The Next Star Wars Movie Terrifies Lucasfilm

Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm
Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm. Photo: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Disney
Matthew Belloni
October 23, 2022

Last November, right after Patty Jenkins’ much-touted Rogue Squadron was placed on the dreaded back burner, I politely asked Disney C.E.O. Bob Chapek to remove Star Wars movies from the purview of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. After five films and about $6 billion in box office under Disney, this A+-level film franchise—a property other studios would kill for—had been essentially left half-digested in a Sarlacc pit. 

No continuing storylines, no new characters worth following, several top-tier creators hired and then discarded, and little overarching creative vision. Lucasfilm was continuing to churn out a mixed bag of competently made and highly-watched series for Disney+, but on the film side, the franchise was essentially dormant, and, at least to me, Kennedy’s stewardship was a stunning example of I.P. mismanagement.  

Maybe I was a bit harsh. But now, nearly a year later, things are… pretty much the same. No new Star Wars film before at least December 2025, which would be a six year gap after the much-maligned The Rise of Skywalker. You can argue that former C.E.O. Bob Iger’s initial one-movie-a-year mandate was too much, and that it led to rushed decision-making and hired-and-fired filmmakers like Gareth Edwards (Rogue One), Lord and Miller (Solo) and Colin Trevorrow (Rise of Skywalker), and that a little break for a reset is a good thing.