It would certainly be an understatement to say that the Disney era of Star Wars hasn’t exactly gone off without a hitch. Both The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker split opinion right down the middle for very different reasons, and the fans are more disenchanted with the current creative direction of the franchise than they’ve ever been.
Kathleen Kennedy is taking most of the blame, being held responsible for the noticeable dip in quality and alarming amount of behind the scenes turnover that seems to have dogged virtually every project set in a galaxy far, far away. Box office numbers dropped for each subsequent entry in the Sequel Trilogy, both Rogue One and Solo arrived in theaters very differently from how they were originally intended, and the Obi-Wan Kenobi and Cassian Andor shows for Disney Plus are already in the process of being reworked from the ground up.
There have already been rumors that Kennedy’s days as the driving force behind Star Wars are numbered, but a new report indicates that Lucasfilm is on the brink of a massive internal power struggle that could have huge consequences for the future of the sci-fi series, with the studio president digging her heels in to remain in a position of power.
“The ongoing battle over Lucasfilm’s direction continues, with Kathleen Kennedy and Jon Favreau factions fighting over the studio… It’s also hard to lose sight of how many projects Kennedy has seen fail at Lucasfilm (Star Wars Resistance, Forces of Destiny, 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 Plus that even Bob Iger was giving creative suggestions for, and taking notes on every episode.”
We’ve already heard rumors that Kennedy was trying to shoehorn her way into having a say in The Mandalorian, and it can’t be a coincidence that the most well-received of Disney’s Star Wars projects is the one that she had the least involvement in. If that wasn’t enough, the report goes on to claim that a political agenda will be pushed to combat any criticism over the recent decision to hire Russian Doll co-creator and former personal assistant to Harvey Weinstein, Lesley Headland, to oversee another Disney Plus series.
“Buried in the lead of Taika Waititi directing a new Star Wars film 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 his personal assistant for a year, and that being against her is misogynistic, mean and unfair. Again, this is a conflict that Disney doesn’t want, they don’t want conflict over a hire that lavishly praised Weinstein and deleted hundreds of tweets at the same time as a leak about her project.”
That’s an awful lot to take in, and while there’s more than a hint of tinfoil hat-wearing about these rumors, it can’t be denied that Star Wars appears to be in a state of disarray, and the next few years could prove to be pivotal for the future of the long-running franchise.