Soon after Bob Chapek was fired as the CEO Disney and the company announced his predecessor Bob Iger would be returning for a 2-year stint, a new rumor surfaced claiming that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy might be on Iger’s chopping block.
YouTuber John Campea first shared his opinion that he believes that Iger returning entrenches Kennedy at Lucasfilm.
He explained, “Bob Iger has traditionally been a Kathleen Kennedy ally and with Bob Iger coming back that will entrench her even more, and she will probably stay out until the end of her contract.”
“I don’t think she lasts beyond the end of this new contract she’s got. I think she’s out either by or shortly after 2025. I think she’s out. I do think she needs to move on. I’ve said that for a long time, but I think Iger coming back only kind of more entrenches her there,” he added.
However, he then indicated he received information contrary to his own analysis.
Campea detailed, “This is what I have heard: I have heard that the decision to remove Kathy Kennedy has already been made and that she will be gone either sometime before or very, very, very shortly thereafter the release of Indiana Jones 5… Now, I want to be very, very clear here: I cannot independently say to you and confirm that this is a fact. I will say that one of the two people that have contacted me has a 1000% average on the things they’ve informed me of.”
Regardless of whether or not they fire Lucasfilm, Kennedy has driven the brand into the ground so much so that analyst Valliant Renegade asserts that Star Wars is a dead brand given the Nielsen streaming ratings for the Rogue One spin-off series, Andor.
The series has seen its viewership fall to 418 million minutes viewed for the week of October 17-23, 2022, the week of the release of Andor’s seventh episode.
The blame doesn’t just lie with Kennedy though. It was Bob Iger who empowered Kennedy and stayed with her through the disastrous sequel trilogy.
In fact, two years after the release of The Last Jedi, Iger claimed Star Wars didn’t have a storytelling problem. He told The New York Times, “I think the storytelling capabilities of the company are endless because of the talent we have at the company, and the talent we have at the company is better than it’s ever been, in part because of the influx of people from Fox.”
Instead, Iger spun a narrative about flooding the market, “I just think that we might’ve put a little bit too much in the marketplace too fast.”
Not only did Iger laud Kennedy and the “talent” at Lucasfilm, but in his book The Ride of a Lifetime: LESSONS LEARNED FROM 15 YEARS AS CEO OF THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY he admits that he betrayed George Lucas.
He wrote, “The truth was, Kathy, J.J., Alan, and I had discussed the direction in which the saga should go, and we all agreed that it wasn’t what George had outlined. George knew we weren’t contractually bound to anything, but he thought that our buying the story treatments was a tacit promise that we’d follow them, and he was disappointed that his story was being discarded.”
“I’d been so careful since our first conversation not to mislead him in any way, and I didn’t think I had now, but I could have handled it better. I should have prepared him for the meeting with J.J. and Michael and told him about our conversations, that we felt it was better to go in another direction. I could have talked through this with him and possibly avoided angering him by not surprising him. Now, in the first meeting with him about the future of Star Wars, George felt betrayed, and while this whole process would never have been easy for him, we’d gotten off to an unnecessarily rocky start,” he admitted.
Back in March 2021, George Lucas made it abundantly clear that Disney took Star Wars in a different direction than what he intended.
He was asked, “The world has changed so much since the first Star Wars movie, how do you think the changes in the fight for racial justice will impact the Star Wars universe going forward?”
Lucas replied, “I don’t know, I mean. I kind of lost control of Star Wars, so it’s going off in a different path than what I intended. But the first six [Star Wars films] are very much mine and my philosophy. And I think that philosophy sort of, goes beyond any particular time because it’s based on history, it’s based on philosophy, it’s based on a lot of things.”
What do you make of this latest rumor indicating Kennedy is going to get canned?
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