One of my biggest regrets of Celebration Anaheim is being unable to attend the Gareth Edwards panel on Sunday morning. As everyone who’s ever attended a large convention knows, the schedule is a fickle goddess, and I suffered her wrath when she decided to place the “standalone” panel opposite Tosche Station’s live podcast recording. Thankfully, Twitter is a thing that exists, so I was able to learn about the panel as it was happening as well as from recaps on other sites. We didn’t learn a whole lot about Rogue One, but it was more than I was expecting at this point in time.
Before Celebration Anaheim, it was cool to be a fangirl. Last Thursday morning, Kathleen Kennedy made it respectable.
I was already super excited for The Force Awakens panel, which opened Celebration Anaheim in the most explosive manner possible. But I didn’t realize how excited I was about the future of the franchise until I saw Kennedy walk onstage in a Star Wars t-shirt. And not just any shirt, but the new Her Universe lightsaber shirt that debuted at Celebration, which she purchased with her own money because she wanted something to wear for the panel. She rocked it with a white blazer, and you’re stupid if you don’t think millions of women are going to copy that look.
This is a huge deal. Kennedy has been a fixture in Hollywood for decades, and George Lucas entrusted her ahead of lots and lots of qualified individuals to take over the reigns of Star Wars. One of her first actions as head of Lucasfilm was to decide that the franchise would move forward as one story while respecting its vast history. She’s a hugely respected producer and brings a ton of credibility as Lucas’s successor. I’m more confident than ever in her ability to help tell great stories and be a steward for this varied, diverse, wonderful fandom.
The most important thing isn’t that Kennedy herself is a woman, but rather the fact that she accepts this fandom is so diverse. She understands it, and embraces it. She insisted on purchasing a Her Universe shirt with her own money just so she could support the business. During The Force Awakens panel she specifically mentioned the lack of female representation in the franchise’s history, and assured everyone there would be lots more women characters going forward. I can’t overemphasize how important it is to have the panel host, director J.J. Abrams, and Kennedy discuss the negative reaction to the first cast photo and say they’ve heard those arguments and agree with them. And Kennedy isn’t someone merely looking to take advantage of an untapped demographic, or bow down to “the feminists”. She’s part of that demographic, and wants to rectify the lazy, incorrect assumption that women and girls don’t like Star Wars. (If you believe that, you obviously weren’t in attendance at Celebration Anaheim, because women and girls were everywhere.) As far as Kennedy is concerned, everyone likes Star Wars, and she wants to make sure they feel welcomed and represented in fandom and the franchise.
I’ve never felt more comfortable with the future of Star Wars than after that panel. You could feel the excitement in the air just watching from the overflow room, not to mention the unadulterated happiness at seeing BB-8, the new cast, the old cast, the new stormtroopers, and finally, the teaser trailer. The crowd was so enthusiastic they had to show the teaser twice. I laughed, I cried, I got goosebumps, I clutched hands with my neighbors, I kissed my husband. And in the back of my mind I was thinking thank you, Kathleen Kennedy. Thank you for understanding that Star Wars is for everyone. Thank you for making us so happy with the greatest teaser trailer I’ve ever seen in my entire life. Thank you for agreeing to be a part of the Star Wars family. Thank you for making it accepted and respected to be a fangirl. Thank you for being someone I can look up to.
Thank you for helping make Celebration Anaheim the best one yet.
Kathleen Kennedy’s panel at Celebration Europe this morning didn’t yield much in terms of Episode VII news but she did announce that John Williams will be back to score all three Sequel Trilogy films. A video interview (as seen below) was shown to the panel audience and he clearly seems to be as thrilled to be back in the galaxy far far away however he has yet to read the script.
You can read the entire official liveblog of Kennedy’s panel over on the main site.
Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy has been confirmed to be in attendance for Celebration Europe and she seems excited to be on the guest list.
“When I joined Lucasfilm, I immediately saw the true passion shared by Star Wars fans around the world,” Kennedy says. “I’m thrilled to attend my first Star Wars Celebration and see in person that energy that makes the Star Wars experience so special.”
I think we’re all hoping this means there might be some sort of Episode VII related news at CEII this year. And, well, if it comes from her, it is confirmed.
Star Trek fans have been having to deal with J.J. Abrams being tight-lipped for ages in regards to Star Trek Into Darkness. He still hasn’t explicitly said who Benedict Cumberbatch is playing. Can you imagine trying to shroud Episode VII and the Sequel Trilogy in that kind of secrecy for the next two years? Thankfully, it appears Kathleen Kennedy can’t either.
No telling exactly how much information they’ll release or when, but at the very least it seems like they won’t be masking who’s playing what two weeks before the film releases.
On this episode of Tosche Station Radio, the hosts are joined by Bria and Shane from the blog to take a look at the summer’s movie offerings!
Kicking off the show, the hosts highlight what’s New on the Blog this week. It’s pretty much been a Bria show as the Waru Express continued on its the journey through the NJO and reviewed Legacy #4. She was also at AwesomeCon in DC over the weekend and had a Convention Report.
In Fixer’s Flash, Nanci took advantage of her Orlando resident status and took a trip to the Magic Kingdom. On the film side, she saw 42. Meanwhile, she read trhough Dragonpocalypse #2 by Matthew Bowers. It’s got dragons! IN SPACE! What more could you possibly want? Brian’s still reading through “Season of Passage” by Christopher Pike and is having a hard time sleeping as a result. For convention season, he got a shiny new camera that should come in handy for costume shoots. Bria attended AwesomeCon in Washington DC and is still motoring through the Waru Express. Shane’s been keeping busy with League of Legends and also watched the Abrams Star Trek to gear up for Into Darkness.
Deak’s Dirt starts with Kathleen Kennedy discussing Episode VII and Star Wars spinoffs at CinemaCon. Variety mused that she might also be in the running to take over Disney. In EU news, Vader’s Little Princess was released on Tuesday. Go pick it up! Star Wars: Legacy #2 was released Wednesday. Head to the blog and check out Bria’s review. In that other Star franchise, a Star Trek Into Darkness teaser clip was released. Over on the Marvel film side, a Thor: The Dark World teaser dropped. Film rights for Daredevil have reverted back to Marvel from Fox
This week on Camie’s Concerns, Bria and Shane from the blog join the hosts to take a look at the new films due out this summer. What are the hosts and guests looking forward to? What can they do without?
Wrapping up the show, the hosts field questions from listeners in Ask us Anything.
Tosche Station Radio is the official podcast of Tosche-Station.net and a part of Majestic Giraffe Productions. If you like what you hear, please leave a review on the iTunes Music Store. We can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Over at Variety yesterday, senior writer Marc Graser took a look at Disney CEO Bob Iger’s handling of the massive layoffs that have hit the company over the last few weeks. Among the details was one particular throwaway line of note:
Many expect theme park and resorts chief Thomas Staggs to land the CEO role, although there are rumblings that Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy also may now be in the running.
Bob Iger is set to retire in about two years at what could be the peak of Disney in the 21st century. The studio is set to unveil a new Pirates of the Caribbean film, the Finding Nemo sequel, as well as two Marvel films in Ant Man and one of 2015’s most anticipated blockbusters The Avengers 2. Whoever steps in may be inheriting an extremely high bar to clear, and perhaps that’s the reason Variety is speculating that Kennedy is in the running.
Kathleen Kennedy is a highly by the film community and George Lucas in particular. That’s something that recently jaded and cynical Star Wars fans can take heart in. If Kennedy takes over at Disney, it means that Lucasfilm’s parent company would be overseen by someone the Maker sought out.
In case you had forgotten, Jurassic Park 4 is very much a thing. Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy was knee deep in the development process for a while. Key word: was. According to Kennedy’s husband and producer Frank Marshall, she’s left the production to focus on Lucasfilm-y things.
@jackdelamare No, Ms. Kennedy has moved onto Star Wars and will not be producing JP4. She’s traded raptors for TIE fighters.
— Frank Marshall (@LeDoctor) February 17, 2013
When Lucasfilm was sold to Disney, long-time film industry veteran Kathleen Kennedy was given the reigns of the company and one of the most valuable intellectual properties in Hollywood. Today, The Hollywood Reporter sat down with Kennedy to talk about how she got J.J. Abrams to sign on, how she met her husband, and her relationship with some of the biggest names in the film business.
On getting J.J. Abrams to work on a different Star franchise:
Abrams agreed to meet with Kennedy on Dec. 14 at his Bad Robot offices in Santa Monica. Famously plain-spoken, she summarizes her pitch like this: “Please do Star Wars.” And she had cards to play. Not only was Oscar winnerMichael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) writing the script, but Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote 1980’s The Empire Strikes Back and 1983’s Return of the Jedi, was on board to consult. Abrams “was flipping out when he found out that Michael and Larry were on the movie already,” says Kennedy.
Abrams tells THR, “I learned firsthand how incredible and persuasive she is.” Some — but not all — of his reservations were dispelled. “The thing about any pre-existing franchise — I’d sort of done that,” he says. “But when I met with Kathy, it was suddenly very tantalizing.”
For more, read THR’s full profile of Kathleen Kennedy.
In the final installment in the series, George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy discuss their futures now that the sale is final.