Kathleen Kennedy has been a controversial figure as head of Lucasfilm as anyone would be if they were in charge of overseeing a massive franchise like Star Wars. And yet it’s hard to argue that she hasn’t been moderately successful in that role. The Force Awakens was the jolt the franchise needed after the disappointing prequels, and The Last Jedi is a truly great film that challenged fans rather than just giving them what they wanted. Yes, there have been missteps, but Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was also a hit with a surprising ending. The only outright flop has been Solo: A Star Wars Story, and when you’re batting .750, you deserve to come back to the plate.
THR reports that Kennedy has reupped her contract as President of Lucasfilm for another three years. While there’s certainly been tumult behind the scenes on every Star Wars movie except for The Last Jedi, Kennedy has gotten these movies to the finish line and made sure that the franchise is the moneymaker Disney expected it would be.
However, THR notes that while Kennedy will be around for another three years, there are no details on projects beyond what’s been announced. The only Star Wars movie currently underway is Episode IX. Beyond that, Rian Johnson is developing a new Star Wars trilogy and Lucasfilm is also working with Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff on other Star Wars projects. In addition, Jon Favreau is prepping a Star Wars series for Disney’s forthcoming streaming service.
And all of this is well and good. However, the biggest challenge for Kennedy going forward isn’t to create new Star Wars title, but to finally bring some diversity behind the camera. There’s never going to be a shortage of Star Wars projects, but so far, the only people in charge of them are white men. And that’s not to say that white men have done a bad job. But new voices are important, and I’d love to see what these voices have to say in such a strong franchise. Hopefully, in the years ahead, Kennedy not only expands the Star Wars universe, but brings in a diverse group of storytellers to handle that expansion.