Star Wars is so often championed as one of the most diverse, culturally rich franchises in film history. But behind the lens, it’s a decidedly different story.
To date, all nine instalments in the prestigious Lucasfilm series have been directed by white male filmmakers: George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Richard Marquand, J.J. Abrams, Gareth Edwards and, thanks to The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson, but the latter believes it’s high time for a change.
Currently doing the press rounds for his critically-acclaimed sequel (our review), Johnson addressed the diversity in Lucasfilm’s pool of directors – or lack thereof – and called on studio executives to mix things up in the not-so-distant future.
Hell yes it’s time! There are so many incredibly talented female directors, directors of color out there. And so many I would love to see play in this universe. Yes please, I would love it to happen.
Patty Jenkins (Wonder Woman) and Ava DuVernay (A Wrinkle in Time) are two big-name directors who have been linked with Star Wars in the past, while Taika Waititi (Thor: Ragnarok) has been publically endorsed by Kathleen Kennedy – even if the director himself has cooled rumors of a potential trip to that galaxy far, far away.
Elsewhere, Jordan Peele is another name that springs to mind, as his Get Out will be remembered as one of 2017’s best films for its unflinching approach to systemic racism. It’s also a damn funny one – and scary, too!
And so, with three all-new Star Wars pics in the pipeline, surely Lucasfilm will seize the opportunity and appoint a woman director or a filmmaker of color? Remember, Rian Johnson has only committed to launching the first pic – he is set to write all three instalments, and will seemingly enjoy unbridled freedom while doing so – so the door is certainly open for Lucasfilm and Disney to introduce some new blood.
Closer to home, The Last Jedi is all set to open big on December 15th, and by Sunday, the Rian Johnson-directed sequel will have amassed a staggering $425 million worldwide.