It’s easy to point fingers when it comes to the divisiveness plaguing the Star Wars franchise right now. Rian Johnson, of course, is a primary target. The debate over his controversial take on Star Wars with The Last Jedi rages on and isn’t letting up. He’s not the only one to whom blame is pointed for the direction the franchise has taken, however. Kathleen Kennedy has shouldered her fair share of the fans’ ire as well. Recent news is not likely to sway fans’ opinions, and may even irk them more.


This past Tuesday, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to honor Kathleen Kennedy with an honorary Oscar. She will share her Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award with her production partner, Frank Marshsall.

Kathleen Kennedy

Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall filming ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ in 1980. (Photo: Kennedy/Marshall Company)

Kathleen Kennedy Earns Honorary Oscar

Now, before people start burning their Star Wars T-shirts in protest, let’s take a step back. The honorary Oscar, as notes, is presented to producers “whose body of work reflects a consistently high quality of motion picture production.” Like or hate the direction in which Kennedy has taken Star Wars, there is no questioning the fact that her overall body of work is exemplary.

Kathleen Kennedy

You could almost argue that Kathleen Kennedy deserves the award on the basis of her work with Steven Spielberg alone. That tandem is responsible for a couple of films you may have heard of: Raiders of the Lost Ark; E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial; The Goonies; Jurassic Park; and the emotionally poignant Schindler’s List.

Kathleen Kennedy and the Lucasfilm Legacy

Kathleen Kennedy

Despite an impressive, prior pedigree, Kennedy has certainly been mired in controversy since taking the helm at Lucasfilm. Many decry her apparent “Social Justice Warrior” efforts, while others blame her for bringing Rian Johnson on to direct Episode VIII in the first place. She was also responsible for questionably hiring Phil Lord and Chris Miller to direct Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Kennedy has definitely made some missteps at Lucasfilm, that’s for sure. The question remains whether the Star Wars franchise is still an industry juggernaut because of Kathleen Kennedy, or in spite of her.

I’ll offer no opinion on that right now, and simply congratulate her for honorary Oscar achievement. To this day, Raiders of the Lost Ark remains my all-time favorite film. I have to give credit where it’s due.

Source: Comic Book