To whom it may concern, Very recently I have happened upon some information of great interest to the Star Wars fandom and am looking for an appropriate outlet to expose this story. I am afraid I cannot release this information via any traditional avenues I have used in the past because Lucasfilm has recently ramped up their rumors security after suffering a humiliating blow following the “civil war” discourse of a few weeks ago. As it happens, there are in fact at this moment two separate war rooms designated specifically to smoke out where these leaks are coming from, one from the Filoni/Favreau camp, the other the Kennedy camp. I can assure you that if I were discovered to be disclosing this information by either party– our department has taken to nicknaming them “headhunters”– it would not only mean the loss of my job but that I would almost certainly be placed on a Hollywood blacklist for years to come. My career is very important to me and I would appreciate your utmost discretion in this matter.
Any ties to the traditional rumor outlets, Jedipaxis, MSW, Doomcock, etc, are simply off limits due to being under far too much scrutiny at the moment. The headhunters are relentless and very thorough. Yet, I somehow feel an obligation, almost a moral obligation to tell this story. I did some research and discovered your channel was already in the business of rumors discussion and, moreover, I felt there were certain, let’s just say, “overlaps” in our creative preferences for the future direction of LFL. For some background on me: My real name is not Earnshaw Cook, but you can call me that for our purposes. I was hired on by Lucasfilm in what we now in the office refer to as “the Great Boom”, which was a surge of staff hires made after the Disney sale in October of 2012. I was brought on in February of ’13 as the department almost immediately got to work on concept art and story ideas for the seventh film, which ultimately became known as The Force Awakens. In retrospect, I should have seen these seeds of this civil war at that early stage, when Kennedy vowed to shred up the original Lucas sequel trilogy drafts almost out of the gate. But, I have to admit, I was new to the industry and as a lifelong Star Wars fan I was willing to do almost anything to live out my dream as a contributor of Star Wars content.
Filoni was adamant that the Lucas drafts be adhered to, if nothing else, out of respect for George’s vision. But Kennedy convinced Iger that there was a version of Star Wars out there that could maximize profit, if it embraced certain political trends. Bob Iger is not a Star Wars fan, I don’t mind telling you. He is a business man first and foremost and he bought into Kennedy’s vision, dollar signs in his eyes the entire time. As a consequence, Filoni was sent to the basement in a manner of speaking. He was being punished for speaking out against the new Sheriff in town. They cancelled Clone Wars and Dave really had to scratch and claw his way out to even get Rebels started. Even then his role was limited by Kennedy’s overseers. And so things went on this way for several years. Fast forward to the fallout from The Last Jedi. Iger was embarrassed and enraged. Not out of any concern for the Lore or the canon mind you, but strictly for the financial implications. And when Solo flopped, this was all the confirmation Iger needed. He turned to Filoni and Favreau to begin repairing the franchise. (edited)
The Mandalorian came out a few years later and as you know it was a smashing success both commercially and amongst the fanbase. And, really, that should have been all Iger needed to transition away from Kennedey as head of Lucasfilm but here’s the rub: Bob is really convinced there is untapped resource in what he calls “the Reylo market”. And thus ever the business man, he has allowed Kathleen to stay on, at least for now. Which leads me to the present day. Kathleen Kennedy is so desperate to return to Iger’s good graces she has developed a complex though admittedly inspired plan to commandeer the upcoming Book of Boba Fett series, hoping to both capitalize on Reylo sympathies and sink Dave and Jon’s project simultaneously by forcefully injecting Reylo content into the Boba series. This would in effect turn off the Boba fans on whom Dave and Jon are depending and delight Reylo fans who are key to Kennedy’s success. Do you see the brutal genius here? Her most loyal staffers, I am told, have taken to naming this operation as OPERATION USURPER.
This is the truth: Kennedy is terrified of the Book of Boba Fett. She is certain, as is almost everyone at LFL, that this is going to be a smashing success. Even more so than The Mandalorian. And she knows this will be the final nail in her coffin. One more win like this from Filoni and Favreau and it’s game over. But she knows she can’t make it fail– Boba is too popular of a cultural icon. It’s a foregone conclusion that it will be successful, really. So she needs to somehow get herself in charge of the project.
And so with that in mind we return to a few weeks ago. My department received notifications that there may be some incoming changes to the script in episode 5 of the Boba series and they may require some concept art. This was surprising to me since episode 5 was pretty much wrapped up weeks earlier– and it’s a banger if I do say so– and there is no logical reason why it would need any changes. Script changes are not uncommon at all, but believe me when I tell you this episode is flawless and Jon himself has said as much. Later that day, at lunch, I met up with a friend in accounting who mentioned she was having a stressful day trying to abruptly divert massive funds and resources to Pinewood for the weekend, or at least as she put it “something imminent”. Now, I don’t really have access to LFL logistics, I’m not that far up the ladder. But any major project that would require the type of budget my friend was talking about is not something that is kept secret at LFL. Everybody talks to everybody on the lower floors and there is no reason to keep secrets from one another. Unless someone with incredible reach was actively trying to keep it secret. In all my years this has never happened. There would never be a need for this to happen. But, as I slowly realized, in all those years there wasn’t a civil war happening at LFL either. Times were different now.
I tried casually asking my friend if I could see an itemized list of these weekend expenses she was talking about and she really had no reason not to show me. There was lots of filming equipment on the manifest, technical details I really know nothing about. But I did see travel expenses for a list of people I didn’t recognize. One traveller, named “Brendan Frye”, scheduled to fly out that night at 2am, received the highest allotted per diem of the group, by a significant amount. Now, everyone gets a plane ticket and they are all roughly the same price, but if you really want to know who is important to LFL, you need to look at the Per Diems. Who are they paying the most for the simple luxuries of travel? Well this Brendan Frye | had never heard of. How important could he be? Was he some new upstart director or screenwriter I had not heard of? I’m pretty in on the industry so it really did bug me that I hadn’t heard of this important player. So I googled him. And guess what– “Brendan Frye” is the main character of Rian Johnson’s first feature film, Brick. I hadnt seen it of course (I’m not a fan), so I didnt put it together right away. But there it was plain as day– a conspiracy in front of me: Was Rian Johnson being flown to Pinewood Studios to reshoot episode 5 of the Book of Boba Fett under the cover of night by Kathleen Kennedy? And if so why?
So naturally, after I found out about Rian Johnson’s post-midnight flight I called Dave up immediately. I used my cell phone because the office phones contain a record of calls going in and out. Dave asked what evidence I had and I sent him some photos | clandestinely took of the budget spreadsheets (I had to bribe my friend in accounting with some mocha frappuccinos — her favorite) and he hopped on to the next flight to London. (edited)
No naturally I wasn’t in London for the confrontation, but I do have a source there– another one of Dave’s moles, actually. (He has a whole network of us). Let’s call my source, “Gerald” (not his real name). Well Gerald said Dave arrived late to the filming but he barged in during the filming of what my source called “a total reylo scene”. Make of that what you will, if you have the stomach for it. But reportedly Dave had had enough. He told Rian he was putting his foot down and wouldnt allow it any further. Rian had a fit and kept going on about “1.33333333 billion dollars” which is how much The Last Jedi grossed worldwide apparently. But ultimately he did leave the set. Dave, I am told from my animation contacts, is working with ILM to superimpose the faces of this incomplete scene to members of The Bad Batch. Only in this revised version of the scene Crosshair and Hunter won’t be kissing each other but performing a warrior ritual (not a food-sharing ritual as I have seen reported on other websites. I don’t know where they got that idea.). Obviously this caused quite a stir back here at the home office in San Fran. On that Monday the place was going gangbusters. Phones were ringing off the hook and the headhunters got to work on finding out who leaked this info to Dave. Fortunately Rian returned to Greece to begin filming on Knives Out 2, so it looks like we’re safe for now, but sadly my friend from accounting was let go. “Budget cuts” they told everyone, but I don’t believe that. I think the Headhunters tracked the leak back to her.
Also, and I hope I’m not jumping the gun here, but my source “Gerald” in London hasn’t been seen or heard from in 48 hours. Normally, I would say he’s just gone on vacation but I have access to all of LFL’s employees vacation days and he had used all his days up on a trip to Belize when prices were low due to covid-19. I have called all the hotels in Belize and he has not gotten a room there, unless he’s using a pseudonym of some kind. That’s all I can really say for now. I will use this email address strictly for this our communication. Don’t try to contact me at the office. Thank you. This is naturally a very contentious issue within the walls of Lucasfilm, perhaps even the most contentious. I don’t have access to the most current status of this issue, as it is only discussed at the highest levels of the LFL hierarchy, but information does trickle down and this is what I know:
Bob Iger is a prideful man, and does not often like to admit defeat or apologize. This is a philosophy critical to his business leadership worldview. But most important to our purposes, it is a trait that is generally known about him and you can see his personnel try to manipulate this to gain the upper hand over their rivals. Case in point, this bold endeavor Operation Usurper currently underway by Kathleen Kennedy. Her race to produce a Book of Boba Fett series episode directed by Rian Johnson entirely depends on the assumption that once it is broadcast, or even once it is “in the can” so to speak in production terms– Iger will never reverse it. In that way, the creative path that is laid down first by the creatives that lands will have the most influence over future stories. We’ve seen this time and again especially with the stories that Dave controls. Kennedy will bulldoze her own story element into it, knowing that once it’s out there, Bob will insist it remains in the story. Basically any element of the Filoni-verse that seems suspicious or oddly placed has arrived there in that manner, by Kennedy’s back channels.
However, if there’s one thing Iger loathes more than back-tracking it’s losing money. This is absolutely his only endgame with the franchise. And recently I’ve noticed a curious change in the type of language Favreau in particular uses to try selling a major canon overhaul to Bob. See, Jon is much better at the politics of all this. Dave really is more of a pure fan in the sense that he likes good Star Wars stories, writes good Star Wars stories, and beyond that doesnt really have a good handle on how to “play the game” as it were. That’s why he’s been silenced within Lucasfilm for so many years under Kennedy, despite being the obvious choice for the CEO job. He’s just no good at politics. Favreau, on the other hand, is Hollywood born and raised. He’s cut his teeth in the cutthroat world of backstabbing and knows how the barons of industry like Iger need to be sweettalked and cajoled. And as far as decanonizing the sequels, Favreau has insisted they need to sell it to Bob as a financial decision not a decision that’s “best for the canon”. Because as I have intimated before, Iger has no quarrel with the current canon because he doesn’t care ultimately, as a non-fan. But if he could be convinced that there is a version of canon out there that would be more profitable to him and his pocketbook, then sequel decanonization is absolutely in play.
The last I heard was there is indeed a plan in place to win Bob over. Jon is presently working tirelessly to restructure their pitch by night, and by day navigating the production of the Boba series, on which so much of this civil war depends. An enclave of the LFL elite is scheduled to board a “Canon Reconsideration Retreat” later this month on Iger’s power yacht. I would expect– and to be clear this part is just me speculating, based on no interoffice whispering or anything– that Jon and Dave will make their move there. Deep below the engine room of that massive yacht is a room called the Ritual Room. It is rumored to have a sort of sinister history but honestly those are just fun stories people make up about the place. In actuality it is just a very private space, (soundproof, no cameras, etc), and perfectly ideal for this great pitch to occur outside of Kennedy’s influence or knowledge. I would expect it to take place there.
The problem is of course, getting around Kennedy. Ideally she wouldn’t even be on the ship during this (what is ostensibly a) coup attempt. But it is funny, because just as you emailed me, I was getting off the plane returning to Belize in search of my friend, the Pinewood mole, “Gerald”. And catching up on some emails I noticed that all Pinewood activity from Dave and Jon has been canceled that weekend, the same weekend of the yacht retreat, July 31st. Now, normally, with deadlines looming on Boba project, I would expect Dave and Jon to just let Robert Rodriguez handle the filming alone for those few days. They’ve done it before for various other big meetings/events. But they’ve dismissed Rodriguez for the weekend, and he is certainly not a member of the invited enclave (refuses to take the blood oath). This is what I think is happening: By leaving all studio time for that weekend open they are trying to lure Kennedy into resending Rian Johnson back over to complete this BOBF episode 5 misadventure that they interrupted a few weeks ago. If she is distracted by this secret plot during this yacht trip, she may not see the machinations aboard the ship that would ultimately remove her from the throne. Better yet, she may forgo the yacht trip entirely in order to oversee the Pinewood conspiracy to the fullest extent. (word is, she was extremely upset with Rian for backing down to Dave. Had she been there, things might have turned out differently.) Not such a reach when you consider how important sinking the Boba series is to her future as the Czar of LFL.
It’s a gamble, but it’s a worthwhile one. Would they be sacrificing the integrity of the Boba Fett series in order to decanonize the sequel trilogy? Maybe. Dave is still working diligently with ILM to repair Rian’s partial scenes and if he is successful maybe they could give these scenes from the yacht weekend the same treatment. It’s a roll of the dice, but things have been idle so long it may be worth a shot. Sequel Decanonization is the Holy Grail for sure. Obviously it is at the forefront of Jon and Dave’s thoughts. But just how achievable is it? Is it out of reach? Is the sacrifice worth it? I can’t be certain. I’ve often thought about these questions late at night, unable to sleep, listening to the gentle Belize rain fight its way through the forest canopy in the darkness. But even if they succeed at a manageable cost, you have to ask yourself, what then? What will replace the sequel trilogy? I would put every dollar in my pocket against every dollar in your pocket that Dave would insist on restoring the original George Lucas treatments. I know Kennedy thinks she destroyed them all but I happen to know Dave made copies of them on microfilm— I worked with the intern (at the time) who helped him penetrate the archives vault at night years ago. (They had to drug the security guards and everything. He still feels terrible about it even though the guard made a full recovery.) But just as a testament to how passionate Dave feels about fulfilling Lucas’s vision. He is a Lucas loyalist undoubtedly to the end.
But Jon… Jon has his own sequel trilogy treatments that he made years ago, in college he began them. I’ve seen parts of them and yes, they are amazing, but how amazing would they have to be in order to convince Dave to betray the vision of his mentor? Would this simply put us into the same destructive civil war scenario we are currently in? Are we forever doomed to destroy our lives, generation after generation, over these wars in the stars? That’s the real human question I have to ask myself as I wait for the doors of the morgue to open here in Belmopan, the capital of Belize, afraid to find out what I already know to be true.
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