Star Wars Boss Kathleen Kennedy Promises There Will ‘Absolutely’ Be More Female Directors

Deborah Chow in The Mandalorian

The Star Wars franchise recently finished off the Skywalker Saga by bringing the story of Rey to a close. The first female protagonist in a live-action Star Wars film was a big step forward for the series, but while the Star Wars movies have done better with representation in front of the camera in recent years, the brand has received some criticism over the years for its lack of that behind the same camera.

To put it bluntly, all the directors of Star Wars films have been dudes. In the past, Kennedy's comments on potential female directors in Star Wars have been criticized because she's implied that a female director would need to prove themselves before handling a Star Wars movie, which doesn't seem like too much to ask, except that at some point any director has to be given a chance, and if they're not, they can't ever prove anything.

Last night, Kathleeen Kennedy was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, a lifetime achievement award which the highest honor given by the organization. Following the presentation, the BBC asked Kennedy about the future of women behind the camera of Star Wars, and Kennedy stated that the franchise is already moving forward with female directors, both in regards to The Mandalorian and the upcoming Obi-Wan series on Disney+. According to Kennedy...

We've already got them. We're doing 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.

Three episodes of the first season of The Mandalorian were directed by women. Two were handled by Deborah Chow and a third was directorial debut of Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow, as Kennedy mentions here, is now moving on to act as showrunner for the new Obi-Wan Kenobi series, which is currently going through some delays, but is apparently still moving forward.

Of course, Disney+ series isn't really the question that was being asked. What we're curious about is women directing the flagship, taking on big screen theatrical Star Wars films. When pressed on that, Kathleen Kennedy says that, yes, it will happen...

Oh absolutely. Without question.

While it seem certain, yes, one day, a woman will direct a Star Wars film, we have no idea when that will be, mostly because we have no idea exactly what's happening with Star Wars on the big screen. There are three movies on Disney's release calendar, coming out every other year starting in 2022, but with the exit of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss who were helming the first of them, we don't really know what the plan is now. Of course, the Game of Thrones pair leaving certainly opens the door for a woman to come in and pick things up.

And while seeing women direct episodes of Star Wars TV might feel like a significant step below the big screen, perhaps it will turn out to be the path to getting a big screen gig. Either way, the day that we'll see this new perspective on Star Wars is coming, we just don't know when.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

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