WHEN SHE AGREED IN 2012 TO TAKE OVER THE EMPIRE THAT GEORGE LUCAS built, Kennedy became perhaps the most powerful -- and scrutinized -- film producer in Hollywood. Her every move on Disney's Star Wars: Episode VII, the first new installment of the $4.5 billion-grossing franchise in nearly a decade, has been debated endlessly. Persuading J.J. Abrams to direct? Huge coup! Pushing its summer 2015 release to December 2015 after Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan took over writing duties? Troublesome! As if that weren't pressure enough, Kennedy -- whose Steven Spielberg-directed Lincoln grossed $275 million worldwide this year and won Daniel Day-Lewis an Oscar -- also wears an executive hat, managing a 1,500-employee company that includes VFX house Industrial Light & Magic (which worked on this year's Pacific Rim and Star Trek Into Darkness); Skywalker Sound; a gaming division as it shifts into licensing titles; and Lucasfilm Animation, which is behind a new Star Wars animated series. Lucasfilm already generates about $215 million a year for Disney, but with a new Star Wars on the horizon, its revenue soon will shoot into hyperdrive. -- G.K.