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The Mandalorian broke ground for Star Wars directors, as the iconic sci-fi series interrupted its all-white-guy-lineup at the top for a diverse group that included Rick Famuyiwa, Taika Waititi, Deborah Chow, and Bryce Dallas Howard. But the real draw of Star Wars has always been the movies. So would this hiring trend carry over to new films, once they’d been figured out? Nobody’s more qualified to answer that question than Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy—and to hear it from her, the answer is a resounding yes.
Kennedy has been criticized in the past for her creative talent’s homogeny, but now that The Rise of Skywalker (a film that saw the first woman, Victoria Mahoney, serve as second unit director for the series) has ended a chapter of the Star Wars story and The Mandalorian has seemingly opened the door for many, many, new ones, she’s got a new outlook on the subject. Speaking to the BBC, Kennedy mentioned all the female directorial talent that the Disney+ show had already accrued.
“We’ve already got them,” the Lucasfilm president said when asked about female Star Wars movie directors. “We’ve got two or three fantastic women working with Star Wars — we brought in Deborah Chow, who’s working on the Obi-Wan series — we’re cultivating a lot of great talent,” Kennedy said. Yes, The Mandalorian has been groundbreaking for the franchise, with Chow and Howard helming episodes, but the question was about the all-male directorial roster of the Star Wars feature films.
When the interviewer clarified that he wanted to know if a female director was going to get a Star Wars movie, Kennedy confirmed it: “Oh, absolutely. Without question.” That doesn’t sound like she has someone in mind, but it does sound like she’s made it a priority for the future. That’s understandable, considering that Star Wars as a whole has its cinematic future in flux after The Rise of Skywalker’s shakily-received finale.
What will the future of Star Wars films hold? Lots of talent — like The Last Jedi’s Rian Johnson and the MCU’s Kevin Feige, to name two figures that wouldn't really shake things up in the diversity department — has been hired to develop film ideas for a post-Skywalker Star Wars, but nothing concrete has come out since the recent saga finale. With Kennedy’s comments solidifying some of her past uncertainty regarding the diversity at the top of the franchise, at least fans can expect one step forward for the franchise — ”no question.”