After 10 years in the position, Kathleen Kennedy's reign at Lucasfilm is rumored to be coming to an end in 2023.
Kathleen Kennedy has been president of Lucasfilm since 2012 when George Lucas sold his company to Disney for $4.05 billion. During her time as president, Lucasfilm has produced five live-action Star Wars films and began a new television era for the Galaxy Far, Far Away on Disney+.
A decade into Disney owning Star Wars and fans have had a mixed reception of this generation of the franchise. Many are critical of how the Sequel Trilogy turned out after a divisive sequel in The Last Jedi and a generally disappointing finale with The Rise of Skywalker.
After years of chatter that Kennedy may not last as Lucasfilm president, a new rumor indicates that her time may be done sooner rather than later.
Kathleen Kennedy Rumored to be Leaving Lucasfilm
Youtuber John Campea revealed on his live show that his sources have indicated that Kathleen Kennedy will be removed as the president of Lucasfilm either before the release of Indiana Jones 5 or shortly after:
"This is what I have heard: I have heard that the decision to remove Kathy Kennedy has already been made and that she will be gone either sometime before or very, very, very shortly thereafter the release of Indiana Jones 5… Now, I want to be very, very clear here: I cannot independently say to you and confirm to you that this is a fact. I will say that one of the two people that have contacted me has a 1000% average on the things they’ve informed me of.”
This in turn would mean that a new president of Lucasfilm would oversee any future Star Wars projects, including the next film set to release in December 2025.
Before revealing what two separate sources had told him, Campea explains that he previously thought that Bob Iger's recent return as CEO of the Walt Disney Company would help "entrench [Kennedy] even more" and would stay as Lucasfilm president until her contract runs out in 2025.
“I had a lot of people write in and ask, ‘Now that Iger’s back, do you think that means Kathy Kennedy’s gone?’ And I had a lot of people write that to me on social media, in the comments, writing to me directly asking about that. And my response to that was, ‘Well, no. If anything, it’s the opposite.’ Bob Iger has traditionally been a Kathleen Kennedy ally and with Bob Iger coming back, I have a feeling that will entrench her even more and she will probably stay out to the end of her contract. I mean, I’ve said for a while, I don’t think she lasts beyond the end of this new contract she’s got. I think she’s out either by or shortly after 2025… I do think she needs to move on. I’ve said that for a long time. But I said, ‘I think Iger coming back only more entrenches her there.’"
Campea further explained that sometimes he is corrected by sources after speculating on his show, in this case, "two separate people completely independent of each other" said Kennedy could be out in 2023.
Alright. Sometimes, I will say something on a show and then, like in the case of Edgar Wright, I will get contacted by certain people in the know that would say to me, ‘Hey, you said this… It was a great show, but you’re wrong.’ I will tell you this, last night, in the last fourteen hours… last night, I got an email from somebody very connected and then this morning, I got a phone call from somebody even more connected that got in touch with me. Two separate people completely independent of each other, that got a hold of me and said, ‘Oh, John, you Kathleen Kennedy’s gonna be more entrenched that Iger’s in.’ I’m like, ‘Yep.’ ... ‘You’re wrong.’"
A New President of Lucasfilm in 2023?
If this rumor proves to be true, many fans may celebrate like the Ewoks singing "Yub Nub" after the second Death Star exploded.
Is that a fair reaction? Probably not, but fans are entitled to their own opinions and many have deemed Disney Star Wars an overall failure.
After 2019's The Rise of Skywalker, no Star Wars films have hit production. Patty Jenkins' Rogue Squadron has been indefinitely delayed and Taika Waititi's film doesn't seem to have much momentum at this point.
New reports indicate that there may be some unconfirmed Star Wars films on the horizon. Ms. Marvel's Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is set to direct Damon Lindelof's Star Wars movie for Lucasfilm and Shawn Levy is in talks to direct a future film.
Lucasfilm's next big theatrical release is Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones 5 on June 30, 2023. Any future films for the studio owned by Disney may need the stamp of approval by a new president.
Over the next eight months, fans will have to wait and see if this rumor comes to fruition.