Let's face it, Hollywood has a bit of a bad track record when it comes to diversity, both on and off screen. With recent controversies such as this years Oscars along with a wave of vocal protests against gender and racial bias from artists in the industry, the equality wave seems to just now be gaining momentum. From the very first film in the 70's to this years Rogue One spin-off, Star Wars has been pushing Hollywood into new diverse territory especially now.
When A New Hope or simply Star Wars as it was known in 1977 was released, fans were amazed and delighted. A whole ensemble of characters were put together that would later be solidified as legendary icons. Among them was Carrie Fisher who portrayed the young Princess Leia. This princess was not the type you were accustomed to in the fairy tails. This was an independent, ass-kicking, rebel leader of a princess that proved women can stand shoulder to shoulder with men on screen in an epic action space opera.
If we fast forward the clock to the present day, we now live in a world where a new Star Wars universe is literally being unveiled before our eyes which involves a new trilogy, starring a woman, Daisy Ridley, who's performance and characterization is already beloved by fans, along with great performance by another lead actor, John Boyega, who just so happens to be black. With the release of new spin-off films to come, beginning with Rogue One later this year, Star Wars continues to push the envelope. The film brings another acclaimed female performer to the forefront in Felicity Jones, while also offering a diverse cast of equally acclaimed actors onto the big screen such as Diego Luna, Donnie Yen, and Forrest Whitaker to name a few.
Despite what some naysayers and detractors might post on social media, this is great news. Not just for those in Hollywood making a lot more money than I am, but for anyone who has ever seen and experienced a movie at one point or another. Gone are the days in which the opinions of fanboys were the only ones with weight. Welcome to the forum fangirls! To parents everywhere, you have great films with more on the way, to show your kids who can imagine being Luke Skywalker, Princess Leia, Han Solo, Rey or Finn just to skim the surface. And to the many Hollywood hopefuls out there, imagine a time when you are no longer ignored for a job or role because of the color of your skin or the piece of the gender pie you are a part of.
No, this shift in Hollywood will not happen over night but Star Wars is proving that it might not be so far far away...