Well, here we are folks. We sit at the end of one era and on the cusp of a new one. Episode 9: The Rise of Skywalker is now officially in theaters, and The Mandalorian airs its final episode of season 1 next Friday. I am not sure anyone realized how much Disney+ will/should control the future of Star Wars. Disney+ may be our best hope moving forward.
Kennedy’s Biggest Mistake
Kathleen Kennedy’s tenure as president of Lucasfilm will be up there with Trump as most debated leaders of all time. They have their followers and they have those that hate them more than Satan himself. Outside of a couple of huge mistakes, I think she gave us some very solid product.
Perhaps her single biggest mistake since taking over Star Wars was her lack of a singular vision for the sequel trilogy. She assigned three different directors to handle the project, but the project lacked an overall narrative supervisor. JJ Abrams viewed the saga one way. Rian Johnson viewed it another, hence the huge disparity in feel from Episode 7 to Episode 8. There needed to be one story teller overseeing the entirety of the trilogy. Someone with vision to even out the story and keep it consistent. Unfortunately, George Lucas showed us, a project as big as Star Wars needs care and time to work.
Hope of Disney+: Disney+ To the Rescue
I think Kathleen Kennedy’s biggest problem lay with the lack of talent ready to lead such a massive undertaking. Before now, George Lucas carried the leader role and many other roles. No one else ever handled something so immense, save the creator. With George now on the sidelines, very few stood ready to undertake such a role. Jon Favreau might have been one candidate. Dave Filoni’s name will jump out often, but I am not sure he was 100% ready at the beginning.
Enter Disney+. With the streaming service now up and running, it may be the very answer to many of the problems plaguing the Star Wars Universe. Jon Favreau proved he can not only lead a creative team, but excel at developing a story befitting the Star Wars Universe and its fandom.
Disney+ becomes the whetsone for new questionable talents. Filoni has earned the love of fans for his creative efforts with Clone Wars, but through Disney+ he gets to dirty his hands and learn what it is to direct and oversee a live action production. If he was not ready for a live film before, he is now!
Hope of Disney+: New Stable of Directors
A big problem also comes from the directing issues that seem to plague the movies. Abrams only does fan service. Johnson pushed the edge far enough many did not like it. Rogue One needed a clean up director and episode 9 lost its director at the worst possible time. Then who will ever forget the Solo debacle?
Shows on Disney+ allow Lucasfilm to vett talent, and see what they consist of as well as their compatibility with Star Wars. The Mandalorian took both old, new, established and untried talent to direct its inaugural season. It appears the final product constitutes a rousing success! Lucasfilm can now see who qualifies to direct major movies or oversee storyboards.
Hope of Disney+: Are You Up For It Ladies?
Kennedy’s other major fault has been her driving agenda of womanizing every role possible. If you want a female lead, fine. Don’t politicize it. You want a female director? Fine. Don’t politicize it. The major question behind female directors, though, comes down to are there any good ones suitable for Star Wars?
Looking at sheer credentials the answer is no. There are no proven name, female directors right now that want to mess with Star Wars. So how do they find female directors then? Disney+ of course. Two females have directed episodes of The Mandalorian and it spoke volumes.
I’m sorry, but so far Bryce Dallas Howard directed the worst episode of The Mandalorian to date. I will asterisk this remark by saying she drew the short straw for stories. Howard directed an episode that is as old and tired as 900 year old Yoda. That and the episode needed to be stretched over at least 3 episodes, not crammed into one. Give Bryce more chances, but she does not make the cut.
A Light From the Shadow Shall Spring
There has always been amazing female talent involved with Star Wars. Carrie Fisher started it back in 76, and it continues to today with people like Ashley Eckstein and Claudia Gray. Thanks to Disney+ and The Mandalorian, we are witnessing the birth of a new superstar.
When Deborah Chow was announced as a director in the Mando soup no one knew who she was. She directed dozens of episodes on great titles such as Better Call Saul, Jessica Jones, Reign, and many more, but what does a single episode mean? She then received the green light to helm the long awaited and rumored Kenobi project. Again she lacked proof of quality, so I am not sure anyone cared.
But as we sit here today the picture looks VERY different. I think the poll would be near unanimous that Chow directed the two greatest episodes so far (and that is using a very high bar of quality). Not only were they great episodes, they contained heart, warmth, hilarity, action. She covered everything needed in a Star Wars project. Bring on Kenobi! All her qualities play directly into what that project needs. I have no doubt I will be cussing her out for expertly toying wit our emotions when that project airs.
The Hope of Disney+: The Foundation Is Laid
Several more Star Wars projects are coming down the Disney+ pipeline. Through these projects a stable will be created to feed the talent pool Star Wars needs moving forward. It will also help balance stories that fans want with stories that belong on the big screen. I doubt Iger understood the value Disney+ would provide for the future of the Star Wars universe. The future looks extremely bright!
“I have spoken.” 😉