Kathleen Kennedy Has ‘Every Intention’ of Finding a Female Director for Star Wars


Just when we thought the hole couldn’t get any deeper, Kathleen Kennedy clarified her earlier comments about hiring a female director for Star Wars.

In the middle of Kathleen Kennedy’s supposed crusade to make Star Wars movies more female-friendly, an interview was published by Variety that set the internet on fire.

During what appears to be a Star Wars renaissance, fans scrutinize nearly everything that comes out of Kennedy’s mouth. She is the president of Lucasfilm, after all. She has an unprecedented amount of power. So far, it seems like she’s intent on “settling the score” as she tips the balance of Star Wars in favor of women.

In November, Kennedy’s comments in Variety included, “We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do ‘Star Wars,’ they’re set up for success. They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.”

Basically, Kennedy made it sound like there were no experienced female directors out there. Which is weird considering Kennedy’s own humble beginnings as a personal assistant. Further, she hired Gareth Edwards for Rogue One. Prior to Star Wars, Edwards’ only other blockbuster experience was Godzilla.

So, many felt her comments remained unfounded and in poor taste.

But over the weekend, Kennedy walked back on her statements. During the Rogue One press conference, Kennedy explained they took her statements out of context.

She elaborated:

"“I, as you can imagine, have every intention of giving somebody an opportunity. If somebody actually moves through the process of making movies, and wants to make a Star Wars movie, and shows that they have actually stepped into the role on that level, of course we’re going to consider a woman. That goes without saying.”"

As you can imagine, her open-ended, non-specific response sounds exactly like something someone would say in this situation. It’s a textbook response.

Naturally, reporters pressed Kennedy for a better answer. But there’s little she can say to erase the fact that there most certainly are experienced female directors out there.

For starters, Kevin Feige (who leads one of the most successful franchises of modern cinema) almost hired Ava DuVernay to direct Black Panther. She ultimately decided to pass, but her foot was practically in the door. Then, of course, we have Patty Jenkins, who directed the upcoming Wonder Woman. As of right now, Wonder Woman looks like the DC Extended Universe’s saving grace.

Unfortunately, Kennedy can’t hide behind the claim that experienced female directors aren’t available. Not to mention, Kennedy doesn’t really employ any females in positions of power at Lucasfilm. Sure, she has Andi Gutierrez. And there are storyboard leaders that she trots out at various panels and whatnot. But that’s not enough.

In order to change the tides, it’s going to take a lot more than effort. Believe me when I say that no one wants Kathleen Kennedy to succeed more than I do. But I also recognize that she needs to put her money where her mouth is.

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One would assume that Kennedy might want her legacy to be more than just a series of good films. Currently, her remarks do more harm than good.

Before she finds a female director, maybe she should consider looking at her PR team.