Kathleen Kennedy will remain head of Lucasfilm for the foreseeable future. The executive of the Disney subsidiary has renewed her contract as head of the Star Wars franchise producing studio for another three years, through 2021.
Kennedy took control of Lucasfilm in 2012 when founder George Lucas sold the company to Disney in a deal worth more than $4 billion dollars. Disney’s first order of business was to revive the Star Wars film franchise. Disney’s four new Star Wars films have grossed almost $4.5 billion at the worldwide box office.
Well, I suppose that this news comes as a bit of a surprise to some fans who have invested in the rumors that Kennedy’s position at Lucasfilm was in some sort of jeopardy given the troubled production history and poor box office performance of this year’s Solo: A Star Wars Story. These rumors, of course, ignored the obvious facts that the three other Star Wars films earned over a billion dollars each at the international box office, let alone her decades long career as film producer. And there is the little thing of having the imprimatur of being handpicked by Lucas for the position.
As to the problems that were reported about, most specifically during the shooting of Solo and Rogue One, I think the reason that it can look so bad to some is that they don’t realize that they are looking at a very small number of projects being produced by Lucasfilm. Literally, it is one film a year, as opposed to the dozen or more that a major studio might turn out in a similar time frame. Many films will have problems, creative differences and reshoots, especially when part of a franchise that carries high expectations from fans and for the studio’s coffers. The Star Wars films are under a microscope by the film press. Any activity on these films will most likely tend to be magnified by the fact that there are not a number of films simultaneously in production that offer cover. And it is obvious, now, that Disney executives don’t find anything wrong with her performance either.