Kathleen Kennedy Ain’t LeavingThe Dark Herald
Horrible, if true and it appears to be true.
I had heard the rumors for a while, but I wanted something a bit more substantiative before reporting on it. And now there is.
Kathleen Kennedy’s unwelcome time as the head of Lucasfilm appeared to be just about up. She was rumored to have been given “the talk” by the Bobs Chapek and Iger. Under her leadership, the Star Wars brand had been on a very steady downward trajectory since the release of the Force Awakens. Each film made less and less money, her management of those films could best be described as utterly chaotic, and the Galaxy’s Edge theme parks were uninhabited. Her insistence on scrapping the original plans and skinning the parks with Force Awakens era characters was clearly a catastrophic blunder. Finally, her marked preference for courting childless Tumblr fans, over actual Star Wars fans had resulted in the absolute collapse of the money volcano known as the Star Wars toy line.
Worst of all was the fan relations, which couldn’t have been more toxic. I wasn’t the only one saying, “TLJ wasn’t the worst fight, it wasn’t the biggest fight, it was the LAST fight. It was the break-up fight.” Her management of Star Wars actually created a cottage industry of amateur film critics dedicated to loathing her.
The substance of the meeting was, “we thank you for your efforts, but your contract will not be renewed. Enjoy your retirement package.”
She allegedly wasn’t happy about being awarded the Order of the Golden Boot, but she seemed determined to make the best of it. She was rumored to be starting up her own production company and was planning to take as many of her Lucasfilm faction loyalists with her as earthly possible.
After all, why should she want to stay somewhere she isn’t welcome.
Because of Power that’s why.
Let’s take the most extreme example of those who seek power over others out there, the serial killer. Female serial killers are rare but not unknown. There have been enough of them out there that their behavior patterns have been studied and categorized. The generally accepted view in criminology is that male serial killers hunt but female serial killers gather.
The King rides forth and smites down his enemies, but the Queen doesn’t lift a finger to vanquish hers. The Queen’s court leaps to do it for her. The gathering of power is a primal drive in the lives of the women who seek power. And they will sink their talons in to the knuckle to hang to it.
Viewed from that perspective the actions of certain post-menopausal women in positions of authority will make a lot more sense. It is life’s blood to them and once deprived of it, they will wither up and die. If they hang on to power, it will sustain them for years.
The Force is Female indeed.
Ronna-chan’s arrival in Tinsel Town created opportunities for Kennedy that wouldn’t have been there in quieter times. It was first reported by known and fairly reliable Disney insider WDWPro that due to the success of The Mandalorian, Kennedy would be staying on.
It should be noted that WDWPro’s area of expertise is, as his handle indicates, Disney Parks. Although, he appears to have reliable access to the more accurate rumors of high-level decision making at Disney.
But this time his gossip-mongering seemed pretty far out there. Everyone and I do mean everyone knew that Kathleen Kennedy was completely iced out of The Mandalorian’s production. Sure, she had the title of executive producer and she was undoubtedly writing a river of production notes. But Jon Favreau was the guy in charge, and he had cover from Bob Iger. Kay-Kay had no authority over budget, resources, casting, or writing. Favreau was reporting directly to Iger, by-passing the entire Lucasfilm hierarchy to do so.
She had nothing at all to do with Mando. Her opinion seems to have been, let the babies have their bottles for now. I can deal with them after the monster success of Rise of Skywalker. That of course, never came and Jon Favreau was now looking like the crown prince of Lucasfilm.
While Iger has been out since February as CEO, he is still Chairman of the BOD, so it’s not as if Bob Chapek is unaware of these arrangements or the reasons for them.
So, the rumor had to be false, right?
There were some indications early on that her corpse was still kicking. When Leslye Headland made an extremely public pitch for a feminist Star Wars TV series directly to “Queen Kathleen,” it was shockingly, green lit. At first everyone figured, fine, Kennedy can say a project is in production but more of those die than ever see day light. It’s not going anywhere without resources and she can’t assign those anymore.
Except, it turns out she can.
After strangling the Obi-Wan series in its cradle because she didn’t like the scripts, it looks like it’s ready to go into production again. After she had given it a very thorough feminist overhaul.
Take a look at this SJW paint-by-numbers casting call:
Note the term Co-Lead, this is NOT going to be Obi-Wan’s show.
She clearly and obviously remains an utterly clueless SJW ideologue. She doesn’t get Star Wars. She never understood what made it a success in the first place. She lacks any kind of basic storytelling competence. But “Damn it, it’s mine!” Remains her battle cry. And she can somehow still get things made on her terms. The question is, how?!?!
Everyone was wondering if she had some blackmail material on Bob Chapek.
Turns out she kinda, sorta does.
In my last post, I went into some detail about the soggy house of cards that is the Disney stock price and how this illusory, phantom wealth is the only thing keeping Mickey the Great and Terrible’s empire afloat at this point.
And the keystone of this rickety structure is Disney+ and it’s claimed seventy million subscribers. The spell of glamour cast over this international streaming service is what keeps the stockholders hypnotized.
A spell that could be easily broken by an angry departing executive with access to the “real numbers” and a large Twitter following.
The truth is there aren’t a lot people paying for Disney+. A lot of these accounts are free ones that got handed out by Verizon cellular and other zero-cost introductory subscriptions. Those subscriptions that are paying, are locked into loss-leader prices. Worse still, is the ticklish question of how many of these subscribers are actually watching the service.
Disney+ is definitely ahead of HBOmax because of the Mandalorian but aside from that halo property there isn’t much reason to tune in. It’s all library content. There’s not much new at all. What little there is has been “dumped on streaming” garbage like the Lady and the Tramp live remake and Artemis Fowl. Aside from the Mandalorian the only thing on Disney+ that has caught my interest at all is the novelty content and there isn’t enough of that.
If I was actually paying for this service…I wouldn’t. Because I’m barely looking at it at all.
From what I can tell I’m a pretty typical Disney+ subscriber. I don’t pay for it and I don’t watch it.
But, I don’t know for certain if I am typical. Only Disney executives have that intel and one of those has made it very clear that if she is shown the door, she is going to kick it off its hinges on her way out of it. Kathleen Kennedy won’t go quietly.
A healthy company doesn’t need to rely completely on its stock price to keep itself in business but Disney Entertainment is NOT healthy. They can’t tolerate any kind of significant risk to the illusion of success surrounding Disney+ because the house of cards could all come crashing down.
Consequently, Kay-Kay’s job is once again secure. Which leaves Disney executives with the terrifying problem of an angry Jon Favreau who has made Mickey the Great & Terrible billions and had already measured Kennedy’s office for drapes. He was expecting a promotion and now that job won’t be opening.
Perhaps less of an issue if Dave Filoni could take over and run the Mandalorian but it’s becoming clear that his talent has a very hard ceiling. More on that tomorrow.
Okay, I’m done here.