Nolte: 11 Ways Kathleen Kennedy Killed the ‘Star Wars’ Golden Goose

Adam Driver as Kylo Ren in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." Inset: Lucasfilm's Kathleen Kennedy.
Lucasfilm/Disney, Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images for Disney

Had you told me in 2015 that as a film franchise Star Wars would be dead in five years, that it would survive only as a television show, I would have called you crazy. I would have said, Lucas couldn’t kill Star Wars with those still-born prequels! TeeeVeee? You must be out of your mind!

I also would have said, Do you know who’s in charge of Star Wars now? Disney, you dolt. You know, Marvel’s Disney? Pixar’s Disney? Fifty-percent of the American box office Disney? The same Disney that’s been dry-humping the same 25 movies for the last 35 years into gold Disney? Disney is Disney. Disney bats a thousand. Disney does everything right.

But here we are , it’s 2020, and as a film franchise Star Wars is dead.

Oh, sure, this latest trilogy made boatloads of money. But the diminishing returns continue to diminish. By this time (day 12), The Last Jedi had brought in $423 million. Rise of Skywalker is trailing with just $377 million, and this is the Big One, the ninth and final chapter of a 42-year-old saga. Like Avengers: Endgame, Skywalker should be the biggest one of them all.

Oh, sure, there’s something-something-something-Star-Wars-Movie on the calendar for 2022, but there’s zippo in the works. Everyone who’s supposed to be developing something has either fled or been fired. The only guy still on board is Last Jedi director Rian Johnson, who did almost as much to kill Star Wars as Kathleen Kennedy, and there’s already talk Johnson is out.

To understand just how big of a failure this is, you have to remember what the original plan was: to turn Star Wars into the next Marvel, to expand the Star Wars universe into two blockbusters a year, all of which was more than possible. After all, we are talking about the most beloved film franchise in history — one with endless possibilities and a devoted fan base that includes a talent pool of some of the best filmmakers and storytellers in the world.

Most of all, though, there was all that goodwill. Millions and millions and millions of fans wanted this franchise to succeed… Do you know how rare that is?

And they squandered it.

Well, not they

She.

She, as in Kathleen Kennedy, the producer in charge of Star Wars and all things Lucasfilm.

Boy, did she blow it.

Before we get started, it’s important to first dispel a myth going around — this myth that Star Wars fans are hopelessly divided, that the fans now live in two different camps and can never be brought back together. You see, one camp is filled with toxic fanboys who only want their nostalgia G-spot rubbed. The other camp wants more affirmative action for Mary Sue characters like Rey and Rose Tico, more superfreaks like Solo’s pansexual (I don’t know what means and I don’t want to know) Lando Calrissian.

This myth is part was created by sycophants in the entertainment media to defend and excuse Kennedy, to pretend there was nothing she could do to satisfy everyone, so none of this failure is her fault.

Do you want to know what proves that myth a lie?

The Mandalorian.

Everyone loves The Mandolorian, the Disney+ TV show. Which means…

Guess what? The fans are not forever divided.

So here’s a list of the main things that Kathleen Kennedy got so horribly wrong

  1. No Continuity of a Singular Vision

Kathleen Kennedy is supposed to be Star Wars’ Kevin Feige. For those who don’t know, Feige is the guy who oversees Marvel, who delivered 23 box office blockbusters in a row, whose vision kept everything tied together even as dozens of characters in different universes and eras were introduced. Thanks to Feige, you could feel Marvel was heading somewhere, that someone with a vision was in charge and knew exactly what he was doing, and then *boom* Endgame arrives and it’s the biggest worldwide grosser ever.

Kennedy couldn’t do it. She wasn’t up to it. Because Last Jedi was such an unfocused mess, Rise of Skywalker felt like a reboot, especially when it came to re-establishing the relationships between the three main characters. Instead of Rey, Poe, and Finn working together like veterans forged in battle, after two movies, they were like strangers still getting to know each other.

Worse, they had no real chemistry.

 

  1. Feminist Politics

From those first moments in The Force Awakens where Rey scolds Finn to stop holding her hand as they try to outrun some bad guys, you could tell Kennedy’s vision was not to thrill us with a marvelous adventure, but rather to instruct us, to lecture us.

This awful woman actually thinks it’s sexist for a man to grab a woman’s hand as they attempt to outrun people looking to kill them.

What kind of lunatic puts such a thing in a Star Wars movie?

If you don’t like the idea of a man showing some self-sacrifice and chivalry due to the biology that allows him to run faster, then don’t show him holding her hand at all!

But that wasn’t the worst of it. The worst came in Last Jedi, where Kennedy allowed the only character with any real potential — Oscar Isaac’s swashbuckling Poe — to be turned into an ignorant, sexist pig who gets his comeuppance at the hands of the The Girlzzzzz.  Not only was it terrible storytelling, it killed their most charismatic character, the only one who came close to the original stars, the one with the most potential to shine in Skywalker.

 

  1. Affirmative Action Hires

It used to be that when women and minorities showed up in movies, the public thought nothing of it. But now that Hollywood is advertising how awesome they are to embrace “diversity” and “inclusion,” it undercuts all of this because instead of merit-based actors and characters, we see an affirmative action hire, which is insulting to the audience and to the actor.

By patting themselves on the back like white plantation owners announcing their own virtue to the world, Hollywood’s doing the cause much more good than harm. America had been pretty close to colorblind before all this “representation” nonsense launched. Now we’re being forced to see color and gender, and of course we’re going to reject something that takes us backwards.

 

  1. Bad Movies

Let’s face it, for a whole host of reasons, these movies just aren’t very good.

I’ll address the specifics below…

 

  1. Too Much Like the Original Trilogy

Kylo Renn wearing a mask JUST LIKE DARTH VADER DID even though he doesn’t need one… I mean, come on. What were you thinking?

The Force Awakens is basically a remake of Star Wars, and a lesser one.

The Last Jedi combines The Empire Strikes Back with Occupy Wall Street and a touch of WTF?

The Rise of Skywalker is like a television-movie version of Return of the Jedi with an unlimited budget.

You can hit the nostalgia button without remaking movies we have already seen.

You can also make a great franchise movie that makes money without all that much nostalgia (see: Fury Road, Mad Max).

 

  1. No Character Growth

This, to me, is the most fatal flaw in the new trilogy. Unlike the original trilogy, where were watched Luke, Leia, and Han evolve and mature in ways that were both surprising and satisfying, this new trio — Poe, Rey, and Finn — are the same people at the end of the trilogy as they were when we first met them. What’s more, as I mentioned above, the inter-relationships between the three of them never got a chance to evolve.

You can’t have your characters running in place for the eight-plus hours of those three films. People might not be able to put their finger on what’s wrong, but they can sure sense the inertia.

 

  1. Too Many Death Stars

Over three movies and five years no one could come up with a different threat?

 

  1. Anti-Male

Kathleen Kennedy is so immature she couldn’t offer us strong female protagonists without bashing men.

Going back more than 80 years, to the era of Stanwyck, Crawford, Hepburn, Hayworth, Davis, and countless others, Hollywood has delivered strong, independent female protagonists without the childish crutch of male bashing. The fact that Kennedy couldn’t do this just proves she’s an immature baby.

 

  1. Mary Sue

Another sign of Kennedy’s childish immaturity is how flawless Rey and Rose Tico are.  This is what’s known as a “Mary Sue” or…

an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character. Typically, this character is recognized as an author insert or wish fulfillment. They can usually perform better at tasks than should be possible given the amount of training or experience, and usually are able through some means to upstage the protagonist of an established fictional setting, such as by saving the hero. Other traits of a Mary Sue include, bending the rules of the story (narrative, characterization and natural laws of the setting) and being an over centralizing figure.

And all of this makes for characters who are one-dimensional and boring as hell.

 

  1. No Romance

Woke leftists like Kennedy are so immature and childish, all they see in a movie romance is a WOMAN WHO NEEDS A MAN, so, in the name of “progress” and “enlightenment,” there’s no romance in this new trilogy… No romance in an ADVENTURE FILM, which is just plain nuts.

Romance isn’t about The Patriarchy, you morons. Romance is a storytelling device that goes back to the beginning of time (for a reason) that allows characters to develop, not only as individuals, but in their personal relationships.

As I mentioned above, one of the reasons this new trilogy is so still-born and emotionally empty, is the fact that our three main characters didn’t evolve or grow — not as individuals and not in their relationships with each other. Leia helped Han grow as a person. Han helped Leia grow as a person. Leia’s choosing of Han over Luke pushed Luke to become his own man through the Force.

Kathleen Kennedy removing romance from an adventure trilogy not only underscores her arrogance (she knows better than Shakespeare!), but her immaturity and insecurities. How neurotic and shallow does one have to be to believe falling in love will undercut the strength of your female character. With some love in her life, Rey could have grown into a full-flowered woman. Instead, after three movies, she’s still a girl. Sure, she’s capable of doing more stuff, but she’s still the same girl we were introduced to.

 

  1. No Romance, but Plenty of SEXUALITY

So romance is verboten, but we were treated to a gratuitous lesbian kiss at the end of the trilogy.

Oh, and let’s not forget Lando’s pansexual (I don’t know what that means and I don’t want to know) relationship with a feminist robot.

I will guarantee you the lesbian kiss in Rise of Skywalker is hurting the bottom line.  Parents do not want their kids to see homosexuality. Not because they’re bigots, but because the only way to explain it is to get into the issue of human sexuality, and good parents work hard to protect their child’s innocence, to shield them from any kind of sexuality, for as long as possible. Kids don’t think twice when they see a man and a woman kiss. That’s natural to them. Homosexuality opens up a whole other discussion some kids are not ready for.

No one wants to say this, but I will… Gay needs to be its own genre. Mainstream audiences are never going to accept this stuff. We don’t want to be exposed to it. It makes us uncomfortable. Again, that’s not bigotry. It’s science and biology. And even those who claim to be okay with it are lying.

Hey, I’m someone who believes Hollywood should make movies for everyone, including the alphabet people. But just like people don’t want to be told Jesus Is Lord in a Star Wars movie,  they don’t want to see a lesbian kiss. That’s why Christian movies are their own genre, and that’s why gay should be its own genre…

I’m sorry, but we’re never going to get used to this stuff, it’s never going to be normalized… Human nature is human nature…

Those are my 11, and I’m sure I missed a few. But everything boils down to one thing… Through a divisive political agenda delivered with a heavy hand, Kennedy squandered all that goodwill. It’s gone now, and so is the golden goose.

 

Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Page here.

 

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