The relationship between "Star Wars fans" and Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy has been a tenuous one of late. At this point it seems likely that even if you really like Star Wars, there's a recent piece of media that you're not a huge fan of. Maybe it's Star Wars: The Last Jedi or The Rise of Skywalker, but the last Star Wars trilogy wasn't perfect. And a lot of fans figure the buck stops at the top with Kennedy, with some fans hoping she might step down. Unsubstantiated rumors have even claimed she was on the way out more than once. And now Disney CEO Bob Chapek has been asked directly if there's any chance she could be fired.
Bad news if you were hoping Kathleen Kennedy would be out of a job anytime soon, because it's not going to happen. During the recent Disney 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders, a stockholder from San Antonio, Texas asked Bob Chapek if there was any possibility that Kennedy could be replaced in her role as head of Lucasfilm by somebody like Jon Favreau, Dave Filoni, or possibly both. Chapek was unequivocal in his response that the company is very happy with Kennedy's work, and he for one hopes she stays in that job for quite some time. He said...
We’ve been absolutely thrilled that we can have the kind of creative talent in our company, the likes of Kathy Kennedy, to run Lucas and we look forward to having Kathy directing the activities of the entire Lucasfilm organization for many years to come.
If it seems a bit wild that Bob Chapek would be asked such a question, that's the difference between meetings designed for "shareholders" versus "investors." The Walt Disney Company holds many conference call style events a year, but most of them are designed for investors. The people who ask questions represent banks and investment firms and so the questions are focused on items that are going to directly impact the stock price of the company. Who's running Lucasfilm is a minor blip on that radar.
But shareholders are, for lack of a better term, normal people. While the stock price is certainly of value to them, they also simply care about normal stuff like watching the movies and going to theme parks. In addition to the Lucasfilm question Chapek fielded inquires on the future of the Disney college program, and possibly making changes to allow those that aged out of the program during the pandemic to apply, and questions about why Cinemark theaters weren't showing Raya and the Last Dragon.
But ultimately, everybody cares about the stock price, and while people may not have loved the quality of all the Star Wars movies, the fact is they've all made boatloads of money, and that's good for the company bottom line. As long as that continues to be the case, you can be sure everybody inside Disney is going to be happy with the work Kathleen Kennedy is doing.