SALT LAKE CITY — Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy is no stranger to fan feedback and actually welcomes it.
In an interview with Yahoo, Kennedy said she loves receiving feedback and criticism from fans invested in “Star Wars.” While she notes negative feedback can be frustrating, she also says it can help Lucasfilm develop their stories “within reason.”
“You develop a little bit of an armor, but you learn from that. It’s kind of like having a continual focus group that’s out there telling you things, whether it’s what you want to hear or you don’t want to hear,” she said.
According to her biography on Lucasfilm’s website, Kennedy oversees Lucasfilm, Industrial Light and Magic and Skywalker Sound — three companies founded by George Lucas. Kennedy has also served as a producer on over 70 movies, which include “Jurassic Park,” “Back to the Future” and Disney’s modern “Star Wars” projects.
Kennedy is also a co-founder of Amblin Entertainment alongside Frank Marshall and Steven Spielberg. She took over control of Lucasfilm in 2012 at the request of Lucas, she told Yahoo.
On the matter of “fan feedback” and “Star Wars,” the last mainline entry, “The Last Jedi,” received criticism from some fans. While Vox notes some of the outrage may have been manufactured by a few angry audience members, some legitimate criticism includes director Rian Johnson’s undoing of some plot threads from “The Force Awakens.”
Forbes notes that some of that criticism was leveled at Kennedy, with some internet users claiming the producer “ruined” the “Star Wars” franchise. Disney, on the other hand, seems confident in her work — the company renewed Kennedy’s contract last year.
Others involved with “The Last Jedi” have different opinions on criticism. Syfy notes Johnson really doesn’t pay attention to fan criticism in his work, and “The Force Awakens” director J.J. Abrams denounced some calls for “Star Wars” to be less inclusive.
“If you are someone who feels threatened by women and needs to lash out against them, you can probably find an enemy in ‘Star Wars,’” he said. ”Anyone who wants to find a problem with anything can find the problem. The internet seems to be made for that.”
I’ve also previously reported for Deseret News that Daisy Ridley, who plays Rey in the sequel trilogy, doesn’t appreciate “vicious” feedback about her work.
”It’s great that people are expressive of their views. But this is people’s jobs. People worked really, really hard on that thing,” Ridley told Bustle. “I think there’s a way of having a discussion that isn’t so vicious.”
“Star Wars Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker” releases on Dec. 20.