As fantastic and inspiring as the Star Wars movies may be, they commonly fall under fire for one serious issue: Their lack of female directors. However, Lucasfilm’s General Manager Lynwen Brennan has revealed that this issue will soon be fixed.
Earlier this year, Variety released a statistic about Star Wars that infuriated a lot of people: 96% of the franchise’s writers and directors have been white males. Gender inequality has been a hot topic in the movie industry for quite some time now, with diversity now becoming one of the most important things in Hollywood. Unfortunately, this hasn’t seemed to be a priority at Lucasfilm.
Even with Lucasfilm’s President Kathleen Kennedy being female, those under her also in creative positions, such as writers and directors, mostly seem to be white males. While many of these people have done great work that we certainly do not want to discredit, the demand for diversity on the creative side of things is still relevant.
Fortunately, Lynwen Brennan, the General Manager of Lucasfilm and President of Industrial Light & Magic came forward in recent interview with WalesOnline to provide a glimmer of hope for the future of Star Wars. Here is what Brennan had to say on the possibility of a woman taking up the mantle of director for a future Star Wars movie.
“I think it’s certainly something we’re keen on and there are some fantastic directors out there. It’s going to happen!… [Kathleen Kennedy’s] leadership team has always been 50 percent women because they happen to be the best at their job. [We at Industrial Light & Magic] haven’t had a quota at that leadership stage. However, we are getting a lot more pragmatic and specific about not accepting the level we have regarding women in visual effects and technology.”
This is certainly a step in the right direction for the movie industry. For decades, the movie industry, particularly movies in the science fiction genre, have been mostly male-dominated. In fact, the 80s science fiction hit The Thing starring Kurt Russell not only had an all-male cast, but an all-male crew as well. While things have certainly progressed since then, there is still a lot of work to be done.
The possibility of a female-directed Star Wars is certainly enlightening to a lot of people. While to many, this does not seem like a big issue, it is a great concern for many women, particularly those who want to break into the movie industry. The success of female directors like Patty Jenkins and Greta Gerwig has certainly sparked hope for many aspiring female filmmakers, and allowing a woman to direct a Star Wars sequel or spin-off would only help further that in a positive way.
While it may still be several years before we ever see a female-directed Star Wars movie, hearing this confirmation come from one of the higher-ups at Lucasfilm certainly adds a touch of optimism to everything. Hopefully one day, the statistic of male dominance in Star Wars featured in Variety will become a much smaller number than 96%.