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Kathleen Kennedy Talks Star Wars
On JJ Abrams and George Lucas

31 January 2013  |  Written by Phil de Semlyen  |  Source: The Hollywood Reporter

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With news of JJ Abrams' recruitment to the helm of the new Star Wars still reverberating through fandom, The Hollywood Reporter sat down with producer Kathleen Kennedy for an in-depth chat about the newest Disney franchise, its director, and her working relationship with George Lucas.

First up, the recruitment drive. "JJ was just on the ceiling when I walked out the door," Kennedy remembered of the three-hour covert meeting she and her writers held with Abrams on December 19. The director had "very genuine concerns" about the impact a potentially overseas-based production might have on his family, not to mention the sheer pressure of piloting the Star Wars universe. "If there was any pause on JJ's part", said the producer, "it was the same pause everybody has - including myself - stepping into this. It's daunting."

Abrams, for his part, testified to those early reservations, and to the persuasiveness of Kennedy's sales pitch. "I learned first-hand how incredible and persuasive she is," he told THR. "The thing about any pre-existing franchise... I'd sort of done that. But when I met with Kathy, it was suddenly very tantalising."

Lucas's shadow, of course, still looms over the thrillingly rebooted franchise, albeit from a distance. In Kennedy's parlance, he's a Jedi knight offering sage advice and the filmmaking equivalent of mind tricks. "I call him my Yoda," she said. "He'll be a consultant. But he recognises he's stepping away. It took a lot for him to [do that]. And the fact that he turned it over to me - I think, 'Oh my God, I have a huge responsibility to him.' He did say, 'You just do what you do.' I said: 'OK. I'll figure out what that is'."

Here's Empire's thoughts on why Kennedy is already making the right calls.

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Your Comments

The prequels made clear Lucas is fucking awesome. All his inputs are what made those films fantastic. Quite simply hateboys seem to have forgotten what Star Wars is all about (hint: it doesn't shitty puppets & rapey assholes shooting first). So I pray that he is kept at a very, very, very close to this. Here's hoping Kennedy is listening closely to him. Imagine what would have happened if Luke listened to the Emperor (the hateboys) instead of Yoda (George Lucas). More

Posted by NeoBrowser at 02:09 on 01 February 2013 | Report This Post

The prequels made clear Lucas has lost it. All his inputs were to the detriment of the films. Quite simply he seems to have forgotten what a good Star Wars story is (hint: it doesn't involve trade embargo debate). So I pray that he is kept at a very, very, very long distance from this. Here's hoping Kennedy is just paying lip service to him. More

Posted by launcelot at 20:23 on 31 January 2013 | Report This Post

2016 release date?
I'm not holding my breath, especially after the disaster that were the prequels (I, II, II). Wake me up when the first trailer arrives. More

Posted by nybras at 17:38 on 31 January 2013 | Report This Post

"JJ was just on the ceiling when I walked out the door." JJ should direct the next Spiderman flick with those abilities, not Star Wars. More

Posted by BenTramer at 16:17 on 31 January 2013 | Report This Post

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