Star Wars’ Kathleen Kennedy Explains How The Franchise’s Film Strategy Is Taking A Cue From James Bond Moving Forward

Rey in Rise of Skywalker, Bond in No Time to Die
(Image credit: Disney, Universal Pictures)

When it comes to managing a beloved franchise, current Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is no stranger to the pressure of delivering consistent hits, having overseen the productions of Star Wars movies since 2012. The Hollywood exec pointed to another long-running franchise when addressing the future of the Galaxy Far, Far Away, saying the sci-fi fantasy saga will take inspiration from the James Bond series as far as how the studio will approach its productions and release schedules.

The Lucasfilm head honcho recently revealed the movie plans for the series include a whole new trio of upcoming Star Wars films, but as far as their actual debuts go, Kennedy says the features will be released when they are good and ready. In a new interview with Empire Magazine, Kennedy cites James Bond films as inspiration for this adjusted mindset, explaining that the secret agent's adventures on the big screen are released every three or four years, without the overt pressure to produce new movies yearly. She told the publication:

I’ve often brought up Bond. That’s every three or four years, and there wasn’t this pressure to feel like you had to have a movie every year. I feel that was very important to Star Wars. We have to event-ise this. It’s much better to tell the truth. That we’re going to make these movies when they’re ready to be made and release them when they’re ready to be released.

Anyone who watches all the Star Wars movies in order might notice ebbs and flows in quality, which has been a major criticism the series has faced under Kennedy’s tutelage, such as the so-so spinoff Solo: A Star Wars Story and the O.G. saga's concluding film, The Rise of Skywalker (see why we thought it was disappointing). Disney’s original plans to release new films on a yearly basis likely contributed to the aforementioned dips. 

However, Kennedy’s revised ideas to “event-ise” the franchise's releases when they're creatively ripe could revitalize anticipation and excitement even amongst former fans who lost faith in the Force. Taking inspiration from the Bond series, Kennedy seems to believe there is no need to rush the production of Star Wars films to meet specific release dates, or to keep up with the competition. Instead, Lucasfilm is prioritizing quality over quantity once more, as the head honcho explained that taking the time to develop and perfect the stories is crucial in delivering an event-worthy experience for fans.

According to the longtime Hollywood producer, the next big feature likely won't be set for release until at least 2025. The three planned movies will explore different time periods in the Star Wars timeline, with James Mangold directing a film about the first Jedi and the discovery of the Force, set 25,000 years before the Skywalker Saga. Dave Filoni will continue the Mando-verse era with a big-screen event. Interestingly, Oscar-winning documentarian Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is set to bring back Daisy Ridley as Rey in a film (which has seen some setbacks) set 15 years beyond the end of Episode IX, which will examine the more expansive lore and legacy of the Jedi belief system. As Kennedy explains:

What we’re exploring is the evolution of the Jedi. We’re going very far back, we’re looking at the present, and now we’re moving 15 years after The Rise Of Skywalker. The First Order has fallen, the Jedi are in chaos – there’s even a question of how many exist anymore – and Rey’s building the New Jedi Order, based on the text that she was given and that Luke imparted on her.

As the Star Wars franchise moves forward, Kathleen Kennedy has a clear vision of keeping the series relevant and engaging. By taking inspiration from the James Bond creative teams' approach to prioritizing quality over quantity, Kennedy and the Lucasfilm team are paving the way for a bright future for the galaxy far, far away. And that's not even bringing all of the upcoming TV shows into it. 

Stay tuned to Cinemablend for all your Star Wars news, and make sure to check out our schedule of 2023 new movie releases to plan your next high-flying adventure in a theater.

Ryan LaBee

Ryan graduated from Missouri State University with a BA in English/Creative Writing.