December 2017 shoud have been a triumphant moment for Disney and Lucasfilm.
The Last Jedi was one of the most highly-anticipated movies in Hollywood history and should have cemented Star Wars as the ultimate film franchise.
Instead, may fans were horrified at Rian Johnson’s treatment of iconic and legacy characters and storylines and started a backlash which became a boycott. The movie still took $ 1.3billion globally, but it was far short of The Force Awakens’ tally and was followed by the unbelieveable box office disaster of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Many fans laid the blame at the feet of Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy and have been calling for her dismissal.
Reports spread over the summer that Disney boss Bob Iger was holding crisis talks and Kennedy’s fate would be announced in September.
With the month nearly over it seemed a false alarm, but the Hollywood Reporter just made a exclusive claim.
It 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.”
Reactions on many fans sites were swift and the most vocal, as expected, expressed their horror at the news.
They said: “This will be the death blow of Star Wars.”
“This is terrible news. I foresee massive boycotting of future Star Wars movies. Hopefully the boycotts will force Kathleen Kennedy’s departure before her contract expires.”
“I’m afraid the boycott will be quite operational by the time Episode IX arrives.”
It is important to remember that many fans liked The Last Jedi and it was still a major box office hit, but it is also unavoidable that an even larger line has been drawn in the sand between the two opposing sides.
The report also repeated Iger’s recent comments about the upcoming plans for the big screen Star Wars releases.
As before, stress was given to the trilogy from the team behind Game of Thrones while playing down Rian Johnson’s previously much hearlded trilogy.
It said: “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.”
Prepare for a continuining disturbance in the Force as Star Wars fans react to this latest news.