March 24, 2023
by Bespin Bulletin

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It feels as if every other week there’s a report from a not so credible website, supposed insider, or YouTuber claiming that the president of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, is about to get fired or has already been fired. I pay no attention to these sorts of articles and content, however I do pay attention when it comes from a reputable source.

Yesterday, Jeff Sneider of The Hot Mic, shared various details pertaining to the departure of writer, Damon Lindleof, from the next Star Wars film. As the conversation flowed between Sneider and his podcast co-host, Jon Rocha, regarding the next Star Wars film and the recent drama surrounding it, Sneider began discussing what he’s heard from his trusted sources in regards to the Lucasfilm president, Kathleen Kennedy. Sneider started off by saying his sources believe that Kennedy has a history of making decisions in a vacuum, and that they viewed the hiring of the director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Ms. Marvel), for the next Star Wars flick as that. Sneider then went on to say that according to his sources, Kathleen Kennedy’s continued role as Lucasfilm president depends on a Star Wars movie releasing in theatres by Christmas 2025.

They said that it sounds like Kathleen Kennedy has a track record of making decisions in a vacuum. When Sharmeen was first hired, to the source, it seemed like a random choice for such an important movie. She’d done documentaries and episodes of Ms. Marvel, she didn’t just walk off of the street, but I’ll put it this way – when you Google her name, it says she’s a Pakistani Canadian journalist, there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not the Google result you want when you Google who’s directing the next Star Wars movie. I’m told that Kathleen Kennedy’s job depends on getting a movie released by Christmas Day 2025. If there’s no movie out by Christmas Day in 2025, there’s no job.” – Jeff Sneider

Since 2017 there’s been several Star Wars movies officially announced to be in development, and others reported by the trades, that have either been cancelled or have yet to come to fruition. Writer and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson, was announced to be helming a trilogy in a galaxy far, far away ahead of The Last Jedi’s release, but there’s been no movement on the project with Johnson and Kennedy both claiming the lack of development was due to Rian’s busy schedule.

In 2018, Game of Thrones was the hottest series in the world, and the showrunners of the series, David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were announced to be developing a series of Star Wars films for Lucasfilm, before departing shortly after following a lucrative deal with Netflix. The president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, was announced to be on board to produce a Star Wars movie in 2019, and just last year, Michael Waldron, the writer behind Marvel series Loki, was hired to write the project. However, Waldron later signed on to write Avengers: Secret Wars, the most ambitious Marvel movie to date, and Feige became extremely busy with Marvel Studios, thus the project was shelved.

In 2020, two Star Wars movies were officially announced – one from Wonder Woman 1984 director, Patty Jenkins, and another from Taika Waititi, the director behind Thor: Love and Thunder. Jenkins’ movie, Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, was set to enter production in 2022 with a planned release of December 2023, and Waititi’s film expected to release in 2025. Sometime in 2021, Rogue Squadron was indefinitely delayed due to Jenkins having scheduling conflicts, with the project later shelved in 2023. Following Rogue Squadron’s indefinite delay, in May 2022, Kathleen Kennedy revealed that Taika Waititi’s Star Wars film would release in December 2023, replacing the delayed Rogue Squadron. However, Waititi downplayed Kennedy’s comments, and revealed a decision would be made regarding release once he turned in a script, which he had not done at the time. Currently, Taika Waititi’s project is still in development, but does not have a release date.

This brings us to current day, where the next Star Wars film expected to release in theatres is being written by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders), with directorial duties being handled by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Ms. Marvel). The untitled project is slated to release in theatres on December 19th, 2025.

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