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June 25, 2018

Grace Randolph Scoop: Kathleen Kennedy Almost Fired as Head of Lucasfilm... But...

Her video is here.

If you don't want to watch, here's the quick written version:

Disney staged a big "secret" conference call with ranking people in the Star Wars division. Security guards were posted outside the doors at offices to prevent eavesdropping. Pixar and Marvel representatives were able to listen in on the call, but not speak on it. Apparently this was allowed to get feedback, I guess at a later point, about the Star Wars situation.

Disney's head Bob Iger wants to fire Kathleen Kennedy, but there's a problem: No one they're willing to offer the job to is willing to take it. JJ Abrams (Randolph reports) was offered the job, but turned it down flat. "Several" were approached.

One person that's brought up as a possible replacement for Kennedy, Dave Filloni, isn't being considered for the job by Iger, I guess because he hasn't run anything big like a studio.

Randolph says (speculating, I think) that no one wants the job because the Lucasfilm team is divided between old-guard Star Wars people and Kennedy's handpicked loyalists.

I would speculate myself that, assuming this claim that no one wants the job is true, it's because the brand is broken, and people know that, and it's a no-win situation: Everyone seems to think that Star Wars is supposed to make money automatically. That's no longer true post-Solo, but people still think that, so any head of Lucasfilm is in a situation where the best they can do is meet expectations (make money), and the worst they can do is fail spectacularly.

There's no upside. Well, except a huge pile of money, but I imagine the people being approached are already getting huge piles of money from other ventures with more of an upside as far as their reputations.

So no big-name person would want to walk into that situation. Smaller names would take that chance, but apparently Disney hasn't gotten desperate enough to offer it to a smaller name. Yet.

Randolph says that Disney feels that Star Wars is too targeted to "older SJWs," instead of its traditional fan base of men, and this is also hurting Star Wars in its merchandise sales, as "older SJWs" don't really buy movie tickets and certainly don't spend a lot of money on Milennium Falcon playsets.

She also reports that all the Star Wars "anthology" movies are indeed on hold as Disney tries to figure this out, except maybe for one: The Obi-Wan movie, which Disney thinks it should have made instead of Star Wars. However, while this movie is not officially on hold, it's also not on the front-burner, either.

Lastly, while "Episode IX" is still on (it's already started filming), it's "too late for any major course corrections." Kathleen Kennedy has ceded all creative control to director J.J. Abrams, maybe to spare herself further blame, maybe because she wants to just sit this one out, or who knows, maybe because Disney wants the ball in someone else's hands.

One point she alludes to, which she made before: She thinks that Star Wars never appealed to Kathleen Kennedy. Kathleen Kennedy didn't like the franchise, because it was, indeed, a boys' adventure franchise.

Instead of making a boys' adventure franchise she didn't get and didn't like, she made it into something she could like: a girls' empowerment fantasy.

This kind of sums up the problem with Social Justice Warriors taking over male-skewing sections of pop culture: They just don't like it. They never did like it. Some of them even feel that these parts of pop culture encourage "toxic masculinity," and therefore are evil.

And therefore must be subverted and remade into something they never were before.

So you... put multimillion dollar companies into the hands of people who don't like the product those companies sell and in fact might even hate?

Well, good luck with that, I guess.

Doubling Down and Redoubling Down: Apparently an official employee of Lucasfilm, writing for the "official" StarWars.com website, has decided to inform people that they are not "customers" of Lucasfilm and Lucasfilm owes them nothing at all, not even polite treatment.

She seems to be echoing Kathleen Kennedy, who has previously declared that she owes nothing to the male fans of Star Wars (who, let's face it, have maintained the value of the franchise for 40+ years):

"I have a responsibility to the company that I work with. I don't feel that I have a responsibility to cater in some way. I would never just seize on saying, 'Well, this is a franchise that's appealed primarily to men for many, many years, and therefore I owe men something.'"

Yes... yes... reach out with your Hatred... all is proceeding precisely as I envisioned...

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posted by Ace of Spades at 04:47 PM

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