Lucasfilm’s Evolving Leadership

Lynn Hale led Lucasfilm’s Publicity for 35 years.

Back in May, an update to the Leadership page on Lucasfilm’s website garnered widespread attention in the Star Wars fandom and the entertainment press alike: the promotion of Dave Filoni to hold the title of Executive Creative Director in addition to Executive Producer of The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, and other projects in development. Interestingly, reporters like Variety‘s Adam B. Vary soon revealed the interesting twist that Filoni’s promotion actually had occurred in the summer of 2020. Why it was not publicly disclosed for nearly a year remains unknown.

Another recent update to the Leadership page is the addition of Queen Denchukwu, who holds the position of Director, Diversity & Inclusion. Similar to Filoni’s promotion, Denchukwu’s website update followed a significant time lag, as she held the post as of early 2021. (Curiously, another new hire at the start of the year, Momita SenGupta in the position of Executive Vice President, Physical Production, was added to the website promptly when she joined Lucasfilm from Netflix.) Denchukwu’s biography on the website describes her role at the company as “responsible for developing and implementing the global Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging strategy across all of Lucasfilm’s studios” and “to build and sustain an inclusive culture and attract, retain and develop diverse talent across all of our lines of business.”

This past Friday, Lucasfilm announced that Lynne Hale, the longtime head of publicity (most recently holding the title of Vice President, Publicity & Communications), will be retiring at the end of the year after 35 years with the company. A familiar name and face to many Star Wars fans, Hale played a prominent role in fan engagement during the Prequel Trilogy releases, as well as events including the Star Wars Celebration conventions. Notably, in 2012 she hosted the interview with George Lucas and Kathleen Kennedy that introduced a new era of leadership in the company.

Today, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Hale’s replacement as Vice President, Publicity & Communications will be Chris Coxall, who joins Lucasfilm from the Disney publicity department. THR notes that Coxall “has worked on every Star Wars project since the company purchased Lucasfilm in 2012” as well as numerous theatrical releases from other Disney studios, and that “Coxall and Hale will work together during the transition.”

Other recent updates to the Leadership page include a promotion for another longtime Lucasfilm publicist, Chris Argyropolous, to Vice President, Franchise Assets & Publicity, as well as new titles for Vicki Dobbs Beck, previously Executive-in-Charge of ILMxLAB, to the position of Vice President, Immersive Content Innovation, and Blair Chaput to Vice President of Human Resources. In addition, Senior Vice President Paul Southern, who for many years led the Licensing division, now has the same title apparently renamed to Third Party Commercialization & Franchise Development.

We’ll keep an eye out for further website updates in the future.

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Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.