Kathleen Kennedy Is Not Being Replaced as Head of Lucasfilm, Says Disney CEO

Enough with these nonsense rumors.


There’s no truth to the rumors that Kathleen Kennedy is being replaced as the head of Lucasfilm, Disney CEO Bob Chapek assured shareholders on an investor’s call on Tuesday. Chapek was asked rather bluntly if Kennedy was being replaced by Dave Filoni or Jon Favreau – both of whom have been building out the Disney+ Star Wars realm with shows like The Mandalorian and the upcoming The Book of Boba Fett. Taken aback, Chapek responded:

“We’ve been absolutely thrilled that we can have the kind of talent like Kathy Kennedy to direct Lucasfilm… We look forward to having Kathleen Kennedy running the Lucasfilm organization for many years to come.”

Rumors have been swirling about Kennedy being replaced for years, but it has largely just been some wishful thinking on the part of disgruntled fans. George Lucas chose Kennedy as his successor when he sold Lucasfilm to Disney, and she oversaw the expansion of the Star Wars universe with new Skywalker Saga films, spinoffs, and TV shows. Things got off to a pretty great start with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and the first spinoff Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was a huge box office success, but the Force Awakens sequel Star Wars: The Last Jedi rubbed some fans the wrong way (despite the fact that it’s a brilliant film).

Image via Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

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The divided fan reaction to The Last Jedi was exacerbated by the accelerated release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which became the lowest-grossing Star Wars movie to date by a wide margin, and which suffered its own production problems when directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were replaced during film by Ron Howard.

The rumors of Kennedy’s seat being in jeopardy even extended to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, and we asked Feige directly earlier this year if he was involved in upcoming Star Wars movies beyond the one he’s production, and he flatly said no.

Chapek’s affirmation of Kennedy’s position should hopefully put those rumors to rest, and all in all Kennedy has been successful at relaunching one of the biggest franchises in the world while also steering its expansion into the live-action TV realm.

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