Kathleen Kennedy Clarifies Her "There Will Be No More Star Wars Recasting" Comments
Kathleen Kennedy, CEO of Lucasfilm, addresses her previous claims that Star Wars would no longer recast characters, saying that it is still possible
The reaction to Solo: A Star Wars Story altered Lucasfilm's plans in numerous significant ways, most notably how it treats established characters. Kennedy recently stated that one among the lessons the studio learnt was that significant characters like as Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa cannot be recast. Kennedy's takeaway from Solo: A Star Wars Story was that audiences can't accept anyone other than the original actors playing these characters, which drew a lot of backlash, especially since Obi-Wan Kenobi is releasing on Disney+ with several recast characters, including Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan and Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader.
During a recent interview with Games Radar at Star Wars Celebration 2022, Kennedy explained her views on Star Wars no longer recasting characters. The Lucasfilm president spoke to the magazine about the future of Star Wars films and the lessons learnt from those that have previously been created. In response to previous statements implying that no Star Wars character will ever be recast after Solo, Kennedy cleared the air and presented a new view for how the series will approach recastings in the future. Kennedy also assured that Han Solo initiatives will continue, adding, "There's always a future for Solo!"
"I never say never [with regard to recasting characters]. It’s certainly not something that we’re doing with any intention right now. We’re still talking about Lando with Donald Glover, for instance, but I don’t think we would intentionally just look back at some of the characters like Luke and Leia and whatnot and decide arbitrarily to do a story. There would have to be a really strong reason why."
It's evident that Kennedy is reconsidering his belief that important Star Wars characters can't be recast for the proper narrative. Donald Glover's Lando Disney+ project was a significant example cited by audiences following her first statements to imply that this wasn't actually true, and she's even admitted that they're still working on the program. Kennedy's new statements show that blaming Solo: A Star Wars Story's "failures" on the primary recasting was never true. She also hinted at more Han Solo stories to come at the end of the conversation.
The crux of Kennedy's new Star Wars recasting remarks indicate that she and Lucasfilm have learned a few key lessons. The most important is that they will not grow unduly reliant on casting younger versions of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Palpatine, Qui-Gon Jinn, and other major characters as the protagonists of stories. This is obvious from the Star Wars on TV goal to produce new storylines and extend the Mandalorian realm. However, Kennedy has now left the door open for these characters and others to be recast in future Star Wars productions with the proper plot and role, perhaps reducing the need to deploy de-aging/deepfake technology to bring them back.
Source: Games Radar