Since 1977, all 11 live-action Star Wars films have been directed by men, while the two live-action TV series, The Mandalorian and the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story prequel, have men as showrunners, with Russian Doll co-creator Leslye Headland recently expressing her excitement at getting to develop a series for the galaxy far, far away as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. While Lucasfilm has yet to hire a female filmmaker to helm a feature film, despite Kathleen Kennedy serving as president of the studio, Headland is one of two women who are serving as showrunners on highly anticipated projects, as Mandalorian director Deborah Chow is serving as the showrunner of the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi TV series.
"It's shocking to hear that to me," Headland revealed to Entertainment Weekly when discussing what she represents in the legacy of Lucasfilm. "Although I know it's true because there are so few of us that are allowed to sit at the table, so to speak, and many, many more that are still not allowed. It's an honor in the sense that I feel incredibly grateful and lucky. I also would say that... I think [author] Fran [Lebowitz] would agree with this, that a lot of this business is luck. A lot of it is."
Given that the narrative of Star Wars and the filmmakers behind movies and TV series have been criticized for failing to represent the diversity of their audience, Headland hopes that, now that she's gotten her foot in the door, it will open up new opportunities for those who haven't been represented in such a massive franchise.
"The number one way to get into the room is when people send the elevator back down for you," Headland pointed out. "The real joy is when I read a young woman's script, or a young woman of color's script, or a young LGBTQ writer and say, 'Oh my God, this is great. This is great. I'm going to send this off to this person. You know who I know would love this? It is so and so. I'm going to send that to that person.' I don't say that in an altruistic way or yay me, or I'm a good person. I'm saying that actually makes me happy."
Few details about the new project have been revealed, though reports claim that the project will be female-centric. While Season Two of The Mandalorian wrapped earlier this year, word has yet to emerge on when the Cassian Andor series will resume production or when the Obi-Wan series will start shooting, making it anyone's guess as to when Headland's series could move forward.
Stay tuned for details on the new series.
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