5 Female Directors Who Should Helm A Star Wars Movie


Princess Leia in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Since then, for directing, Lucasfilm has hired Rian Johnson (after three feature films), Colin Trevorrow (after one big budget studio pic), and Phil Lord and Chris Miller (after four features – two of which were animated). As we know, Colin Trevorrow has since been replaced by J.J. Abrams for Episode IX, while Phil Lord and Chris Miller were replaced by Ron Howard on Solo: A Star Wars Story – but the point is that Lucasfilm still willingly rolled the dice on those white male directors in the first place. Meanwhile, the will to roll the dice on women directors – or indeed the countless qualified directors who are men of colour – is apparently beyond the scope of this science fiction fantasy film series.

There are the predictable cries of “Lucasfilm can’t be sexist – it’s run by a woman!” but, these exclamations simply demonstrate a lack of understanding about the way sexism manifests in a patriarchal society, by way of internalized misogyny and structural bias.

“Maybe women directors don’t want to work on Star Wars movies!” And maybe Star Wars apologists will say anything – without the evidence to back it up – to justify the exclusion of women from the helm.

The point here is that it’s the nature of the industry that we rarely hear about who pitched for a directing job before it was assigned to a particular filmmaker and announced to the press. For that reason, it’s not possible to argue which women should have been given a job – just as it’s not possible to argue that women aren’t pitching in the first place. What we can do, however, is continue the public discourse about which women directors are clearly qualified for a Star Wars job based on the same experience criteria as the men who’ve been hired, since experience is at the core of Kathleen Kennedy’s comments.

Perhaps these women would love to direct a Star Wars movie, or perhaps they have no interest in it at all. They’ve all earned their place in the conversation, though, and the conversation serves to illustrate two points. Firstly, if these women are interested in directing, why have we had forty years of male directors? Secondly, if they’re not interested in directing, shouldn’t Lucasfilm be examining the reasons why it’s unable to attract these incredible talents?

Whichever is the reality, here are five women directors who meet the criteria set out by Lucasfilm’s own Kathleen Kennedy in her past comments to the press.

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