Variety has confirmed Kiri Hart is out of the Lucasfilm Story Group.
“Kiri Hart, who established the Lucasfilm Story Group now acts as a consultant for Lucasfilm, will serve as creative advisor.”
“Consultant” aka fired and got a one year severance. This tweet didn’t age well. pic.twitter.com/wotpe9kMNt
— Dataracer (@Dataracer117) February 8, 2019
Readers of this blog may be familiar with the mysterious nature of Kiri Hart’s departure from the Lucasfilm, which received no self-aggrandizing fanfare in the same manner that her hiring did. Well, according to an anonymous Walt Disney World insider posting over at WDWMagic.com’s forums, it looks like some new information on The Kiri Hart Cover Up has surfaced. Enjoy, and make of it what you will.
From the archives:
Kerrison is just a WDI employee who was given the task of using the new trilogy, no?
We still have out there competing “”leaks”” of why the new trilogy was used:
1. LucasFilm wanted it.
2. Disney Corp wanted it after seeing the box office returns of TFA.
So, why lambaste someone for following marching order?
And does this mean you’re on the side of “LucasFilm wanted new trilogy” and not the “Disney Corp wanted new trilogy”?
Here’s how it worked:
Kerrison worked with Beck on coordinating SWGE and SW Disney Canon. Beck acted as a liaison between Hart – head at that time of the Lucasfilm Story Group – all of which was part of Kennedy’s purview. Kerrison isn’t a Star Wars fan, nor was she familiar with it. Beck loathes the George Lucas Star Wars and has been a constant source of failure within Star Wars, including being the driving force behind Forces of Destiny (a feminist approach to Star Wars that failed spectacularly) and Star Wars Resistance (also seen as a tremendous failure). Hart was eventually removed because she actually viewed Star Wars as a vehicle for sociopolitical change, and she became such a toxic figure that even Kathleen Kennedy viewed her as damaging to her career and legacy (I believe Hart is still under contract as a consultant to manage her ability to speak out against Kennedy/Disney/Lucasfilm). Beck still works at Lucasfilm, but she essentially has no power whatsoever any longer. Kerrison is likely to depart Disney after RotR launches.
The change from SWGE celebrating all of Star Wars occurred just after TFA launched. While TFA was JJ’s baby, the Lucasfilm Story Group and Rian Johnson basically took the franchise in a totally different direction, even before TFA had launched. This wasn’t just limited to TLJ, but to all Star Wars properties. You can think of this as JJ lighting the fuse that made Star Wars bigger than ever, and then a separate team viewing that success as a means to advance social agendas under the belief that Star Wars was too big to fail. However, Iger was unaware of the internal issues at Lucasfilm in which political ideologues had taken over until production for Rogue One revealed massive issues. Because Iger was unaware of the situation, he believed TFA meant the public was head-over-heels for the new trilogy, and he immediately wanted to capitalize off of it. In doing so, he handed Lucasfilm massive power over WDI, via the connection between Kerrison-Beck-Hart. This meant that all of WDI’s plans were essentially being run through those three, with theme park experts hand-tied by a Story Group piggybacking off of JJ’s massive success, while they were actually entirely incompetent. When you wonder why there’s a tiny cantina, why there are basically no OT characters (i.e. C3P0, R2D2, Yoda, etc), why there’s no Star Wars music, etc, etc, it’s all because the land was not developed by people who knew how to develop a theme park expansion…
They may be referring to Carrie Beck, who was one of Kiri Hart’s hires.
By the time Iger became aware of the issues, it was too late to change direction without missing the expected Episode 9 hype window. Panic set in after TLJ second weekend drop-off set in, and the realization that Star Wars was damaged was accepted by Solo. Still, the attendance results were far, far beyond the lowest expectations they had. Further complicating how bad everything has been is the fact that Chapek stepped in midstream and stripped out so many elements that could have mitigated the issues, mostly due to his belief that SWGE could be two rides and a retail space. Combined with the late-game changes to move DHS’ SWGE location to save approximately $500 million dollars, and you have the perfect storm for two expansions that are utter failures at their intended goals.
Yea, without knowing where the true mandate came from, it’s hard to place blame. My gut tells me both lucasfilm and Disney are both to blame on this one. I tend to blame Iger because a billion plus land, everything goes through him. The land has his upcharge everything stink all over it.
Iger should have known what was going on at Lucasfilm, but in all honesty, his trust in Kathleen Kennedy was so high that he was blindsided. I think he was so concerned about keeping George Lucas placated publicly, that he lost sight of what was going on behind the scenes. As for Kennedy, I think that 1) she’s not cut out for the creative side of franchise creation, and 2) she wanted to empower women and empower diversity, but she failed to understand the extremists she was hiring. As an empowered woman who gained massive success in the eighties and nineties, I don’t think she knew what modern social justice in the far left looked like, or how it would manifest itself if left unchecked while she enjoyed the perks of her position.
More from the archives:
Can you go into any detail about the development of the ST? Was there a road map in place for the trilogy or was it up to each subsequent “auteur” to continue the story in their own fashion, like a bad game of improv. Is Lucasfilm rethinking their commitment to Benioff and Weiss in response to the Game of Thrones backlash? Thanks in advance, friend!
JJ created a broad map for the ST, though he left a great deal of wiggle room for subsequent directors. Per Kathleen Kennedy and Kiri Hart, however, Rian Johnson was allowed to jettison all of JJ’s outline and completely write his own script without regard to the original binding narrative. Trevorrow objected to this, as well as the removal of Luke Skywalker from his finale, and after many protests to stick with JJ’s original script… he was canned. JJ was brought back in out of sheer panic as the firing of Trevorrow and Iger and Horn’s first negative response to their views of TLJ came rather close to each other. Subsequent changes to JJ’s reviesed Ep 9 script occured this past January and again in May after directives were given from the top to “fix” Luke Skywalker in Ep 9. This has resulted in reshoots all the way until September with post-production going until at least late October. This movie will be right down to the wire.
As for Benioff and Weiss, I have no idea because I no longer have interactions with Lucasfilm employees on a regular basis, and the contacts I do have would be extremely hush hush about such a thing given that Lucasfilm makes a habit of providing false info to employees in an effort to track leakers.