Kathleen Kennedy’s admission that experience is needed to helm a Star Wars movie, combined with the fact that research shows only 9% of directors of the top 250 grossing films of 2015 in the U.S. are female, suggests that when a woman finally does direct a Star Wars project, it could well be a fresh face at an early stage of their career that Lucasfilm has scouted out and believe has the potential for great things.
Of course, some movie fans could present the argument that a director – or indeed any member of a film crew – should be hired solely based on whether they are right for the job and studios should focus solely on skills and experience. As such, some Star Wars fans may claim that they’d rather gender not be a factor in Lucasfilm’s discussions as to who should sit behind the camera on the franchise’s forthcoming projects.
However, the statistics undeniably demonstrate a disproportionate amount of female directors working on major Hollywood movies, despite the rich talent of names such as Ava DuVernay (who is helming Disney’s $100 million adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time) and Susanne Bier. In order to break the pattern, it’s likely some kind of positive action from a major force in the industry is required and Lucasfilm’s desire to bring about such a change should be commended. After all, giving talented female directors bigger platforms to share their filmmaking prowess can only be a good thing.