Kathleen Kennedy Determined to Hire More Women For Future 'Star Wars' Projects

For much of the amount of time that the Star Wars franchise has been around, the roles of women in regards to the live-action stories has not been as plentiful compared to men in these stories and working on these stories. Sure, from the beginning, we had Leia, who is a strong character. But over the course of the original trilogy, her role was lessened, and this pattern would be repeated in the prequel trilogy with Padme Amidala, who is shown to be strong but then has very little to do in her third film. Return of the Jedi saw the whole slave Leia situation, and the revelation that she is Luke's sister does not pay off in that film. In fact, it does not pay off until The Last Jedi, when we finally get to see Leia use the Force. Even with her limited role in The Rise of Skywalker, it was great to see her as Rey's master. On that note, recent years have seen an increase in the role of the female characters.

Of course, the woman who work behind the camera should be taken into account. By and large, most of the directors who have worked on Star Wars have been men. While there has been talent, it feels somewhat homogenized. Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, says that she is trying to make progress. In an August interview with The Wrap, on the subject of exploring Star Wars via the female point of view, she had the following response:

“It’s absolutely a priority. It’s been very exciting to see the talent that’s come in.”

One of the changes that we have seen is the inclusion of a woman named Deborah Chow behind the scenes. During season 1 of The Mandalorian, Chow directed "Chapter 3: The Sin" and "Chapter 7: The Reckoning." The former was an action-packed ride that won over a lot of viewers, while the latter was a suspenseful set-up for the finale. People have been very happy with her work, and she even had a cameo as a New Republic X-wing pilot in "Chapter 6: The Prisoner." Kennedy had nothing but praise for the director's work:

“She’s just been doing a phenomenal job."

On top of that, the plan is for Chow to direct all episodes of the Obi-Wan Kenobi limited series that will be coming to Disney+ in 2022. At the time of the interview, Kennedy added that Chow has been as productive as she can possibly be on the project despite the obstacles that have come with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apart from Chow, the other woman who has directed any Star Wars is Victoria Mahoney, who was the second unit director on Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker. Regardless of what one might think of the quality of that film, this is a step forward as far as representation on the production side is concerned. It will be years before we get another Star Wars film, but a woman directing a future film should be looked into. It may seem somewhat surprising that it has taken this long in the Disney era of Lucasfilm. Kennedy did express that she was sad that she did not hire Nia DaCosta before Marvel Studios got her to direct the next Captain Marvel film. On the TV side of things, we know that Leslyle Headland has a series in the works. Television is the immediate future of live-action Star Wars, but perhaps we could have a female-directed film someday. For now, Lucasfilm is working with Kevin Feige and Taika Waititi on the film side, with the next film currently slated for a December 2023 release.

Source(s): The DisInsider