Star Wars: Lucasfilm President Says Hiring Female Filmmakers Is "Absolutely a Priority"

One of the biggest complaints among Star Wars fans is that such a massive portion of the community is comprised of women and girls, yet all of the films in the franchise have been directed by men, though Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently claimed that it has become a "priority" to find more women to helm projects. There have been glimmers of hopes at the studio, as Victoria Mahoney served as a second unit director on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, while Deborah Chow, who directed episodes of The Mandalorian, is set to direct the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series, a trend which we hope continues at the studio.

"It's absolutely a priority. It's been very exciting to see the talent that's come in," Kennedy shared with TheWrap about enlisting more female filmmakers. "And we're now developing the limited Obi-Wan Kenobi series with Deborah Chow, and she's just been doing a phenomenal job."

The studio continues making strides towards this supposed priority, as Taika Waititi is writing a film with Krysty Wilson-Cairns, while Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland is developing a female-centric Star Wars series for Disney+. Kennedy also hinted that she had hoped to enlist Candyman and Little Woods director Nia DaCosta for a project, only for the filmmaker to instead be tapped for the Captain Marvel sequel.

"I was actually sad because I love Nia DaCosta, who was just announced to do Captain Marvel," Kennedy confessed. "She's another director I've been watching, and I think she's enormously talented. Certainly, the kind of television that's being made now is going to give many people an opportunity to direct more and be more involved with shows that have special effects and extended production values. It really gives people an opportunity to move into big technical movies. That's exciting. I think we can develop a lot of new talent and it's about time."

Despite these priorities, the future for the entire franchise seems at least a little uncertain. While Season Two of The Mandalorian managed to complete production before the coronavirus pandemic saw most movie and TV productions shut down, Lucasfilm's slate of planned Star Wars films were each delayed by a year, with films now expected to land in theaters in December of 2023, December of 2025, and December of 2027. Additionally, the Obi-Wan Kenobi series was rumored to start production this summer, only for reports to emerge prior to the pandemic that the shoot would be delayed in order to improve the series' scripts, leading us to wonder when that project could move forward.

Stay tuned for details on the future of the Star Wars franchise.

What do you think of Kennedy's remarks? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!


Header photo courtesy of Amanda Edwards/WireImage/Getty Images