In a surprising, but yet not surprising, announcement, it has been revealed that Marvel boss Kevin Feige will produce a Star Wars movie. Feige is a huge nerd, so it’s not shocking he would have an idea for a Star Wars project, but also, does Marvel not keep him busy enough? We have zero idea what Feige is doing in the galaxy far, far away, but fans are excited because Feige’s steady hand and golden touch are welcome to course-correct Star Wars after a rocky few years in which one (1) movie did not make money while the others made literal billions despite director and/or fanbro drama. Star Wars is messy because its fans are messy, and that is it. Even with director drama, the movies turn out okay, and Solo tanked because of fatigue—it turns out, audiences don’t actually want THAT much Star Wars. But there is no reasoning with the Star Wars fanbros. Everything sucks because Kathleen Kennedy is in charge.
So of course the fanbros think this is a step toward Feige replacing Kathleen Kennedy as the head of Lucasfilm, which is obnoxious. Nerds have been chanting for her ouster for years, because she has overseen one (1) legit disappointing Star Wars movie. Things have been rocky at Lucasfilm, there is no denying it, but the whole thing has stayed on the rails precisely because Kathleen Kennedy—one of the most experienced blockbuster producers in Hollywood history—has her hand on the wheel. Star Wars probably would have crashed and burned after Rogue One with a lesser producer in charge. The fan ire directed at Kennedy is plain ol’ misogyny—if a dude were in charge, no one would be complaining, and that is a proven fact. We know this because the first half of this decade was rough for Marvel, with unloved sequels, rocky franchise starts, and yes, even director drama (remember Thor: The Dark World and Avengers: Age of Ultron?). And yet, despite the misses (Iron Man 2, Thor 1 and 2, Age of Ultron, which I like but I recognize I am in the minority), no one was calling for Kevin Feige’s head. He got the benefit of the doubt. Fans hung their hopes on the successes, and waited out the adjustments as Feige and Marvel worked out their strategy. Gee, wonder why Kathleen Kennedy doesn’t get the same leeway?
I am curious to see what Feige will do with a Star Wars movie, but I would like to remind everyone that Kathleen Kennedy has a contract through 2021 and won’t be going anywhere before then. Besides, the one to watch here is Feige. People have wondered, given his wild success at Marvel, how long it would be before he gets offered his own studio to run. Stepping out of the Marvel sandbox to produce for someone else—his efforts with Sony don’t count since he was still engineering MCU movies with them—is the first sign the dude might be willing to move on. The question is not “will Kevin Feige replace Kathleen Kennedy”. The question is “will Kevin Feige take over Paramount”, or a similarly troubled studio (which is almost all of them). That’s the real story. Not the fanbros, not even Star Wars. It’s how much longer before Kevin Feige leaves Marvel?