Is Kathleen Kennedy Ready to Hand ‘Star Wars’ Over to Jon Favreau?

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Depending on how you look at it, Star Wars has either done exceptionally well or exceptionally poorly under Kathleen Kennedy’s time as president of Lucasfilm. Kennedy is one of the most successful film producers ever, with EP credits on classic films such as Back to the Future, Gremlins and The Goonies. And Star Wars had made a lot of money for Disney since she became Lucasfilms’ president after George Lucas departed when Disney bought the studio.

The only problem is the movies have been, for lack of a better word, a trainwreck. Hell, they were worse than Trainwreck! Sure they made a lot of money but clearly, you do not have to make a quality film to sell tickets if you put Star Wars on the marquee. Star Wars fans would see the movie 20 times even if it was just Han Solo sitting on the Millennium Falcon’s toilet for two hours complaining about a badly frozen burrito. The sequel trilogy was especially unfocused and offputting to longtime fans, with The Rise of Skywalker actually managing to be worse than The Phantom Menace. That’s like if you took a crap and the crap threw up.

But that all turned around thanks to Jon Favreau and Dave Filoni and their huge surprise hit for Disney+, The Mandalorian. The quality of that show and the outpouring of love for it from fans old and new turned around the fortunes of the entire Star Wars franchise, taking it from something Disney was going to “rest” until people forgot how bad the last five movies actually were to a must-see weekly television event. The only thing Disney has done in a year that got more hype was WandaVision, and the Mouse House is responding to that by spinning an entire Star Wars television universe out of The Mandalorian’s success.

Obviously, this lead to speculation that Kathleen Kennedy and Jon Favreau were at odds, battling for the soul of Star Wars. That is of course insane because Kathleen Kennedy knows what she’s doing and wants Star Wars to succeed. Why wouldn’t she believe that J.J. Abrams and Rian Johnson would make good Star Wars movies if left to their own devices? Have you seen Knives Out? That was a great movie. There’s probably no one in this world happier with how Jon Favreau has handled Star Wars than Kathleen Kennedy.

A rumor posted to Reddit from an unverified source (so take this with a grain of salt) says that Jon Favreau is actually Kennedy’s choice to succeed her as president when she steps down or potentially takes a promotion and moves even higher in Disney. Kennedy’s contract is up in October, and she might be ready to move on when it ends.

The source also reports that Disney saw casting John Boyega as “risky,” presumably because of his race and the Chinese market, where Boyega was practically edited out of the poster. They also allegedly squashed romance subplots with Finn and Rey and Finn and Poe, actually asking for Rey and Poe to be put together. I’m not even sure those characters had more than one scene together in the entire trilogy.

Whether or not these leaks turn out to be true, they all sort of sound like common sense stuff to me. Disney was clearly worried about having black actors alienate Chinese audiences, hence the poster. Of course Jon a Favreau is the best choice to be head of Lucasfilms. And of course, Kathleen Kennedy isn’t at odds with a hitmaker like Favreau. You don’t really need inside information to get any of that.

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