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The Force Awakens Lucasfilm: The Kennedy Era

Being outraged is one thing, taking it to the extremes that some do and being obnoxious trolls is something else entirely. Whatever, nothing new just extremely old.

Of course LF deserves a lot of blame, but that truth cuts both ways.
Sometimes I sort of just want no Star Wars again. Shut everyone up.

Maybe it's invalid. But when I was in school, when children weren't playing nice, recess was cut short or all parties go to timeout. It didn't matter who started it or who was more at fault. Everyone was punished.

Just seems the best course of action now :)

On one hand I understand the complaints. On the other, I think it gets taken to ridiculous extremes. Harassing actors or even filmmakers is not OK.

On the other hand, I think there's this odd sense of entitlement for all these groups of fans that puts me off right now.
George Lucas was going to take his ball and go home because of fan outrage. Fans rejoiced when Disney bought the company and promised to churn out massive amounts of Star Wars films and shows, but now they are doing the same thing they did to Lucas, and then some. Eventually filmmakers and actors are going to just stay away from the franchise altogether because who wants to mess with this kind of BS?
George Lucas was going to take his ball and go home because of fan outrage. Fans rejoiced when Disney bought the company and promised to churn out massive amounts of Star Wars films and shows, but now they are doing the same thing they did to Lucas, and then some. Eventually filmmakers and actors are going to just stay away from the franchise altogether because who wants to mess with this kind of BS?

George Lucas was going to take his ball and go home because of fan outrage. Fans rejoiced when Disney bought the company and promised to churn out massive amounts of Star Wars films and shows, but now they are doing the same thing they did to Lucas, and then some. Eventually filmmakers and actors are going to just stay away from the franchise altogether because who wants to mess with this kind of BS?

A lot did, but some didn't. The current backlash started as soon as Disney bought Lucasfilm. There were talks about Star Wars getting "Disneyfied" right out of the gate. It's gotten much worse since then, but it didn't start with TLJ and, realistically, it probably won't be going away any time soon.
George Lucas was going to take his ball and go home because of fan outrage. Fans rejoiced when Disney bought the company and promised to churn out massive amounts of Star Wars films and shows, but now they are doing the same thing they did to Lucas, and then some. Eventually filmmakers and actors are going to just stay away from the franchise altogether because who wants to mess with this kind of BS?

Yeah, pretty much. Like TheVileOne said I'd be satisfied it if they shut it down after the next installment, just have a simple press release stating that "Star Wars is being shut down indefinitely" (with the likelihood of bringing it back in 5 years). I'd love to see how some of the fans react and choose to spend their "valuable" time. Maybe they would start inflicting punishment on themselves? I'd LOVE a live stream of that.
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George Lucas was going to take his ball and go home because of fan outrage. Fans rejoiced when Disney bought the company and promised to churn out massive amounts of Star Wars films and shows, but now they are doing the same thing they did to Lucas, and then some. Eventually filmmakers and actors are going to just stay away from the franchise altogether because who wants to mess with this kind of BS?

A lot are already staying away due to the mismanagement of Lucasfilm. Right now its Murderers Row over there. Edwards, Lord/Miller, Trevorrow. Who wants to mess with the kind of BS currently at the helm?

That part has nothing at all to do with the fans and is inside baseball over there.

For funsies and pain, I tried watching TLJ on Netflix tonight(plus I wanted to see how it looked in 4K and HDR now that I've got that) and gd that's painful. I made it to Holdo showing up and acting nonsensically before I finally had enough and just had to turn it off. Just absolute garbage writing and I like Laura Dern, but they did her no favors with that character.

That movie is going to age so poorly. Particularly as the damage it caused continues to pile up. If you ever wondered how a billion-dollar golden goose IP gets destroyed, this IP is going to be the case study that everyone references. How can they have screwed up the lead-in from TFA and Rogue One *this* badly?
More changes happening that have created delays for another project.

Variety - ‘Indiana Jones 5’ Will Miss 2020 Release Date (EXCLUSIVE)

The fifth film in the adventure series will miss its original release date, Variety has learned. Filming was supposed to begin in April of 2019 in the United Kingdom, but sources close to the production say that shooting will no longer start next spring and will have to be pushed back by months, if not a year. Potential crew members have already been informed of the delay.

Part of the issue is that the key members of the creative team have yet to sign off on a finished script. Collider reported on Thursday that Jonathan Kasdan, son of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” scribe Lawrence Kasdan, has been enlisted to deliver a new draft. A deal has yet to close to bring the writer on board, but it looks as though he will soon join the project.

'Star Wars' Chief Kathleen Kennedy's Lucasfilm Deal Extended for Three Years (Exclusive)
Borys Kit said:
Kathleen Kennedy has reignited her lightsaber. The lead producer and architect of the Star Wars franchise has renewed her contract to remain president of Lucasfilm for another three years, through 2021, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

The move is a vote of confidence in Kennedy, who took command of Lucasfilm after Disney’s $4 billion acquisition from George Lucas in 2012 and has overseen the relaunch of Star Wars, one of the most revered movie properties in cinematic history. Disney's four new Star Wars films have grossed almost $4.5 billion at the worldwide box office. Ancillary and merchandising have brought billions more into the studio's coffers.

But it hasn’t always been easy money. Kennedy has had to replace directors on two movies that were either in production or post-. Chris Lord and Phil Miller were fired from Solo: A Star Wars Story on June 20, 2017, less than a year before the film's release. Kennedy also effectively replaced Rogue One: A Star Wars Story director Gareth Edwards with helmer Tony Gilroy, though Edwards kept his directing credit. Last year, Colin Trevorrow, who was to have directed Star Wars: Episode IX, was fired and replaced with the series' Episode VII helmer, J.J. Abrams, a week later.

Kennedy’s position is one of the most visible, and her actions the most highly scrutinized, in Hollywood due to the immense popularity of Lucasfilm’s franchises, which also include Indiana Jones. So it's notable that her renewal follows this summer's Solo: A Star Wars Story, the first big-screen box office disappointment for the franchise, grossing "only" $392 million worldwide and leading analysts to estimate a loss for the film at $50 million to $80 million or more. (In contrast, 2017's The Last Jedi and 2016's Rogue One grossed $1 billion globally, and 2015's The Force Awakens topped $2 billion in receipts.)

Kennedy's deal extension also follows a polarizing reaction to Last Jedi — which sits at 91 percent fresh on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes but was flooded with unusually angry fan complaints on social media about key plot choices. The reaction to Last Jedi and Solo is resulting in a shift in studio strategy, with Disney making plans to slow the output of movies. "You can expect some slowdown," Disney CEO Bob Iger told THR in an interview published on Sept. 20, adding, "but that doesn't mean we're not going to make films."

The only Star Wars film currently underway is Episode IX, currently shooting in London, and due for release Dec. 20, 2019. Sources tell THR that Episode IX will be the last of the "chapter" installments, with Disney planning on touting it as a selling point in the promotion campaign for the film in the year leading up to its release. Lucasfilm is developing feature projects from Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, as well as a potential trilogy from Rian Johnson, the filmmaker behind Last Jedi. Johnson, however, is currently prepping to shoot a detective thriller that is to star Daniel Craig.

Sources say that the near future of Star Wars lies in television with Kennedy-led Lucasfilm planning on expanding the universe with new characters in that medium. The shows at this stage include a live-action series run by Jon Favreau (which is currently casting) and the animated Star Wars: The Clone Wars, both of which will air on Disney’s untitled streaming service, which is set to launch in the second half of 2019. Meanwhile, another animated series, Star Wars Resistance, premieres this month on The Disney Channel.

Lucasfilm is also developing a new Indiana Jones movie, the fifth in a series starring Harrison Ford and directed by Spielberg, but that project recently saw its release date push from July 10, 2020, to July 9, 2021. Script issues were the cause. The last Jones movie, 2008's The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, grossed $786 million worldwide, adjusted for inflation.

Kennedy got her first breaks working as an assistant to writer John Milius and then Steven Spielberg, becoming a co-founder of Amblin Entertainment. She has established one of the most enviable producing careers in Hollywood, with credits on classic blockbusters like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Back to the Future and Jurassic Park as well as critically acclaimed Spielberg dramas like Schindler's List, Munich, War Horse and Lincoln.

In September, she was named as a recipient, along with husband, producer Frank Marshall, of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Irving G. Thalberg Award for a "body of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production.” She will receive the honor at the 10th annual Governors Awards on Nov. 18.
I just got back from seeing Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and it made me realize just how much they've screwed up this Star Wars shared universe.

In Godzilla KOTM, they bring back ideas and concepts that have been interwoven throughout the other two movies. I went into it thinking Skull Island wouldn't really be relevant, but stuff from that movie comes back (but not in a serialized "you have to watch every movie to understand what's going on" kind of way). This really isn't that groundbreaking, Marvel's been doing it for years. But there seems to be a mentality that only Marvel can pull it off. Nope, anyone who thinks out their universe can do this.

What do we get in Star Wars? A young Han Solo movie three years after Harrison's beloved Han has been killed off. And it adds nothing that furthers the character. A Darth Maul cameo that makes no sense to anyone who hasn't seen the cartoon shows. And if you have seen the shows, you know he dies, so you can't get excited about him having a rematch with Obi-Wan in the next movie. Han's dice become a key object in TLJ before we see the context behind them, which doesn't even end up being that significant anyway. We get buildup for Rey being someone significant, and then she ends up being a nobody. We have Han's son named Ben, despite the fact that Han never had a significant connection with Ben Kenobi.

With some planing and effort, we could have had an awesome Star Wars universe. They could have even done some neat non-linear setup. But instead it all amounts to nothing. It's a butchered version of a connected universe. Literally the most clever thing they've done is mention "hyperspace tracking" in Rogue One, before it becomes a plot-point in TLJ. That's cool. Can we please have a movie full of stuff like that?
THR 9/20/2018:
Bob Iger Talks on Disney's Streaming Service, 'Roseanne,' James Gunn and a Coming ‘Star Wars' “Slowdown”
Matt Belloni said:
Many believe Disney should pump the breaks and not put out a Star Wars movie each year.

I made the timing decision, and as I look back, I think the mistake that I made — I take the blame — was a little too much, too fast. You can expect some slowdown, but that doesn't mean we're not gonna make films. J.J. [Abrams] is busy making [Episode] IX. We have creative entities, including [Game of Thrones creators David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, who are developing sagas of their own, which we haven't been specific about. And we are just at the point where we're gonna start making decisions about what comes next after J.J.'s. But I think we're gonna be a little bit more careful about volume and timing. And the buck stops here on that.

'Star Wars' Chief Kathleen Kennedy's Lucasfilm Deal Extended for Three Years (Exclusive)

THR MAY 07, 2019:
Three New 'Star Wars' Films Get Release Dates in Disney Schedule Reset
Mia Galuppo & Aaron Couch said:
In a major overhaul, Disney has updated the studio's and Fox's theatrical release schedules.

As a part of that shake-up, multiple Fox and Disney titles have been rescheduled, unscheduled and revealed, including three untitled Star Wars movies.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker will conclude the nine-picture saga that began with the original 1977 film, while what comes next has been a mystery. Disney has dated three untitled Star Wars films, the first hint of the franchise's big-screen future. They are set for Dec. 16, 2022; Dec. 20, 2024; and Dec. 18, 2026.

While it is unclear what the new untitled Star Wars films will tackle, it is known that The Last Jedi filmmaker Rian Johnson is developing a trilogy, while Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are penning their own trilogy.

There's been at least one Star Wars film every year since 2015's The Force Awakens, but Disney has indicated it would take a big-screen breather after Rise of Skywalker, as Lucasfilm is focusing on series for the upcoming Disney+ streaming service. Projects including Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian and an untitled Diego Luna-led Rogue One prequel. At Star Wars Celebration last month in Chicago, Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy told The Hollywood Reporter she was plotting out the future of Star Wars on the big screen in consultation with Johnson, Benioff, Weiss and Favreau.

"We are looking at the next saga. We are not just looking at another trilogy, we're really looking at the next 10 years or more," Kennedy said.

THR JUNE 17, 2019:
Lucasfilm Names Michelle Rejwan SVP of Live Action Development and Production
Aaron Couch said:
Lucasfilm has named producer Michelle Rejwan senior vice president of live action development and production.

She will oversee a new slate of feature films as well as Disney+ series and will continue to produce with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

"Working with Michelle over the last seven years as a producer on both The Force Awakens and now The Rise of Skywalker, I have seen first-hand her skills collaborating with writers and directors, and I've been incredibly impressed with her creative skills and her ability to manage the complexity surrounding these massive projects,” said Kennedy in a statement.

Rejwan is serving as a producer on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker and has worked with Skywalker filmmaker J.J. Abrams on Super 8, Star Trek Into Darkness and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Rise of Skywalker opens Dec. 20 and will will conclude the nine-film saga that began with 1977's Star Wars. Lucasfilm has two new film trilogies in development, one overseen by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, the other coming from Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weis.s

On the small screen, Lucasfilm has Jon Favreau's The Mandalorian bowing in November with the launch of Disney+, and is also developing an untitled Rogue One prequel series starring Diego Luna.

“I know the importance of building a team that you trust and have fun working with - it is paramount to our success," Kennedy said of the hire. "There's an exciting momentum building around the future of the franchise, and both myself and the Lucasfilm team look forward to working with Michelle in shaping the future in all areas of story development, from theatrical film development to live action content for Disney+.”
Lucasfilm: The Kevin Feige Era Begins

'Star Wars' Shocker: Marvel's Kevin Feige Developing New Movie for Disney (Exclusive)
Kim Masters said:
Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy "is pursuing a new era in 'Star Wars' storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a 'Star Wars' film together," Walt Disney Studios co-chairman Alan Horn tells The Hollywood Reporter.

To the surprise of no one, Kevin Feige is a huge Star Wars fan. It might surprise many, however, that the Marvel Studios chief is going to be developing a Star Wars movie as Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy makes new plans for a wave of projects set in the universe, The Hollywood Reporter has learned.

Feige had discussed a foray into the Star Wars universe in a late summer meeting with Kennedy and studio co-chairmen Alan Horn and Alan Bergman, sources say. In response to a query from THR, Walt Disney Studios co-chairman and chief creative officer Horn said, "We are excited about the projects Kathy and the Lucasfilm team are working on, not only in terms of Star Wars but also Indiana Jones and reaching into other parts of the company including Children of Blood and Bone with Emma Watts and Fox. With the close of the Skywalker Saga, Kathy is pursuing a new era in Star Wars storytelling, and knowing what a die-hard fan Kevin is, it made sense for these two extraordinary producers to work on a Star Wars film together."

Some see this move as a prelude to a larger role for Feige within Lucasfilm, while others say it merely reflects the Marvel executive’s passion for the franchise. A top Disney source says Kennedy remains in charge with no plans for any changes. One knowledgeable source says Feige has told a major actor that there’s a specific role he would like that person to play if and when he makes the movie.

However, with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker set to hit theaters Dec. 20, it is understandable that Disney would like to keep as much about the future of the franchise under wraps as possible. Skywalker, otherwise known as Episode IX, is meant to be the final installment of the series that was first launched by George Lucas in 1977. It is also meant to win back fans after the last sequel trilogy entry, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, divided audiences, even though reviews were largely positive and the film grossed $1.3 billion worldwide.

Under Feige’s leadership, Marvel has had an extraordinary run of hits, including four of the top 10 movies ever released. This summer, Avengers: Endgame grossed $2.9 billion and surpassed Avatar to become the top grosser of all time, not adjusted for inflation. Feige has a packed slate of Marvel movies and TV in the works, and he is expected to take a big role in developing the Marvel heroes, like the X-Men, that Disney got in the Fox acquisition.

Kennedy has been president of Lucasfilm since 2012. She is one of the very few women in top executive jobs at Disney, but she was picked for the job by Lucas before he sold his company for $4 billion that year. In September 2018, she renewed her contract for three years.

So far, the four Star Wars films produced for Disney have grossed almost $4.5 billion. But while Feige has presided over a mostly seamless rollout of one Marvel hit after another, reinvigorating the Star Wars franchise has not been a smooth process. Gareth Edwards was effectively sidelined as the helmer of the troubled 2016 film Rogue One, with Tony Gilroy shooting the third act. The film went on to become a hit, generating strong reviews and $1.1 billion worldwide.

In June 2017, Kennedy fired directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller during the production of the prequel film Solo amid concerns about their improvisational style. Ron Howard stepped in to finish the film, which grossed $392.9 million and became the first Star Wars pic to lose money. In September 2017, Jurassic World filmmaker Colin Trevorrow was dropped as director of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker and replaced by J.J. Abrams, who successfully relaunched the franchise in 2015 with The Force Awakens. Disney chairman Bob Iger conceded in a recent New York Times interview that the studio had made mistakes. “I just think that we might’ve put a little bit too much in the marketplace too fast,” he said.

One potential trouble sign for Lucasfilm and Disney is the allegedly disappointing attendance at new Star Wars attractions in Anaheim and Orlando. During a recent earnings call, Iger said interest in Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge was still high, and “long term … we have no concerns whatsoever about them." (On Wednesday, Disney unveiled a new leadership structure for the Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort parks in Anaheim and Orlando.)

Disney has been criticized for its lack of women in top roles at the company, so any move to displace Kennedy may create perception problems. In his Times interview, Iger acknowledged that women and people of color were not well-represented but said, "I’ll change that before I leave."

While Disney and Lucasfilm have scaled back development of Star Wars movies in part due to the poor performance of Solo, it is still working on future movies. Both Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson and Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are working on feature projects set in the Star Wars universe. And with Disney ramping up its streaming service Disney+, Lucasfilm will be an important piece of the puzzle. Jon Favreau’s live-action Star Wars space Western, The Mandalorian, is set to premiere Nov. 12, and a Rogue One prequel series is in the works, as is an Ewan McGregor-led Obi-Wan Kenobi series.
Wall Street Journal - Disney Disturbs the Force: Pleasing Star Wars Fans Complicates Saga

The slightest tweak to Star Wars mythology can set fans off. “People go crazy, even on small things,” said Mr. Iger at an interview conducted at the opening of Galaxy’s Edge in May.
The rush has impaired the long-term planning for where the Skywalker saga and other Star Wars stories go from here. Rather than take the Marvel approach and begin filming the first movie with the end of the series in mind, Lucasfilm has largely determined the overarching plot from movie to movie, former employees say. That creates a clash since the multiple moving parts of the Disney franchise machine depend on schedules, forward planning and shared information.

When a videogame division at Disney approached the Lucasfilm story group about a game that would take place in the time between “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi,” videogame developers were told the story group had no idea what was going to happen in “Last Jedi,” even though “Force Awakens” was close to wrapping production, according to one of the former employees.

Since different directors were handling different films, “Last Jedi” director Rian Johnson was forced to wait to see how “Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams would finish his movie before he could finalize his own script. While Mr. Johnson was shooting “Last Jedi,” an installment that took the series in unexpected directions, Lucasfilm executives had little idea how they would wrap up the trilogy in the film that followed, the one premiering this month, according to an executive who worked there at the time.
Ms. Kennedy, the Lucasfilm president who was handpicked by Mr. Lucas to take over months before he sold to Disney, has struggled to bridge the pre- and post-Disney cultures at Lucasfilm, associates and former colleagues say.

Ms. Kennedy declined to comment.

Ms. Kennedy is among the most successful producers in Hollywood history, with credits that include “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and “Jurassic Park.” She started working with Steven Spielberg when he was directing “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” and at Lucasfilm she has recruited young, up-and-coming directors who she thinks can update the franchise for present-day audiences. Lucasfilm couldn’t attract bold, visionary directors if it expected to keep them on a short leash, according to one “Last Jedi” producer.

That creative freedom has repeatedly clashed with Disney’s need to make a movie that simultaneously moves the story forward while catering to some fans’ nostalgic impulses, according to people who have worked with the company on the new films. “The Force Awakens” was criticized for hewing too closely to the 1977 classic, and “The Last Jedi” criticized for taking the narrative in erratic directions.

The result has been a revolving door of directors hired to great public fanfare and fired when their narrative ambition edged too far outside guidelines, or it became clear they weren’t experienced enough to handle $200 million megaproductions.

In just five years, half a dozen directors have been fired or left projects midfilming or ahead of future installments, and in the past several months Lucasfilm story architects who conceived of recent films have left. The producers of the new Star Wars trilogy scheduled to start in 2022, “Game of Thrones” television show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, abandoned the project in October. The two also have a producing deal with Netflix Inc., which has become a top rival to Disney since it launched Disney+.
When Mr. Iger showed “The Force Awakens” to Mr. Lucas ahead of its release, the Star Wars creator couldn’t believe how much the new movie seemed to resemble the old, Mr. Iger recalled. Just as in the original film, this one was about two men and a woman who join a rebellion to destroy a megaweapon, and even also starred Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.

“We are walking a very fine line,” Mr. Iger said he told Mr. Lucas. “If we don’t satisfy the most ardent fan, we’d be killed.”

The new “Rise of Skywalker” is still expected to be a blockbuster, and those alienated by “The Last Jedi” have turned to Mr. Abrams with hope. One executive who has worked with Mr. Abrams said the director is keeping longtime fans in mind, saying it is like an invisible fan is whispering in his ear during story meetings.

Following the conclusion of the Skywalker trilogy this month, Mr. Iger said he wants the next set of movies to be more accessible to common moviegoers unburdened by decades of Star Wars memories. But he knows that will likely alienate some fans. “You can’t make everyone happy,” he said.

If you’re not going to update a property, he said, “you might as well stick it in a museum and watch it get old.”
When you try to please everyone, you please no one.

A lot of this can be traced back to Disney forcing a 2015 release to please stockholders as they promised stockholders a new movie each year and the first one 2015.

Even Abrams was not keen on 2015 and wanted more time. This is documented.

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