Let's be frank: #StarWars has a representation problem. From the lack of #TheForceAwakens Rey merchandise to the absolute domination by male directors throughout the entire franchise, Star Wars still struggles to provide exposure for women.
The director spots for all 5 upcoming #StarWars films have already been allocated— except for one: the untitled final anthology film. And according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, the job is going to a woman.
With the film still four years away from release, the right woman for the job has still yet to be chosen. But in a recent interview, Kennedy assured fans that Lucasfilm are going to give plenty of thought to their choice:
“We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do 'Star Wars', they’re set up for success. They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”
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Truth be told, there has been slow but steady progress towards an ongoing feminist narrative throughout the Star Wars universe; a female director is the logical — and well overdue — next step in that direction. Take a look at the progress for yourself:
1. Not Your Average Princess
Righteous, defiant and relentlessly strong-willed, Leia Organa is one powerful woman. Despite her story being pretty tied-up in a questionable budding romance with Han "Won't-Take-No-For-An-Answer" Solo, she was a fitting leader for the Rebel Alliance, and a rarity in terms of female characters of that era.
2. Even More Strong Female Leads
While Star Wars has certainly not had anywhere near an equal ratio of male to female characters, the series has certainly boasted some powerful women. The Force Awakens' Rey precedes #RogueOne's female lead Jyn Erso, who looks to be just as headstrong as the very leader of the Alliance she's become entangled in. Both tasked with unimaginably important missions, Jyn and Rey are sure to redefine what it means to be an independent woman in a galaxy far, far away.
3. Rey's Resistance To Romance
The Force Awakens completely subverted our expectations by hinting at a romance subplot, then flipping it on its head. Despite Finn's obvious eagerness, Rey isn't having any of his hand-holding tactics and repeatedly blows him off, far more focused on her own journey of discovery. Regardless of what Finn may like to think, Rey is no damsel in distress.
The unexpected relationship between Rey and Finn could even be interpreted as somewhat of an attempt to make up for Leia and Padme's narratives being so incredibly focused on their romantic interests. Let's just hope that they continue to avoid the cliché romance factor for the rest of that trilogy.
4. Kathleen Kennedy Is On Board
Kathleen Kennedy is no amateur. She's been working alongside Steven Spielberg since 1981, and has produced a number of all-time great films, including Jurassic Park and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. But more importantly, she was named president of Lucasfilm in 2012 and producer of all new Star Wars films releases since The Force Awakens. If anyone's qualified to appoint an amazing female director for the final Star Wars anthology film, it's definitely her.
Of course, now the question on all of our minds: who's going to get the job?
Check out the latest female Star Wars lead in the latest Rogue One TV spot: