From Lucas to Abrams: Kathleen Kennedy Presents Touching 'Star Wars' Unifying Theory


Just before the lights dimmed and the main attraction began at Monday night’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens world premiere in Hollywood, Kathleen Kennedy offered a lovely, extremely personal story that illustrated the interconnectedness — and serendipity — of the Star Wars galaxy.

See More: The ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Premiere Red Carpet Gallery!

“The Star Wars saga is about seemingly endless chance encounters,” she said. "In 1962, an 18-year-old boy named George Lucas was drag-racing his car. He skidded out of control and wrapped his hotrod around a tree in Modesto.” Then Kennedy revealed her family linkage to that event, saying it was her stepbrother’s grandfather who pulled Lucas from the wreckage of his life-changing car crash.

She fast-forwarded a few years and then related the bit of luck that brought her to work with Lucas and Steven Spielberg on the 1981 action adventure film Raiders of the Lost Ark. From there, she grew close to both filmmakers. And when a presumed-lost box of Spielberg’s Super 8s turned up, she needed to find someone to restore the film. So she hired a 16-year-old kid, named J.J. Abrams, for the job.

“And when George offered me one of the greatest jobs in show business, only one person seemed perfect to direct,” she added. “Destiny, fate, was every one of these events moving toward this? Was it the Force? I think so.“

Read more about the Star Wars premiere and party on The Hollywood Reporter.

(Photos: Getty Images for Disney)