5 Female Directors Who Should Helm A Star Wars Movie


Let’s be frank. Star Wars has been dominating popular culture for over forty years now, but in that time, its movies have never been directed by women. To date, every single Star Wars film has been helmed by a white man – and in 2018, we need to call that what it is: a discriminatory pattern.

Now, to some, that will sound like a stern position to take, and there are inevitably those that snap to the defence of the directorial hiring policies of Lucasfilm – throwing around terms like, ‘meritocracy,’ and statements like, ‘you can’t hire women just because they’re women.’ The fact that the majority of people issuing those responses are white men speaks volumes in itself – because nobody wants their dominant position to be challenged. But, unfortunately, both of these go-to arguments are demonstrably inaccurate.

To argue that the directing jobs so far assigned in the Star Wars franchise are the result of a meritocracy is absurd, because it suggests that there are no women directors currently working who have experience, ability and pitching skills that are comparable to Rian Johnson or Gareth Edwards, for example. And the statement that ‘you can’t hire women just because they’re women,’ is not applicable, because that’s not what we’re asking for. We’re simply asking for women to be hired on exactly the same terms and criteria as men. That’s equality.

But, we can see that we’ve reached forty years with no women directors for Star Wars, because the required standard for female filmmakers is apparently constantly shifting, as far as Lucasfilm is concerned. For example, in 2015, The Guardian asked President and CEO Kathleen Kennedy about the lack of women directors for announced, future Star Wars films while she was promoting The Force Awakens, and here’s what she said:

“There’s nothing I’d like more than to find a female director for Star Wars… We need to not go to a filmmaker who’s done one movie and expect them to come in and do something the size of Star Wars without having an opportunity to find other movies they can do along the way.”

For context, when Kathleen Kennedy gave this response, Lucasfilm had already hired Gareth Edwards to direct Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, after he made 2010’s Monsters (budget, $500,000) and 2014’s Godzilla (budget, $160 million). In other words, he was hired for Star Wars after making only one big budget studio film – in direct contradiction to the criteria Kennedy cited for the hiring of women directors.