Spoilers for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ below! If you haven’t seen the film yet (really?), then you may want to move on.
One of the more shocking moments of ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ came as no surprise to Disney CEO, Bob Iger. In a recent interview, Iger said he was consulted by Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy and director J.J. Abrams about the decision to kill Han Solo before the film was made.
Iger spoke briefly about bringing the new era of ‘Star Wars’ to Disney, saying that when Disney and Lucasfilm first started working with Abrams on ‘The Force Awakens,’ one of their mutual concerns was how to balance legacy with innovation. Meaning, how much would they need to please fans of classic ‘Star Wars’ versus how many original characters, new worlds and weapons would have to be introduced to appease a new audience.
Apparently, that conversation led to a broader discussion about whether Han should live or die in ‘The Force Awakens.’ Iger explained:
“We had a big debate about Han Solo. Should he die or not? It was a decision made by Kennedy and Abrams, but I got involved.”
Iger has stated that he enjoyed working with Kennedy on the ‘Star Wars’ films, and admitted that he had a draft of ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ sitting on his desk. Iger declined to address the recent controversy surrounding the franchise, including Colin Trevorrow’s exit from ‘Star Wars: Episode IX’ and Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s departure from the untitled Han Solo project.
Iger has made some big moves as CEO of Disney. In fact, he has been responsible for negotiating some of the biggest deals in the company’s history. It was under Iger that Pixar, Marvel Studios, and Lucasfilm were all brought under the Disney umbrella. He has tried to step down a few times in recent years but has remained at the request of the board of directors.
Iger has confirmed that he will absolutely, without question, step down in 2019, but admits he isn’t sure what’s next. Rumors have been flying for years that Iger could run for public office, maybe even making a play for governor of California. Iger has said:
“I’m leaving Disney in mid-’19. I’ll be 68. I want to know what’s on the other side [of Disney.] I’ll figure it out when I have to.”
The next film in the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘The Last Jedi,’ will be released on December 15.