilm since George Lucas sold his company to Disney in 2012 for $4 Billion. Since then Kennedy has been in charge of overseeing the relaunch of Star Wars – and in that time the four movies that have been released so far have made a combined total of $4.85 billion. Generally speaking, a producer that is able to generate this kind of profit in such a short amount of time would guarantee that they would keep their job, however, it has not been an easy road for the company at all.
Many fans online have been petulantly screaming that Kennedy has “ruined” Star Wars via The Last Jedi‘s drastic change in storytelling and unforgivable sin of casting a non-white, female heroes Most of the vile words being pointed to newcomer to the franchise Kelly Marie Tran, who played Rose Tico in The Last Jedi. After the film came out Tran was racially harassed and had her life threatened on a daily bases by the Star Wars “fandom” to the point that she left social media for months. It is due to this relenting bombardment of negativity surrounding the Star Wars property that the fans online have been labeled by many as “toxic.”
However, while it is not the fault of Kathleen Kennedy that such fans have become almost the norm online when talking about the Star Wars properties, it has happened under her reign and she has not done much done on her part to protect her brand or actors. So many are asking, is signing her for a new three year deal the right call? Its not an easy question to answer.
She has revamped a franchise that has continued to shatter box office records and has almost consistently received positive reviews from critics. However, nearly every movie that has come out so far has had either director changes, last minute writing changes, large and expensive reshoots, or many other reported problems behind the scenes while the movies are in production. It has even been admitted in interviews by various people at Lucasfilm that there was no set story that tied together episodes 7-9. J.J. Abrams directed The Force Awakens and had no obligation to set up the next movie. Thereafter Rian Johnson was given the next film, The Last Jedi, and was told to run with the what was made in the last movie but to take it in his own direction. This is what could have caused such polarizing tones in the two films.
In summary, under Kathleen Kennedy Star Wars has developed an extremely toxic fanbase, and has not made a story outline for the main Star Wars episodic movies. However, she has brought in billions of dollars and continues to help create films that have positive critical acceptance.
What do you think? Should Kathleen Kennedy have had her contract renewed? What is your opinion of the new Star Wars movies? Leave a comment below and lets make a discussion about it.