Imagination Connoisseur, Mark Churay, reads the tea leaves to try and divine what’s REALLY going on behind the scenes at Disney and LucasFilm. Grab a cup of Earl Grey and read on.
Note: This letter was sent prior to Bob Iger’s announced retirement on Tuesday, February 25.
It’s been a while since I’ve written so I thought I’d give some thoughts as to what I think is going on inside Lucasfilm. This is just a theory.
But first, we should go back to an old question: Is Kathleen Kennedy qualified to run the studio? I know she has one heck of a resume, but there is one other producer with an almost identical resume, her husband, Frank Marshall.
Heck even on E.T. – while she was producer – he was production manager. So, is she really a great producer, or is he the great one and she just happens to make the meanest cup of coffee in Hollywood?
If my last misogynistic comment upset you, that fine, I don’t believe it either. Nobody can hide their incompetence for 30 years. But this leads me to my theory…
What if we, as fans and moviegoers are caught in a pissing contest between the most powerful woman in Hollywood (who has a chip on her shoulder for believing that nobody outside Spielberg, Lucas and Marshall in Hollywood thinks she’s capable) and the head of Disney who actually DOES believe she’s only good for a cup of coffee. Stuck in the middle: a property neither really understands, making it easier to weaponize.
Normally, I would find such an idea ridiculous. But then, Obi-Wan happened.
It’s been no secret that Iger has been very hands on, many times seemingly going against her advice. There had been varied reports about Kennedy’s involvement in the MANDALORIAN. Some state she was heavily involved others saying she was cut out of the loop and it became Iger’s baby, due to his streaming service. With the information available now, I think the latter.
I see a scenario where Kennedy is left out of much of THE MANDALORIAN process and being upset about it. D23 rolls around and they not only announce the show, but also that the scripts were written. FIVE MONTHS LATER. Obi-Wan is put on hold as there are script issues – the prevailing winds being the story was too similar to THE MANDALORIAN’s.
If I search for scenarios of how this could happen, I come up with two, both of which suggest she had little to do with THE MANDALORIAN.
The first is because she wasn’t directly involved with THE MANDALORIAN, she really didn’t know about the similarities. The second, she did know the stories, and in the continued battle with Iger, held her tongue until after THE MANDALORIAN broadcast, only then speaking up and claiming ignorance as a way to stick it to Iger.
I don’t begin to assume which. Either scenario shows a breakdown in management from both Iger and Kennedy.
The latest episode in this drama, The Cassian Andor series has also been put on hold due to script issues. The rumor behind this: Nothing goes into production until Iger can find a way to have Kennedy retire.
I realize my pissing contest theory has plenty of holes. But it has plenty of facts as well.
In any case, I just wish the drama on the screen was half as good as the behind the scenes. I hate STAR WARS: EPISODE VIII – THE LAST JEDI (SW:TLJ). While it may be the most interesting, it also is the one with the greatest logic holes and characters acting out of character to make a story work. Here is to hoping someday soon, Lucasfilm will right the ship and my faith in my favorite franchise can be restored.
– Mark C.