A brand new rumor claims to provide details about the alleged civil war that has been ongoing within Lucasfilm and Star Wars.
This rumor comes from WDW Pro at Pirates and Princesses. WDW Pro was the leaker who first detailed there was a civil war within Lucasfilm on the WDW Magic Forums.
In WDW Pro’s initial scoop regarding the alleged civil war at Lucasfilm back in May 2020, he claimed there were two factions fighting over control of the studio, those behind Kathleen Kennedy and those behind Jon Favreau.
The scooper explained, “The ongoing battle over Lucasfilm’s direction continues, with Kathleen Kennedy and Jon Favreau factions fighting over the studio. It’s fairly well known at this point that the beef between Kennedy and Iger is real, given that Iger essentially ignored her in his memoirs.”
“It’s also hard to lose sight of how many projects Kennedy has seen fail at Lucasfilm (Star Wars Resistance, Star Wars Forces of Destiny, Star Wars Galaxy of Adventures, Solo, and the Sequel Trilogy falling in revenues with each release), while Favreau seemingly struck it out of the park with The Mandalorian — a series for Disney+ that even Iger was giving creative suggestions for and taking notes on each episode,” WDW Pro added.
He went on to state, “Buried in the lead of Waititi directing a new Star Wars film (which Kennedy has no creative control over) was confirmation of the “female-centric” Star Wars series being helmed by former Weinstein personal assistant Headland. But be ready, because it looks almost certain that a new narrative is being pushed by Kennedy loyalists in Lucasfilm… and that narrative is that Headland was ONLY a personal assistant for one year, and that being against her or her series is misogynistic, mean, and unfair.”
WDW Pro then claimed, “Again, this is a conflict that Disney doesn’t want; they don’t want conflict over a hire that lavishly praised Weinstein, deleted hundreds of tweets at the same time as a leak about her project, and may know dirt on Iger and Eisner.”
Finally, he concluded, “With all that said, Kennedy has essentially gotten her way time after time, outplaying Iger even if she has been hammered by segments of the fans, mostly by hiring and developing strong loyalty within her brand.”
Now, WDW Pro claims there are actually three factions within Lucasfilm.
He writes, “In reality, behind the doors of Lucasfilm is a fractured studio of three ideological divisions.”
The scooper then breaks each of the factions down, “There are the old-timers who remember the days of George Lucas. They are the apolitical, non-ideological artisans. For those, most have kept their heads down and tried to keep themselves from being fired or disparaged by the Kathleen Kennedy crew.”
Next, he discusses Kennedy’s faction, “The KK Crew, on the other hand, are the hires since 2012 – the ones who held the keys to the sequel trilogy, but now have been relegated to comic book releases and young adult novels.”
Finally, he describes the third faction as Favreau’s faction, “The third group is the Favreau-Filoni bunch. This new group is comprised of Favreau loyalists brought in and generally work outside the confines of Lucasfilm proper. They get to bypass Kennedy and the KK Crew, and their budgets come straight from the top of Disney.”
Now, whether or not these factions are actually warring with each other over the direction of Star Wars and Lucasfilm isn’t necessarily proven in the scoop.
In fact, it appears that WDW Pro actually argues that the civil war ended when Kathleen Kennedy’s sequel trilogy films, specifically after The Last Jedi was rejected by the moviegoing public.
As we’ve reported, fans abandoned Star Wars, not just in the theaters with Solo becoming the first Star Wars film to bomb at the box office, but also in merchandise sales. Even their new Star Wars-themed parks weren’t bringing in people.
With the Star Wars brand in decline following The Last Jedi, WDW Pro claims that Disney decided to give Jon Favreau complete control over The Mandalorian.
WDW Pro writes, “A rare move was made to give Favreau complete power over The Mandalorian; Kennedy could only provide him with notes, she could not dictate anything about the series.”
Then with the success of The Mandalorian, WDW Pro claims Favreau’s faction became ascendant, “While Kennedy became embittered over the success of the one Star Wars property she had no control over, her Story Group had essentially been gutted.”
He then goes on to detail that, “Kennedy continued to work on more series within Star Wars, but she would have no theatrical releases, and Favreau had complete control over whatever he wanted to do with the brand.”
Next, WDW Pro claims that the “ultimate catastrophe” for Kennedy was the loss of Steven Spielberg as the director of Indiana Jones 5.
The scooper states, “This one was a stinging rebuke because it meant the man who had originally brought her into the fold had abandoned her. Kennedy’s first major role had been as Spielberg’s assistant on the original Indiana Jones. Now decades later, she had lost his confidence.”
However, there are some major points that are missing in WDW Pro’s analysis. If Favreau’s faction is ascendant and Kennedy is not supposed to be getting any theatrical releases, then what faction does Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins’ newly announced Rogue Squadron film fall under.
The assumption is that Jenkins is a Kennedy hire, given the significant changes to Wonder Woman in Wonder Woman 1984 that include the removal of Diana using her sword and shield to combat criminals and villains as well as the inclusion of a Donald Trump stand-in villain in Pedro Pascal’s Maxwell Lord.
The Rogue Squadron film is a major missing piece of WDW Pro’s analysis, and indicates Kennedy is not the powerless figurehead he makes her out to be.
Kennedy appears to still be helming the Obi-Wan Kenobi series as well as the Cassian Andor series.
Not to mention The High Republic publishing initiative that WDW Pro claims the Lucasfilm Story Group has been relegated to is more than likely involved in Leslye Headland’s Acolyte series, which is supposed to take place at the end of The High Republic.
So, are they really relegated to publishing initiatives when Disney+ streaming shows are being made to connect to their publishing initiatives?
Maybe the most interesting part of Pro’s analysis is that he claims Favreau has complete control over The Mandalorian and has even rejected suggestions from her. He claims, “In one set of notes, she recommended going with Boba Fett as the lead character right out of the gate. Favreau overrode.”
He uses this to point to Kennedy’s lack of creative control. But earlier in his analysis he also claims that Rian Johnson had similar creative control with The Last Jedi.
WDW Pro claims, “While Abrams had worked with Kasdan on The Force Awakens script, Johnson was working with the Lucasfilm Story Group in a way that not even JJ Abrams was aware. For weeks, Rian Johnson would meet with Kiri Hart’s Story Group behind closed doors, planning out a detour for The Last Jedi.”
Johnson even admits he had creative control in an interview with SyFy Wire. He told them, “It was very open. It ended up feeling in some strange way, very similar as to when I had written my other films in that there was a lot of space and freedom.”
“We were always carrying the characters forward from the first movie, and we’re starting off from the events of the first movie, and there’s a trajectory to it so it made sense they would go in this direction next. But in that context, it felt like I was able to find the movie that I cared about. It was a really nice writing experience,” he added.
He then went on to detail how he worked with the Story Group, “I actually moved up to San Francisco so I could meet a couple times a week with the folks at Lucasfilm. They call it their Story Group, with [SVP of Development] Kiri Hart and a bunch of folks. I would go in and throw everything I was thinking of up on the whiteboard and we would talk about it. That took away so much of the fear, I think? I’m not feeling alone in the process.”
But maybe the biggest piece of evidence that WDW Pro leaves out of his analysis is the claim from Favreau that The Mandalorian will build to The First Order, an organization introduced in the sequel trilogy.
Back in 2019, Favreau spoke with Entertainment Weekly, where he stated, “Also, what could happen in the 30 years between celebrating the defeat of the Empire and then the First Order? You come in on Episode VII, [the First Order are] not just starting out. They’re pretty far along.”
“So somehow, things weren’t necessarily managed as well as they could have been if [the galaxy] ended up in hot water again like that.”
From the outside looking in, there does not appear to be a civil war raging in Lucasfilm. The company appears to be operating the same as it has since The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi.
Creators are still attacking and deriding Star Wars fans.
And the current product they are putting out has the same if not more flaws than the sequel trilogy. Those flaws just aren’t actively insulting you like Admiral Holdo or Luke Skywalker cutting himself off from the Force and abandoning his nephew to the Dark Side, and even attempting to kill him.