'The Last Jedi' Director Calls For Diversity Behind the Scenes of New 'Star Wars' Films

The three new Star Wars films that have hit theaters since Disney's purchase of Lucasfilm have all featured much more diversity among its cast than was featured in the original trilogy of films, a fact which many audiences have celebrated. Behind the camera, on the other hand, the studio has been criticized for its lack of diversity, something which writer/director Rian Johnson hopes changes with his upcoming trilogy of Star Wars films.

"We need some directors who aren't white dudes," Johnson shared with the L.A. Times. "And [Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy] knows it, too. It just has to happen. I mean, come on. It has to happen."

Between the nine released live-action films and multiple announced films and TV projects, all of the attached directors have been white men, much to the dismay of fans who aren't white men and wish to see themselves represented not just on screen, but behind the cameras as well.

It's easy to get frustrated with each announcement about future projects and the creative minds driving them, though Johnson is aware of the issues and implies that the studio is aware of those concerns as well.

"The thing is, I don't feel that the powers that be are pushing back on new or unprecedented stuff," Johnson pointed out. "Quite the contrary. I feel like Disney and Lucas film and Kathy are actively looking for filmmakers and voices that are going to push it forward because they know that's the only way it can stay alive."

The Last Jedi is only one case of Lucasfilm being open to new ideas, as the film took dramatic narrative steps that circumvented expectations in the world of Star Wars.

"When people ask me, 'Don't you think people are going to get sick of Star Wars movies?' to me that question indicates that they're thinking of Star Wars movies as a museum exhibit that is wheeled out once a year so you can say, 'Oh, I loved that thing. Oh, I remember that thing!'" Johnson shared. "And yes, if Star Wars is that, people are going to get sick of it really quickly."

With J.J. Abrams directing Episode IX, audiences will have to wait until Johnson's new trilogy of films to potentially see a filmmaker who isn't a "white dude" at the helm.

Episode IX lands in theaters on December 20, 2019.

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[H/T L.A. Times]