Thanks to an insightful Twitter thread, we can get a look into what life may be like for those working within Lucasfilm. The following are screenshots taken from Glassdoor reviews presumably from former employees. I’ve also mixed in a couple of reviews from indeed.
The positive comments generally all say the same things; prestige in working on Star Wars, looks good on a resume, beautiful facilities, etc. So I’m not going to post those here, unless they’re relevant to the context of other remarks. So if you want to see those remarks and the positive reviews that are on Glassdoor, you can head on over there and read them. If for any reason the reviews suddenly disappear, you can read this archive. But I’m going to focus mainly on the negative comments is this blog post, because my interest lies in the problems within Lucasfilm which manifests outwardly as inferior product.
Interestingly, many of the negative comments also say the same things, but I’ll comment on those year by year. One of the primary overarching problems though throughout this timeline, is that Lucasfilm does not pay industry standard. This seems somewhat odd for a company that is pushing propaganda about the evils of stingy rich people in the movies it produces. A company that purportedly believes in equal pay for equal work.
It should also be noted that a few of these reviews are for Lucasfilm’s Singapore location, which apparently progressive Lucasfilm is exporting American jobs to.
Bet let’s begin with the year 2008, the year that Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull was released in theaters. We can probably expect that George Lucas was fully invested in his company at least up until this point.
DISCLAIMER: Reader discretion is advised, user reviews may or may not be from genuine Lucasfilm employees. But their consistency does seem to suggest that they are.
Also keep in mind, that all comments regarding the President of Lucasfilm at least up to 2013, the year of the sale to Disney, including the Feng Shui comments may be in regards to Kathleen Kennedy’s predecessor, Micheline Chau.
So in 2008 we get the impression that George was already beginning to step away from the company and allow his management teams to take over. This would be a theme repeated in subsequent years.
In 2009 that management seems happy to fill in the power vacuum that George is leaving open to them.
We see a lot of comments that refer to being adverse to risk taking. I’m going to interpret this as internal employees dissatisfied with having to maintain the Star Wars tradition, and not being able to change things up as they are now under Disney.
In 2011 we see remarks about bad management and paranoia. My guess us that rumors of an imminent sale to Disney may have begun to swirl as comments from upper management leaked to lower levels. This probably heightened the level of hysteria.
2012 saw an increase of comments regarding how Lucasfilm had become politically charged, and how much of the talent employed was mediocre.
2013 was the year of the sale of Lucasfilm to Disney.
What we see in 2013 is an increase in complaints about bad management during this time of transition to Disney ownership. We see complaints about how Lucasfilm should promote from within rather than hire externally, and complaints about firings over minutiae. This tells me that Lucasfilm was likely attempting to purge the Old Guard and replace it with politically compliant individuals, particularly given how many comments we see about politics and the hiring of “buddies.” As a result the subsequent complaints about a loss of creativity and innovation are unsurprising.
More politics. More problems with upper management.
More complaints about the upper management and their “toxic culture.” Given the comments about long hours and terrible hours, the low pay, and the slashing of benefits, it would seem to me that Lucasfilm employees ought to unionize.
Lucasfilm run like a 1950s era white boy’s club that holds down women an minorities in the year of our Lord 2016? Surely this can’t be the all inclusive Lucasfilm that we see in the public eye.
More comments about bad management and low pay.
Male dominated? In 2018? Still? But what about equality? How can this be when the Force is presumably female?
Now, it’s possible that I may have missed some gems, so be sure to check the links out yourself. And there may be employee reviews for Lucasfilm elsewhere on other websites as well.
SC Reviews discusses this story:
MechaRandom comments on this story:
That Umbrella Guy also adds his insight, as he’s previously covered Glassdoor reviews for Marvel and DC comics.
The Lucasfilm Animation Department has its own Glassdoor account, and there are some interesting reviews there as well.
This blogpost has been archived here.