Despite rumors to the contrary circling on the internet, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy has renewed her deal to run the company through 2021, according to a report in Variety. The veteran producer, who produced films with Steven Spielberg for decades, was handpicked by George Lucas when he stepped down from the company he founded in 2012 and sold it to Disney. The rumors about Kennedy being on her way out were mostly perpetuated by the small but vocal percentage of fans who didn’t like The Last Jedi and chose to perceive it as a failure. But facts are facts. The Last Jedi made $1.3 billion worldwide, and had a 91% Rotten Tomatoes critics score. Rogue One made a little over $1 billion in 2016, and of course, The Force Awakens was a global phenomenon that brought Star Wars back in a huge way, making over $2 billion dollars worldwide. So three films under her watch made a collective $4 billion dollars in only three years. That’s not just successful, that’s insanely successful by anyone’s measure. This decision is kind of a no-brainer.
It’s true Solo: A Star Wars Story under performed. Most movies would kill to have an over $200 million dollar domestic box office, for Star Wars, that was a legit financial disappointment. I’ll argue until the end of time that releasing Solo only five months after the previous Star Wars films was a mistake, despite the fact that I liked the movie. Star Wars films have always been big events; churning them out on a Marvel Cinematic Universe schedule was never a good idea in my mind.
Future standalone Star Wars stories, if there are any, should be mini-series events on Disney’s upcoming streaming service. But the films should always be events and be at least two years apart from each other. Regardless of Solo, the track record of massive box office success of the other three films can’t be ignored or understated, and it looks like Disney knows that. Kathleen Kennedy was, and continues to be, the right woman for the job.