this isnt really news, they said as much in 2015 before episode 8 even came out
I dont really have issues with Kathleen Kennedy as an executive producer. She has a great history of making sure the “machine” of big blockbusters work. But she isnt a Creative Director, a Visionary- it is not what she ever did or even signed up to do. Kevin Feige was that for Marvel, they really needed that for Star Wars . You give the directors a sandbox to play in, but you define the goals and where they need to end and where they need to head and how the character need to arc.
But as the second film in a trilogy, how much freedom does he have? Kennedy explains:
> “We know where we’re going, but only in the broadest sense. When Rian came in and started writing his script, he started from scratch, other than knowing what we had done in Episode VII and projecting out where it was going. He then sat down and put pen to paper, and it’s 100 percent him.”
So it sounds like maybe Lucasfilm isn’t being quite as strict with controlling their filmmakers as their Disney neighbors at Marvel Studios, and that’s some very encouraging news. Abrams added that, “It’s a thrill to see [Johnson] take things and elevate them beyond what we had imagined at the time.”