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Friday, September 28, 2018

Kathleen Kennedy Renews Contract; Lucasfilm to Focus on Television

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy—whose name is guaranteed to elicit either fury or unwavering support from any Star Wars fan—has renewed her contract for three more years, THR is reporting. This is a heavy blow against fans who have been demanding and spreading rumors about her departure from Lucasfilm.
Moreover, THR reports that "the near future of Star Wars lies in television," specifically Jon Favreau's live-action series and the Clone Wars revival, both of which are coming to Disney's streaming service (set to launch in the second half of 2019). Though we were already well aware of both these projects, it's good to hear that Lucasfilm will be focusing their resources on them.

After all, Favreau's series would require a huge budget to come anywhere close to the quality of Star Wars films. Nowadays we have cinema-quality television like Game of Thrones that costs $10 million an episode and upwards; a Star Wars series would naturally cost at least that much. Clone Wars would also need a pretty high budget to maintain the beautiful animation featured in the teaser trailer.
THR also notes that Favreau's series (which is rumored to center on Mandalore) is currently casting, meaning that we'll be getting more official details about it in the coming months. If it's anything like the other recent Star Wars projects, the series will be casting young, up-and-coming stars as its leads, with maybe some A-listers finding supporting roles. Good thing Mandalorian armor looks good on literally anyone.

This also matches up with Disney CEO Bob Iger's comments last week that there would be a "slowdown" on Star Wars films after the box office failure of Solo. After Episode IX, the only projects officially in development are Rian Johnson's trilogy and a series of films by the Game of Thrones creators. Variety is reporting that "a spinoff development slate," including Boba Fett's long-rumored film, is being scrapped. 

As for Kennedy herself, there's no doubt that she is extremely competent, experienced, and set in her ways as a manager and producer. However, what a property as big as Star Wars really needs is someone with the creative vision of someone like Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige, who famously plans out films several years in advance and hires reliable, talented, diverse creators. 
Kennedy with Rian Johnson, the only recent Star Wars director who she's actually gotten along with
All this means is that when Kennedy inevitably steps down (be that in three years, five, or even 10), her replacement should be someone with a Feige-level mind—and hopefully someone who's more interested in bringing diverse talent to both sides of the screen.

What do you think of this news? Are you dreading the cost of Disney's streaming service? (You should be.) Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all. 

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