I had the privilege of speaking with Star Wars fans from all over during my four days at NYCC Comic-Con 2018 this past weekend. Topics ranged from the new toys and collectibles available to speculation over Star Wars Episode IX. The conversations got interesting, however, when the discussion turned to The Last Jedi and/or Kathleen Kennedy.
Of the handful of folks I spoke too, only a minority truly cared for The Last Jedi. The biggest knock was how director Rian Johnson treated the Luke Skywalker character. Frankly, that didn’t surprise me. Conversely though, not one of the people with whom I spoke would ever consider boycotting Star Wars. While they may not have liked Episode VIII, they accepted it. And to a person they were anxious to see if JJ Abrams would right the ship many feel Johnson steered in the wrong direction.
Kathleen Kennedy’s Biggest Star Wars Mistake
On the topic of Kathleen Kennedy, opinions varied. Some decried her perceived social justice campaign with the franchise. (Again, unsurprisingly, every person that held that opinion was a man.) Nonetheless, a couple of folks shared a sentiment that I’ve held for some time. That being: Kathleen Kennedy’s biggest mistake was neither hiring Johnson, nor tapping Lord & Miller to direct Solo: A Star Wars Story. It wasn’t even the marketing debacle surrounding the film.
No, Kathleen Kennedy’s biggest mistake was making Solo in the first place.
Let’s face it, when you announce a film and the gut reaction from the majority of the fan base is “why?” …maybe making that particular film isn’t the best course of action. Harrison Ford’s Han Solo was too iconic for a Solo backstory to work as the first character anthology film. If the film was too be made, Lucasfilm should have eased into it. The better course of action would have been to make the film fans were actually clamoring for:
Kenobi: A Star Wars Story
Sir Alec Guinness, though a cornerstone of the Star Wars franchise, never had the chance to fully endear the character to the fans. Ewan McGregor, on the other hand, became the embodiment of Obi-Wan for even the older fans like me. He’s of the perfect age to reprise his role at an appropriate stage of the Star Wars timeline. Right now he could still play the Obi-Wan who’d been watching over Luke Skywalker all that time on Tatooine.
Sadly, because Kennedy and Lucasfilm made the decision to produce Solo instead of Kenobi: A Star Wars Story, we may now never get to see McGregor in Jedi robes again. Kathleen Kennedy has three years to rectify that mistake.