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With the Star Wars franchise currently planning to regularly grace our theater screens for decades to come, the lineup of creative talent needed to put all these movies together is not insignificant. J.J. Abrams, director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, has a pretty clear idea of at least one person who should be involved at some point.
To me, the knee-jerk reaction if I had to [name someone] is Ava DuVernay, who I think would just kill it. She is as much a fan of genre movies ... and hearing her talk about, not just Star Wars, but hearing her talk about those kinds of films is evidence that she would just kill it. When you look at her work in Selma, which was as well told, sophisticated and humane as I think has come out in the last decade, I mean, she is just — if she can do that story that well, there's no question she'd kill [a Star Wars] movie.
J.J. Abrams relayed his opinion to Nerdist, and I have to say, that’s a choice I wasn’t expecting. In fact, even though I know anyone who loves movies enough to direct them must enjoy a wide variety of films, I’m surprised he named someone who doesn’t have a history of science fiction, fantasy or frantic action films behind them. In my mind Abrams only pays attention to the films that would be put in the same category with his own. I know, that’s unfair. But, at least he’s totally surpassed my expectations in that regard.
J.J. Abrams seems to be echoing the feelings of the Star Wars brass in choosing a woman as a potential director. Recent weeks have seen Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy say that having a woman take the helm of one of the many upcoming Star Wars films is something the company is actively looking to make happen within a few years.
Ava DuVernay had a major breakthrough in her directorial career with last year’s Selma. Until July she was in talks to helm Black Panther, the stand alone Marvel film that’s being prepped. While that ended up not playing out due to the difference between her idea of what the movie could be and Marvel’s, her interest in doing movies that don’t quite have their feet all the way on the ground is noted. DuVernay is also on record saying that she likes to "deconstruct heroes, deconstruct myths," and what other category does the Star Wars universe fit into at this point?
I think Ava DuVernay would make a good choice. I have a feeling she’d certainly be able to ground any story she chose to tell, no matter how much of a suspension of disbelief was necessary for the overall tale. A DuVernay Star Wars movie would probably be the most real, emotional and deep Star Wars film ever.
It would be nice if, once the powers that be get further along in planning those future movies, they did approach Ava DuVernay. It sounds like she’s open to anything that she thinks she can put her stamp on, and having her stamp on a Star Wars film would be a solid move.