Kathleen Kennedy will be overseeing the galaxy far, far away for the foreseeable future.
As of this October, Kennedy will have served six years with the company after being put in charge following Disney's acquisition of Lucasfilm in 2012 for over $4 billion. One of her first decisions as leader was to start building a brand-new Star Wars trilogy with J.J. Abrams at the helm. And thus, The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were born.
Kennedy, a longtime producing partner of Steven Spielberg and her husband, Frank Marshall, also oversaw the launch of anthology films that would take place in the periphery of the main movies. First out the gate was Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, under director Gareth Edwards, which took in over $1 billion at the box office but suffered extensive reshoots, especially for its ending.
The second "Star Wars Story" had even more hype, as it involved the exploits of a young Han Solo pre-A New Hope. Comedy writers/directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were hired and were half a year into shooting when Kennedy fired them over creative differences, some sources citing that the duo were too improvisational in their style.
Ron Howard was brought on as a replacement and reshot nearly all of the movie, which massively underperformed at the box office, taking in less than $400 million worldwide. This led to speculation that plans for more anthology movies, including those on Obi-Wan Kenobi, Boba Fett, and the Most Eisley Cantina, may be slowed way down or put on indefinite hold.
The contract extension clearly shows that Disney has confidence in Kennedy and her big blueprints for George Lucas' creation. In fact, many, many gears are turning over at Lucasfilm.
Currently, Episode IX is shooting, a slew of new Star Wars movies are in the works from Game of Thrones showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, a new trilogy is underway from Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, and a live-action TV show is being developed for Disney's upcoming streaming service by Iron Man's Jon Favreau.