This week, producer and president of Lucasfilm Kathleen Kennedy chatted to our friends at The Hollywood Reporter about what George Lucas thinks of The Force Awakens, plans for Indiana Jones and much more.
Even though Disney bought Lucasfilm’s assets, the company are still involved with their properties as she admits.
“We’re the creative entity. We have a franchise management team. We have Lucasfilm employees working within Disney consumer products. We spend a great deal of time sitting with the various divisions inside Disney talking everybody through our plans, showing them our artwork and, eventually, footage, helping them create the style guides, identifying what it is that the various companies that we’re in partnership with are going to execute. That’s a collaborative effort between Lucasfilm and Disney. … Probably the biggest contribution that Disney has made to the Lucasfilm franchise management was their international component. That was something Lucasfilm hadn’t made significant inroads with,” she told THR.
They have been a part of the discussions with properties like Star Wars Rebels, the animated TV show on Disney XD, she also reveals.
“[But] on Disney XD, when we were doing the development on [the animated series] Star Wars Rebels, there was a real emphasis on wanting to do something far more comedic than what we were prepared to do. So we sat down with the story team inside Disney XD, and we spent a lot of time taking everybody through why we thought the show we wanted to develop was a better way to go. The same thing inside the theme park, with the discussion of what that expansion was going to be and to what extent they would involve classic characters, where we would go with new characters, how closely it would tie to the movies. All those discussions have been nothing but collaborative.”
Even though Lucas isn’t directly involved with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the former Star Wars maestro still has had input albeit indirectly into Abrams’ massive blockbuster as she tells THR:
“I talk to George [Lucas] all the time. George has gone through his own personal process of trying to find his own way of letting go of something that has a huge amount to do with his entire adult life. It’s really impossible for him to only get involved a little bit. He either feels he needs to get involved 100 percent and really be running everything or not at all. He had to make that choice for himself, to step away. When I first came into this company, I had about five months where it was back and forth in his mind as to whether he was going to sell, when he was going to sell. At the same time, we were talking about making new movies. He was the one who initially approached Harrison and Mark and Carrie. All of that he initiated, and I think realizing what it meant to stay involved with its execution was what he had to reconcile. And it’s been tough, watching this go on without his direct involvement, but at the same time, I think he really wanted to step away, knowing that it was in good hands. That’s why he always, always wanted to sell to Disney. There was no debate around that.”
On the subject on Indiana Jones 5, Kennedy mentions that they are all keen to do it but just looking for the proper moment:
“We’re all trying to figure out when the right time is to step back in. Harrison really wants to do it; Steven really wants to do it. We’ve kicked around a couple of story ideas, but beyond that, I don’t know yet. I think there will be one, we’ll certainly move forward with Indy. But right now, everybody’s just focused on Star Wars.”
She also talks a little bit about what we should expect with Episode VIII:
“We’ve thought this all through. The story group has put together a very carefully thought-through strategic plan for how we’re developing the stories and what those stories are and targeting filmmakers. We’ve looked at it up through, I would say, 2019, Episode IX.”
To read the whole interview go to Kathleen Kennedy in The Hollywood Reporter