We’re hearing that a change is afoot over at Lucasfilm. Whereas previously we had believed that Kathleen Kennedy would leave her position as head of Lucasfilm when her contract ends, taking a legacy position within the Walt Disney Company, we now believe that might be in question.
According to sources familiar with the ongoings of Lucasfilm, we now believe that Mrs. Kennedy may be positioning herself to stay at Lucasfilm. We’re not sure how this affects Jon Favreau and how he perceives his future with Star Wars. The change – we believe – is that Mrs. Kennedy now has a successful series in The Mandalorian, and the future of entertainment appears to be long-format series on streaming platforms. Big budget feature films may no longer be the king of the cinematic revenue system, and rather series like The Mandalorian and Stranger Things could be the paradigm shift.
Combined with the power of a successful series on Disney+ (perhaps the most important asset on Disney+), the job opportunities in Hollywood going forward are limited and changing. Whereas Kennedy would have had her choice of positions before the pandemic, that’s no longer so certain. This provides her with incentive to keep the current job. We also believe that she’s interested in pushing her ideological views, and a new strategy is being formed in which properties like The Mandalorian are protected from such measures while other new series are given license to push the philosophical boundaries. We believe Leslye Headland is part of that strategy.
But even if Kennedy wishes to stay on at Lucasfilm, surely she doesn’t have the support behind her you might say. And to some degree you’d be right. Kennedy botched the sequel trilogy to the point there’s almost no marketing whatsoever for those characters any longer. The original trilogy and prequel trilogy both have beloved characters decades later. But Kennedy has a secret weapon to staying on as president of Lucasfilm. Let me explain:
Imagine for a moment that there was a company which was trying to woo a communist government that was enslaving millions and millions of people, with religious minorities being put into literal concentration camps. Now imagine that said company had billions in assets that could be taken by said communist government at any point. Now let’s further the depravity by saying that the company was so controlled by the communist government that the company would film fantasy propaganda for the communist government and would film said fantasy directly next to those concentration camps. Let’s add to the ante by saying that the company even defends it publicly to the rest of the world.
Now a company like that is probably not a company that cares too greatly about human rights, correct? So let’s say that the same company is simultaneously trying to keep their stock up during a pandemic, and that the main way they do that is through inflated numbers of subscribers to their new streaming service. Pretty much, if those numbers underperform, the company’s stock will crater and things get really, really ugly.
Okay, now with all that understood, let me ask you a question:
Do you think that this company, beholden to a communist government, filming next to concentration camps and bragging about it, dependent on their streaming service succeeding at all costs… do you think it decided to change one of their beloved attractions at great cost out of the goodness of their heart, or because they’ll do anything to prevent a boycott / backlash that would hurt their subscriber numbers?
If you’re a bit lost, let me explain. During the pandemic when Disney has less money or financial stability than in many decades, the company suddenly (and admittedly fast tracked) announces changes to one of their most beloved attractions in their parks. The IP switch to Splash Mountain occurred at the height of Black Lives Matters protests. Now you might thing that’s totally coincidental. If that’s what you think, that’s okay. But others, including myself, believe that announcement and the subsequent changes are a direct result of Disney looking to make sure they’re not the target of any boycott or negativity towards the company that might result in lower Disney+ numbers. I don’t think a company that films next to concentration camps cares one iota about Bre’r Rabbit being a $400 million human rights issue.
If you’ve hung in there with the logic until now, you might already know how Kathleen Kennedy can keep her job even if she’s done very poorly. What happens if Kathleen Kennedy doesn’t get a contract renewal and she also makes it known she’s unhappy about that? Well, there might be a backlash from certain ideological camps, right? I think if Disney is willing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to get rid of some animatronic animals while they fire tens of thousands of employees… you think they’re going to go to war with Kathleen Kennedy and risk a potential backlash that could cost them subscribers?
So would Kathleen Kennedy be on board with anything that could harm Disney+ numbers should she be let go? Almost certain not officially. But she’s also not officially out to take down Bob Iger. But unofficially? Well, she hired Harvey Weinstein’s personal assistant that even Harvey worried has information that would be detrimental to a lot of people in power. If you’re not sure how that’s all connected, just look up “Paz de la Huerta”.
The key to all this? We’re hearing that Kathleen wants the gig. And if Kathleen wants it, Kathleen has the leverage to get it.
Let us know what you think in the comments below.