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Why Star Wars Has Waited to Hire A Female Director So Far

Star Wars

The Star Wars franchise is one of the biggest and most successful in movie history and while it has made great strides in recent years to put more women in front of the camera, it has not had the same success behind it. However, the most powerful person behind all of Star Wars is a woman and Kathleen Kennedy is committed to bringing a female director into the Star Wars universe, once the right one with the right experience comes along.

We want to make sure that when we bring a female director 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. We want to really start to focus in on people we would love to work with and see what kinds of things they're doing to progress up that ladder now, and then pull them in when the time is right

Apparently, it doesn't matter if you're trying to be a film director or just looking for a new job in any other walk of life, you need experience, but nobody seems to want to be the job to give it to you. The Star Wars movies are gigantic, this is true, but how does one get the experience necessary to direct gigantic movies without directing gigantic movies?

As Variety points out, fewer that 12% of last year's biggest box office movies were directed by women. Part of the issue is that the lack of support for female directors is a self-perpetuating problem. There simply aren't as many female directors in Hollywood at all levels. This means that when you're looking at the top tier of directors to direct your big tent pole franchise movie, the percentage of female directors who are at that level is an even smaller percentage of embarrassingly small quantity.

It would appear though that if you're up and coming director, of any gender, Lucasfilm has their eye on you. Kathleen Kennedy's comments imply that the studio is looking down the road when it comes to directors, not just which movies they're going to make. If they see something that they think could benefit their franchise, they'll keep that in mind when the right job comes along.

The directing jobs for all of Star Wars current projects have already been announced. Gareth Edwards is wrapping up Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which hits screens in a few weeks. Rian Johnson is in post-production on Star Wars: Episode VIII while Phil Lord and Chris Miller are in pre-production on the Han Solo movie. Colin Trevorrow is waiting in the wings to start Star Wars: Episode IX. We know there is a film planned for 2020 but we know as much about its director as we do its plot. Perhaps that will be the film that finally introduces a female director to the galaxy far, far away.

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.