The Star Wars rumor mill is churning right now and this latest one is pretty big. We have to caution right off the bat that this isn't coming from any official sources, so it should be taken with a massive grain of salt. That said, there are rumors emerging that Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy may be stepping down in September. If there is any validity to this at all, it would represent a major shift not just for Kennedy, but for one of the biggest franchises on the planet.
This particular rumor comes to us from a subscription newsletter called The Ankler. A subscription costs $45 a year, but the folks at fan site Dork Side of the Force recently shared a supposed excerpt from the newsletter which claims that Kathleen Kennedy's days are numbered and that she will be out in just a matter of months. The excerpt reads as follows.
"While Kathleen Kennedy worked wonders relaunching this property from the abyss of the Lucas prequel trilogy and turning it into a bigger than ever all-devouring cultural force, there has to be more than some thought that it's time for new blood at the helm. The talk out there is of a September changing of the guards. We'll see."
This rumor comes on the heels of the failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which has been underperforming at the box office and could lose as much as $80 million for the studio. Not only that, but many fans have been unhappy with the direction of the new movies. The divisive nature of The Last Jedi has been no secret and it has turned certain chunks of the Star Wars fandom into a toxic and ugly thing. It's in no way fair to pin all of what has been going wrong with the franchise and its fans on Kennedy, but she is the one in charge.
Certain fans have called for a changing of the guard and want to see someone other than Kathleen Kennedy steering the ship at Lucasfilm. While the Star Wars franchise was successfully relaunched under her watch and the four movies released since Disney purchased Lucasfilm have grossed north of $4.5 billion at the box office, there have been issues. Namely, Josh Trank (Boba Fett), Phil Lord and Chris Miller (Solo) and Colin Trevorrow (Star Wars 9) have all been hired and fired on her watch. Kennedy has clearly had issues communicating with directors. The Last Jedi sailed smoothly under Rian Johnson, but that wound up being the most divisive movie in the new batch so far.
It's tough to say who would take over if Kathleen Kennedy does leave and what it might mean for any of the already announced projects in a galaxy far, far away. Will the Rian Johnson trilogy still move forward? Could the Benioff and Weiss series of movies get the ax? What of the Boba Fett movie and the Obi-Wan standalone? It was safe to assume that there were going to be some changes following the messy production and subsequent disappointment of Solo, but this would be pretty massive. Again, this is just a rumor for now and we'll have to wait and see if it produces any fruit. This comes to us courtesy of Dork Side of the Force.