With the Skywalker saga now over following the release of “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is promising a more inclusive “Star Wars” franchise behind the camera in the future. Every “Star Wars” feature film has been directed by a male filmmaker (J.J Abrams was behind the camera for “Skywalker”), and Kennedy has faced increased pressure in recent years to diversify the franchise’s directing pool. While speaking to BBC News at the BAFTA awards, Kennedy was asked about whether or not a woman director would helm a “Star Wars” feature film in the future. “Oh absolutely,” Kennedy said. “Without question.”
Kennedy also pointed to the recently-launched “Star Wars” television show “The Mandalorian” for bringing in a new wave of female directors to the franchise. Select episodes of the series were helmed by the likes of Bryce Dallas Howard and Deborah Chow, the latter of which is at work on a Obi-Wan Kenobi series starring Ewen McGregor.
“We’ve already got [women directors],” Kennedy said. “On ‘The Mandalorian’ we’ve got two or three fantastic women working with ‘Star Wars.’ And we just brought in Deborah Chow who is doing the Obi-Wan series. We’re cultivating a lot of great talent.”
The Obi-Wan series was recently put on hold because Kennedy was allegedly unhappy with the scripts that had been written for the six-episode series. The series is still set to happen but the storyline is reportedly being overhauled, thus causing a delay in production. While no “Star Wars” feature film has been directed by a woman, filmmaker Victoria Mahoney recently made franchise history by serving as second unit director on “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
Kennedy made headlines back in 2015 for saying there were “many” women directors who had the potential to direct a “Star Wars” movie, adding “And I’ve talked to most of them.” Despite Kennedy’s assertion, the franchise has remained without any films even in development from a woman director. There are currently no “Star Wars” movies officially announced for the future. “The Last Jedi” filmmaker Rian Johnson is set to develop a new movie trilogy, but he’s made it clear he’s waiting for Lucasfilm to give him the go ahead to start. “Game of Thrones” creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were hired to direct a film but parted ways with Lucasfilm because they also have a Netflix deal that requires their time. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige is developing a “Star Wars” movie, but there’s no additional information about the project at this time.