A Civil War Over Star Wars Is Reportedly Brewing At Lucasfilm

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Star Wars has been through more turbulence since Disney purchased Lucasfilm in 2012 than it had in the previous 35 years when George Lucas was at the helm, with the beloved franchise suffering through constant behind the scenes upheaval, diminishing box office returns and incredibly polarizing reactions, things that it had always largely proven to be immune from.

Most of the blame from fans tends to be pointed in the direction of Kathleen Kennedy, which is understandable when she’s the studio president and the one calling the shots. Not to mention that as divisive as the Sequel Trilogy proved to be, with The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker still generating plenty of debate, Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni have yet to put a foot wrong with their rapidly expanding universe built out from The Mandalorian.

Last year, there were unconfirmed rumors making the rounds that Lucasfilm was embroiled in a civil war that pitted two rival factions against each other, one led by Kennedy and her cohorts, with Favreau and Filoni spearheading the other. Now, the latest report offers more details on the alleged friction by throwing another Star Wars splinter cell into the mix, although you’d be advised not to take it as gospel by any means.

“In reality, behind the doors of Lucasfilm is a fractured studio of three ideological divisions. 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. 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.”

“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. 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. 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. 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.”

The problem with claiming that one of the world’s biggest, most popular and marketable brands is locked in an internal power struggle is that it would imply Disney CEO Bob Chapek is simply sitting on the sidelines and letting it happen, which is hardly likely given the importance of Star Wars to his company.

Technically, as the person in charge, Kennedy could fire Favreau and Filoni if she wanted to, while Chapek could do the same to her. The most believable scenario, then, is that The Mandalorian duo were specifically tasked with overseeing the expansion and development of the television side of things, while Kennedy continues to oversee the feature films given that she’s behind Patty Jenkins being hired for Rogue Squadron.