There is a rumor that is swirling around online that says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy will step down after Indiana Jones 5. Again, this is completely speculative, and nothing has been confirmed, but I’ve decided to rand potential candidates to step into her position from most likely to least likely. I also want to preface all of this by saying I love what she has done with Star Wars. I know there are a lot of folks out there that would disagree and that’s okay, but this article is complete speculation and not designed to bash Kennedy in any way.
The Likely Candidates
Filoni has been a director, writer, producer and concept artist on Star Wars shows such as Rebels, The Clone Wars, Resistance, and Forces of Destiny. He has also been a contributor to the movies The Force Awakens and Rogue One. It seemed before George Lucas sold the rights to Star Wars to Disney that he was grooming Filoni to take over after him. Filoni became more and more involved in the development of Clone Wars and of all of the folks that worked for Lucas, he seemed like such a natural fit.
If the rumor is true that Kennedy is stepping down wound 2021 and 2022 Filoni would transition extremely smoothly in the role of president of Lucasfilm. It seems very apparent to me that Filoni has an adept understanding of how Star Wars works and what makes Star Wars, well Star Wars. He has been a driving force and main contributor to some of its best content both under Lucas and under Disney. Filoni has helped create some fan-favorite characters including Ahsoka Tano, Ezra Bridger, and Kanan Jarrus. At the helm of Lucasfilm would produce hit after hit movie and television show. He’s already produced excellent content for Star Wars, why not let him do it for the next decade or so?
Hidalgo is another individual that has been a part of Star Wars content both under Lucas and under Disney. He worked as a content manager for starwars.com and was essentially a canon resource for fans upon the launch of the site. Before Disney purchased Lucasfilm, Hidalgo was the overseer of an often-cloudy canon (now known as Legends) and helped establish some of the continuity before Disney era Star Wars. When Disney completed the purchase of Star Wars, Hidalgo worked with Kathleen Kennedy to establish continuity among the new canon stories. Through working with Kennedy, Hidalgo helped create the Lucasfilm Story Group. This group included various Star Wars experts and its sole purpose was to help maintain a continuity with everything canon going forward.
Similarly, to Filoni, Hidalgo would be an ideal fit to run Lucasfilm. He is already familiar with Star Wars and has an in-depth knowledge of what makes Star Wars so successful and the inner workings of Lucasfilm. The stories that Hidalgo would be able to develop and intertwine all of the mediums of canon storylines would certainly be something special to watch unfold.
Favreau is an extremely well-respected filmmaker and creative mind throughout Hollywood. He was somebody that helped jump-start the MCU as the director of Iron Man back in 2008. He has also been in charge of two Disney reboots with The Lion King and The Jungle Book. He has appeared in one Star Wars movie (Rio Durant in Solo) and now he is the head of the first live-action Star Wars show, The Mandalorian.
It is safe to say he is very familiar and well like around Disney and Lucasfilm already. If The Mandalorian is even moderately successful then maybe his name garners more traction and support as the next head of Lucasfilm, whenever that might be. He is creative as it gets, it may just come down to what exactly he wants to do. It does seem like Favreau is an individual that likes to keep his creative opportunities open and that alone might steer him clear of wanting to run an entire franchise.
This candidate is more of something that I wish would happen. Abrams is somebody that takes incredible pride in the work he helps create and produce. You can see this pride with the carefully crafted stories he has created and continues to create over the years. It is also very apparent that he has a true love for Star Wars, especially when it comes to the lore. Rumors are surrounding The Rise of Skywalker that they have taken plot points from stories within Legends (Comics and Books) and implemented them into the final chapter of the Skywalker Saga. I believe that if Abrams was at the helm of Lucasfilm he would continue to use plot points from previous Star Wars stories and create deep-rooted stories that have continuity between all canon mediums.
The issue with Abrams is that he is an extremely bust individual. In the next few years, he is set to produce or executive produce fifty-something movies and tv shows. I do think that if this was a role that Abrams wanted in the future, Disney would jump on the opportunity to hire him. What Star Wars always has thrived off is good storytelling, and Abrams certainly does that well.
This is the rumor that has continued to be the one with the most steam over the years. Even over the last couple weeks, it has been a rumor that has spiked up when it was announced Feige would get a Star Wars movie and as of a few days ago has come crashing back down to earth when it was announced that he would be the CEO going forward of Marvel. It seems that Feige, like everyone else on this list, is a die-hard Star Wars fan. If you look at what he has helped create in the MCU over the better part of the last decade it is something that most Star Wars fans would love to see happen in their universe. He has crafted a compelling overarching story, gave fans what they wanted and built towards a larger plot which rewarding its viewers with massive payoffs.
This sounds like something that Star Wars could use going forward post-Skywalker. The reason that I have it so low on this list is not that Fiege is “too busy” as some have pointed to, but I just don’t see Disney putting one man in charge of its two biggest franchises and I think they are determined to stick with that model. Barring drastic changes with anything Disney this is a fun idea to ponder, but certainly is not happening.
Ah, the Maker! To me, Lucas is somebody that will always hold a special place in my heart. He was the one that came up with this crazy idea of Star Wars and I will always love him for that. He would drive a deep lore-based timeline and ideally could reincorporate a ton from legends if in charge of Lucasfilm once more. I would love to see him back involved with the fans and the storytelling again, but this is probably not going to happen. It feels that Lucas was driven out by the fans and exhausted by some of the toxicity. That combined with Disney not wanting to involve him in large capacities closes the door to this possibility. As much as I and other fans would love to see him involved again it probably will never happen. Like Fiege, this is a fun one to ponder what would happen with him back in charge, but in all actuality is beyond a long shot.
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