For this Spotlight on a Reddingite, Redding Jefferson will be looking at Kathleen Kennedy, the little known graduate of Shasta High School who would go on to produce numerous successful Hollywood films alongside Steven Spielberg. Speaking with retired English teacher, Margaret Whitesmith, Redding Jefferson asked what it was like to teach the woman who would go on to produce Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi.
"She always knew that George Lucas fellow had to go," Mrs. Whitesmith said with a sneer. "Always going on about plot structure and character development: Lucas was a madman. Constant, unwavering fealty to third-wave feminism had to be the key, that was Kathleen's motto, even at the expense of a story that follows any discernable structure." When asked about Freytag's Pyramid or The Hero's Journey, Mrs. Whitesmith rolled her eyes. "Sonny, why would you want a cathartic dénouement or rising and falling action when you could have a shrill, man-hating harpy with purple-hair emasculating every man she sees?"
Having saved many of Kennedy's notes, Mrs. Whitesmith showed Redding Jefferson hastily scribbled ideas. "Why have three acts when one will suffice," read one note. "Ignore everything that's working in the previous movie and undercut the sequel at every opportunity," read another. "Tell, don't show," was written in very large letters.
With a smile, Mrs. Whitesmith recalled a moment in class when Kathleen Kennedy raised her hand. "Is there any chance," she asked in the middle of class, "I can make a lifelong fan of the Star Wars series lose an entire night's sleep fuming about how clumsily and recklessly a Star Wars movie was handled? Is it possible someday I'll be in charge of the entire franchise so I can pump it so full of liberal propaganda there'll be no room left for a coherent plot?" Mrs. Whitesmith smiled with a tear in her eye. "She got her wish," she said with a sigh.
Shasta High School graduate Kathleen Kennedy was brilliant and clearly a Force to be reckoned with, particularly considering she graduated from Shasta High School in 1971, a full six years before Star Wars was released, proving she was lightyears ahead of her time.