Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy clarifies her recent comments that Star Wars won’t recast characters anymore and says it can still happen.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy clarifies her previous comments about Star Wars no longer recasting characters after Solo: A Star Wars Story. In addition to making the sequel trilogy of films, one of the earliest movies set into motion after Disney bought Lucasfilm was an origin story for Han Solo, the role made famous by Harrison Ford. Solo: A Star Wars Story finally arrived in 2018 and recast Alden Ehrenreich as young Han Solo. However, the movie was met with a mixed reaction after its tumultuous production and it ultimately struggled at the box office.
The response to Solo: A Star Wars Story changed Lucasfilm’s plans in several major ways, especially how it treats established characters. Kennedy recently said that one of the lessons the studio learned was that they can’t recast major characters like Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, and Leia Organa. Kennedy’s takeaway from Solo: A Star Wars Story was that audiences can’t accept anyone other than the original actors playing these characters, comments that were met with much criticism, especially as Obi-Wan Kenobi releases on Disney+ featuring several recast characters, including Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan and Hayden Christensen as Darth Vader.
Kennedy clarified her comments about Star Wars not recasting characters anymore during a recent interview with Games Radar at Star Wars Celebration 2022. The Lucasfilm president spoke to the outlet about a variety of topics concerning the future of Star Wars movies and the lessons learned from those they’ve already made. When it came to the recent comments that implied no Star Wars character will ever be recast after Solo, Kennedy cleared the air and provided a new outlook for how the franchise will handle recastings going forward.
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 quite clear that Kennedy is pulling back on the notion that major Star Wars characters can’t be recast for the right stories. Donald Glover’s Lando Disney+ show was a big example used by audiences after her original comments to signal that this wasn’t really true, and now she’s even acknowledged that they’re still working on that show. After seemingly blaming Solo: A Star Wars Story‘s “failures” on the main recasting, Kennedy’s latest comments prove that this was never true. She even ended the interview by teasing there could still be more Han Solo stories to tell.
The core of Kennedy’s latest Star Wars recasting comments point to her and Lucasfilm realizing a few valuable lessons. The biggest one is that they aren’t going to become overly reliant on casting younger versions of Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Palpatine, Qui-Gon Jinn, and other notable characters and making them the leads of a story. This is quite clear through the plan for Star Wars on TV to tell new stories and expand the Mandalorian universe. However, Kennedy has now also left the door open for these characters and others to be recast for the right story and role in future Star Wars projects, which can cut down on the need to use de-aging/deepfake technology to bring them back instead.
Source: Games Radar
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