Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy on why she didn't want to make first

Contributed by
Apr 22, 2015

Kathleen Kennedy has long been a Hollywood powerhouse. She's produced more than three decades of box-office toppers, and her films have grossed more than $5 billion in the U.S., a number second only to the production might of her longtime collaborator Steven Spielberg (they made a lot of that money together). Since 2012, she's been the president of Lucasfilm, and is essentially the driving force of the Star Wars brand in the Disney era. The future of Star Wars is very much in her hands, and these days that future looks very bright indeed.

We're still in the afterglow of this year's Star Wars Celebration, a massive event that wowed fans with new footage from Star Wars: The Force Awakens as well as the first peek at Rogue One, the first of what's likely to be many Star Wars Anthology films. These much-anticipated spinoff movies will explore different facets and time periods in the Star Wars universe (Rogue One, for example, is the first Jedi-less film in the franchise, and is set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope), and a whole new avenue for Disney and Lucasfilm to keep Star Wars in movie theaters for years to come (which, for the moment, is just fine by me). 

Based on everything we've heard, the idea of the Anthology films seems to have been part of the plan since the Disney purchase in 2012, but according to Kennedy, she wasn't too sure about the idea at first. The initial idea for the films came not from her, but from Star Wars creator George Lucas.

“There’s so much happening in the world of franchises and sequels — really in the last 10 or 15 years that’s dominated what’s come out of the movie industry,” Kennedy told Hero Complex. “George was really interested in exploring all the stories that might exist within the Star Wars universe.”

Then Industrial Light & Magic Chief Creative Officer John Knoll came to Kennedy with the story that would eventually become Rogue One, and Kennedy worried that the concept of spinoffs would simply become too much.

“My first thought was, ‘Oh, my God, I’m opening the floodgates if I say yes,’ ” she said.

One of the great things about the Star Wars universe, though -- as the years of Expanded Universe stories have proven -- is that it's fertile ground for all kinds of stories that can still keep the tonal and thematic qualities that define Star Wars, and eventually Kennedy realized that.

‘Star Wars’ stories are not a dime a dozen,” she said. “This is really hard to do and really hard to get right.”

So the Anthology films were born, but for at least a little while there, they almost weren't.

(Via Hero Complex)

Make Your Inbox Important

Like Comic-Con. Except every week in your inbox.

Sign-up breaker