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Kiri Hart Leaves Lucasfilm Story Group

Discussion in 'Lucasfilm Ltd. In-Depth Discussion' started by guittarjedi, Feb 8, 2019.

  1. guittarjedi

    guittarjedi Jedi Grand Master star 4

    May 21, 2002

    "In an article posted on Variety (by way of this tweet from our great friend Paul Bateman), we have learned that Kiri Hart is no longer a member of the Lucasfilm Story Group. She has moved on to a new role as creative advisor for a program called Rideback TV Incubator launched by Dan Lin’s production company Rideback and Media Rights Capital.

    The incubator offers a paid, eight-month residency program to a group of eight writers who have each previously been staffed on series and want to create their own drama series for cable and streaming. The goal of the new venture is to support experienced TV drama writers from diverse backgrounds who are on the cusp of advancing their careers.

    The article states that Hart will also be serving as a consultant for Lucasfilm, but does not go into greater detail on specifically what areas of the company she will be lending her expertise to.

    Kiri Hart, who established the Lucasfilm Story Group overseeing “Star Wars” development and now acts as a consultant for Lucasfilm, will serve as creative advisor. Elsie Choi, former head of development for Mad Rabbit, has been named executive director and will oversee the program."
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
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  2. El_Machete12

    El_Machete12 Jedi Master star 2

    Oct 30, 2012
    Although general consensus on the Story Group seems to be that they "officially" just help keep canon in check, I always have been curious how true that it. Kiri herself is who came up with idea for the snow forest duel in TFA, and she helped come up with the story structure for the film with Rick Baker and Michael Arndt, before even JJ came on board. Who knows how much else she contributed, but it seems to me that at the very least the head of the Story group has some big sway for the films, and it is curious that she was KK's personally chosen pick to head the group when first formed, and she has now moved on.

    This could be a sign of something, but I am leaning towards it just Kiri wanting to pursue something different. Honestly, it just reminds me of how confused I am on how much the Lucasfilm story group dictates story. On one hand, we are told they just support the writer, director, artist etc. and keep them within the boundaries of canon, but then I read stories of how they made Zahn put in Batuu into Thrawn: Alliances to provide synergy with Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland/WDW, or how there have been some cryptic tweets in the past by industry people that the story group is rather stingy and sometimes is too much of a committee.
  3. wobbits

    wobbits Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Apr 12, 2017
    If she was in charge of a group that was supposed to do the bolded then I am very curious about her role as a consultant. Simply because I don't feel the SG has actually been very good at that. There are plenty of things that have happened in the ST that make me question whether the SG, the writers, etc have honestly stuck to canon. Some of JJ and RJ's explanations are real head scratchers and I would have thought the SG should have caught some of that stuff.
  4. ShaneP

    ShaneP Ex-Mod Officio star 7 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Mar 26, 2001
    I never liked the concept of a story group that actually played a creative role beyond just keeping the current canon in line.

    If all they did was the latter, then that would be one thing. But, as others here and elsewhere have noted, that is not what they actually did. They did play a role in creative decisions. That was a mistake.

    This is all the result that when Lucas sold Lucasfilm, it left a creative hole in the company of a sole visionary that still, to this day, remains unfilled.

    You cannot replace Lucas with a group of people comprised of internet admins and bloggers.
  5. Darth Dnej

    Darth Dnej Jedi Master star 4

    Apr 27, 2013
    I think the only role of the story group should be to keep canon in check. Leave story ideas to writers, directors, actors, and occasionally others.

    Kiri was removed from the Lucasfilm website about a week ago, I think. I thought she was leaving the company for good, but it looks like that's not the case. I didn't know she came up with the snow forest duel concept. That's pretty cool.
  6. El_Machete12

    El_Machete12 Jedi Master star 2

    Oct 30, 2012
    I mostly agree in that Star Wars is at it's strongest with a strong visionary behind the tale. However, I don't think the primary creative forces are the story group, at least for all of the films. Say what you want of Last Jedi, but we know that is really Rian's baby, for better or for worse depending on personal preference. Difference with him is he played so well with the story group that they gave Rian his whole own trilogy. While people like Lord and Miller, Ron Howard, JJ and Gareth Edwards seem to have largely been picked to adhere to a specific story written and decided upon already, with their input being mainly to mold what was already there to something KK approved of.

    Before Colin Trevorrow's firing, you can tell they were trying to do the OT approach of having each film have it's own take by a different director. The problem is the OT had a constant, with Lucas always providing a specific story and film he wanted made, and then different directors came in and put their own slight flavor to it. With the ST, Lucas is replaced with the story group and various writers. Force Awakens was a concoction between Arndt, the story group, KK, Kasdan, JJ, and ideas taken from Lucas' treatments. Rian's story is wholly original, with some inspiration taken from Lucas and JJ but largely the story group set the parameters and Rian did his own thing. Then now with IX we lose the influence of Rian and go back to another story that has had many hands in the pot.

    I think this is reflected in the ST. It is a competent story, takes some risks and is expertly made, on a technical level. But it lacks in areas some of the more risk taking ventures the originals and prequels had, for better or worse. So what we got is what seems to be a hodge podge of inspired, creative moments (Rey's introduction, Throne Room fight, Kylo vs. Luke, Luke's arc) that may be controversial at times but also includes some of the trilogy's best moments, while we also get a lot of content that feels safe, like they are afraid to challenge Star Wars as we know it from the originals.

    I think the way forward is to give people like Rian, GoT's D&D, and others their own set of films to create a story and world of their own, that doesn't have to be dictated by pre-concieved concepts or notions. This would hopefully lead to some pretty cool and unique stories, that aren't already chosen by committee.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2019
  7. Bilbo Fett

    Bilbo Fett Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 19, 2017

    She's taking over a portion of Kiri Hart's former role at Lucasfilm. Interestingly, this is essentially an external hire. Even though she's was a co-producer on TFA and a producer on TROS, she didn't rise up through the ranks at Lucasfilm. She's coming over from Bad Robot.
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2019
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  8. Jid123Sheeve

    Jid123Sheeve Jedi Grand Master star 5

    Jul 9, 2016
  9. Bilbo Fett

    Bilbo Fett Force Ghost star 5

    Apr 19, 2017
    Essentially an external hire. Yes she's has an established working relationship with Lucasfilm on a handful of projects (some of them pretty significant ones). But the "Lucasfilm Creative Brain Trust" isn't some key committee with an unassuming sounding name within the studio like The Story Group. It's a brain trust in the generic sense of the term (which is exactly how it's used on Rejwan's LFL bio page). I'm sure Spielberg is also considered part of their brain trust by virtue of the informal input he's given on most of the movies since the sale to Disney, but he's not an in-house producer like say Filoni is. She's taking the job from outside of the studio, just as her previous employer is striking a long term deal with WB (so the timing is also interesting).
  10. MagnarTheGreat

    MagnarTheGreat Force Ghost star 5

    Jul 21, 2016
  11. StarYogi

    StarYogi Jedi Master star 2

    Nov 18, 2005
    I'll say it. She's really attractive. Is that allowed?
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2019
  12. AEHoward33

    AEHoward33 Jedi Master star 4

    Aug 11, 2019
    "Lucasfilm Creative Brain Trust"? Oh dear.