A new rumor details that Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has been banned from the set of The Mandalorian Season 2.
The rumor comes from YouTuber Doomcock, who tells his viewers, “I have some alleged leaks straight from The Mandalorian production regarding Kathleen Kennedy and the future of Lucasfilm.”
He adds, “This information comes to me via a brand new source albeit a source I’ve known for some time now. A friendly source, I have no reason to suspect would feed me false information. All that said, please treat this information as rumor pending further confirmation.”
Doomcock continues, “I am informed by this source who is directly tied to people with close knowledge of The Mandalorian Season 2 that they are currently shooting Season 2 of The Mandalorian and that Kathleen Kennedy has been banned from the set.”
He adds, “I repeat. According to this rumor obtained directly from sources with direct knowledge of the production, Kathleen Kennedy has been banned from The Mandalorian set.”
Doomcock then details that Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni will take control of Lucasfilm.
“I am informed that Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau are in the process of seizing control of Lucasfilm,” says Doomcock.
He continues, “As much as two weeks ago I might have doubted the credibility of this information. However, this rumor dovetails neatly with reporting from Midnight’s Edge regarding the current state of Lucasfilm.”
“On February 1st, they posted a video citing a rumor from Pinewood that Kathleen Kennedy was heading out the door for early retirement, citing leaked messages to directors of the Obi-Wan television show that they could expect to be dealing with someone other than Kennedy in the near future.”
Midnight’s Edge originally reported, “The talk around Pinewood Studios is that Kathleen Kennedy is heading out the door for early retirement.” They added, “A text message received confirmed Obi-Wan Kenobi’s directors were told they can expect to be dealing with someone new in the near future, possibly within a matter of months.”
Doomcock believes this new rumor confirms Midnight’s Edge previous reporting.
“This information from my source would seem to confirm Midnight’s Edge’s reporting which should come as no surprise to anyone given their meticulous reporting and past track record.”
However, he believes Midnight’s Edge’s reporting might have actually understated what is happening behind the scenes at Lucasfilm.
“As it turns out, however, if my source is correct, they may have understated the severity of what is going on behind the scenes at Lucasfilm. The notion of early retirement seems quite benign in comparison to actually being banned from the set of production reportedly under Kennedy’s authority as head of Lucasfilm,” Doomcock stated.
He adds, “If Kennedy has been banned from The Mandalorian set, this suggests not only a loss of power for Kennedy, but an actual state of hostility inside Lucasfilm that could be characterized as civil war.”
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a rumor that indicated Kennedy was in trouble at Lucasfilm. Making Star Wars’ Jason Ward reported back in October that Kennedy would step down as Lucasfilm president following the release of the fifth Indiana Jones film. However, he indicated she would stay on as a producer for future Star Wars. He also detailed that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige would restructure Lucasfilm with separate divisions run by other people.
After Disney announced that Feige would be producing a Star Wars film back in September 2019, many speculated that this was Disney signaling that Kennedy was on the way out.
Star Wars fan and reporter O’Ryan Johnson theorized that move was a pink slip for Kennedy.
“If you are the President of a division of a company, and the CEO takes the president of a more successful division and gives them your resources, personnel, and your IP, and has them answer to someone higher than you in the organization, then I hate to tell you this, but you have been demoted.
This is what happened to Kennedy last night. Her three year contract has two years left, and will expire in 2021.”
Maybe more importantly, and as Doomcock points out later in his video is the production delay to the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney Plus series could be a clear indicator that there are some internal changes happening at Lucasfilm.
Collider originally reported, “the Obi-Wan series has been put on hold, as the crew that had assembled at Pinewood Studios was sent home.”
After this initial report, Actor Ewan McGregor, who admitted to lying for four years that he was not reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi, attempted to assuage fears that there was trouble with the show and Lucasfilm.
He told IGN, “It’s just slid to next year, that’s all. The scripts were really good. I think now that Episode IX came out and everyone at Lucasfilm’s got more time to spend on the writing, they felt like they wanted more time to spend on the writing.”
He added, “I’ve read about eighty, ninety percent of what they’ve written so far, and it’s really, really good. Instead of shooting this August, they just want to start shooting in January, that’s all. Nothing more dramatic than that. It often happens in projects, they just wanted to push it to next year.”
Pushing it to next year, means production begins in 2021, the year Kennedy’s contract expires.
Not only are there reported troubles with the Kenobi series, but a recent rumor indicates the Rogue One spin-off series starring Diego Luna’s Cassian Andor and Alan Tudyk’s K2-SO is also facing issues and has been delayed.
However, the biggest piece of evidence, in my mind, that there is internal strife at Lucasfilm, comes from Disney CEO Bob Iger during his recent Investor’s call.
While discussing the future of Star Wars, Iger noted it would be on Disney Plus and that they are looking at possibly creating a Mandalorian TV universe.
“The priority in the next few years is television with The Mandalorian Season 2 coming in October and then more coming from The Mandalorian thereafter, including the possibility of infusing it with more characters and the possibility of taking those characters in their own direction in terms of series.”
Iger did touch on the Rogue One spinoff and Kenobi series, but they appear to be afterthoughts compared to Disney’s plans for The Mandalorian.
“And then we have a prequel to Rogue One and Kenobi series also in development.”
The Disney CEO would then reiterate their focus would be on TV.
“So the priority for Star Wars in the short-term is going to be, I’ll call it television for Disney+ and then we will have more to say about development of theatrical soon after that.”
That focus on TV is more than likely a direct result of the failures of Disney’s Star Wars movies, movies that Kennedy as Lucasfilm President was ultimately in charge of.
Not only was she the President of Lucasfilm during the release of these films, but Collider’s Editor-in-Chief Steven Weintraub indicated back in January following the release of The Rise of Skywalker that Kennedy and Michelle Rejwan were the ones to blame for the film’s disappointing box office.
Weintraub wrote, “Learned a lot in the past few days about the behind-the-scenes at Lucasfilm. A lot of the blame on The Rise of Skywalker falls on Kathleen Kennedy and Michelle Rejwan. Might do a story. Saying that, it was J.J. who came up with bringing back Palpatine. Which was a huge mistake.”
Both Kenobi and the Rogue One spin off getting delayed, Iger’s comments on focusing on The Mandalorian, the box office disappointment of The Rise of Skywalker, and the direction Disney went with Star Wars and the fan reception to it definitely lend credence to these rumors that there are some changes being made at Lucasfilm and one of the big ones could be Kathleen Kennedy.
What do you make of this new rumor? Do you think Kennedy was barred from The Mandalorian set? Do you think she’s on her way out at Lucasfilm?