Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy usually presides over everything centered around the galaxy far far away. This week, she received an honor here close to home that is pretty out of this world. She received an honorary Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire on Thursday night. Kennedy’s work bringing film projects to the country was the main contributing factor toward her getting such a prestigious honor. Michael Howells, a British diplomat, hosted the private ceremony at his home in Los Angeles. Some other well-regarded filmmakers were in attendance for the vent like Rian Johnson, Deborah Chow, who is working on the Obi-Wan Kenobi series for Disney+, and Rick Famuyiwa and Bryce Dallas Howard.
Vanity Fair was at the event, where Howells said of the evening, “I appreciate there’s a little bit of competition in the garden tonight, so forgive me, but this is my opinion: Kathleen Kennedy has produced, I think, pretty much all of the most well-loved and impactful films. It’s maybe a measure of your genius, Kathy, that all of those films feel somehow as they were made just for me.”
Now, some in the Star Wars fandom might not agree with that statement. People’s reactions to Solo: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars: The Last Jedi weren’t exactly positive. But, there is no mistaking the success of the more recent Star Wars trilogy at the box office. Those kinds of numbers flocking to theaters usually means someone is doing something right. Kennedy has had to address that negative feedback in the past, but she’s receptive to hearing what the fans have to say. That goes for both positives and negatives.
“I frankly love the feedback and, frankly, the criticism,” Kennedy told Yahoo earlier this year. “You develop a little bit of an armor, but you learn from that. It's kind of like having a continual focus group that's out there telling you things, whether it's what you want to hear or you don't want to hear.”
Fans also had some criticism for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which opened the trilogy. Comments centered around J.J. Abrams’ movie adhering too closely to Star Wars: A New Hope. Then, Johnson’s follow-up proceeded to burn the Internet to the ground. The Lucasfilm president reiterated her feelings about the criticism though.
“We're just like the fans out there, we're just trying to find what's cool, what's heartfelt, what's strong storytelling and so I have to say - within reason - I love the feedback,” Kennedy added.
Photo via: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images