For Disney, Marvel, and Star Wars fans who hadn't been keeping up with CEO Bob Iger's plans with the company, the recent announcement that he would be stepping down as CEO came as a surprise, with some thinking the news came as a reaction to an unknown controversy or disappointment. As is the way of the internet, news of Iger stepping down resulted in speculation about how other corners of Disney could be impacted, which includes Lucasfilm. In the weeks since Iger made his announcement, even the most passionate fans can't help but wonder what the future could hold for Kennedy at the studio.
Simply put, there's absolutely no reason to think that Iger's exit will have any impact on Kennedy's role as president of Lucasfilm in any capacity. Iger announced in 2019 that when his contract with the company expired at the end of 2021, he would be stepping down, with his announcement this year merely reiterating that he would begin helping newly appointed CEO Bob Chapek transition into the role. The timing of this move is related to the successful launch of Disney+, the acquisition of 20th Century Fox, and the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge.
Iger isn't the only one whose contract expires in 2021, as Kennedy's also expires next year. Understandably, with the producer becoming president of the studio in the wake of Disney purchasing Lucasfilm, Iger clearly supported her taking on this leadership role, with it being possible that his exit could bring with it a number of changes for the overall direction of a variety of Disney-owned properties.
While there's no reason to think that Kennedy is leaving before her contract expires, the franchise is currently in a transitional period, so it's possible she could follow a similar path and begin to hand duties over to a new exec at the studio.
The only Star Wars project currently in production is Season Two of The Mandalorian, and with creator Jon Favreau already proving his competence with the material, we wouldn't expect there to be any major shake-ups were Kennedy to step down. TV series focusing on Cassian Andor and on Obi-Wan Kenobi have already been announced, which aren't expected to begin shooting until later this year and early next year, respectively. It's possible that these could be the last projects Kennedy has a hand in, or she could possibly use these vehicles to introduce a new exec.
Lucasfilm currently has three secured theatrical release dates, beginning in December of 2022 and continuing in December of 2024 and December of 2026, yet the films that will release on these dates have yet to be even hinted at. As each day passes, fans grow more curious about what's next for the saga on the big screen, which could also potentially be the final projects that Kennedy helps shape before potentially exiting the studio in 2021.
With the Skywalker Saga having officially concluded and her time with the studio nearing a decade, we won't be surprised if she doesn't renew her contract, but based on the facts out there, Iger's departure from Disney will likely have no direct impact on Kennedy's position.
Stay tuned for details on the future of Lucasfilm.