More female-centered ‘Star Wars’ Universe

THE revelation that Lucasfilm has planned three new films that would cover the whole span of the legendary chronology to which every Star Wars film is tied was perhaps the greatest news to come out of Star Wars Celebration this year. More sophisticated and well-written major female characters have been included across the Star Wars franchise’s galaxy.

During the discussion about how Lucasfilm balances fan expectations with the kinds of stories it wants to convey, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy stated that the recently announced Ahsoka, The Acolyte and a Daisy Ridley-led Star Wars film to be directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy are hints that even more female-led films set in that galaxy are being considered.

Kennedy said, “We don’t set out to say, ‘Okay, this is going to be a project led by women’ – it evolves that way. And I’m pleasantly surprised to see there’s a balance in the Force, let’s put it that way. Because in everything that we’ve been doing, I think we have attracted some really strong women both in front of the camera and behind the camera and that’s been thrilling.”

Among the women leading the Ahsoka series are Natasha Liu Bordizzo as Mandalorian fighter Sabine Wren, Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Twi’lek pilot Hera Syndulla, and Rosario Dawson as the former-Jedi turned outcast Ahsoka Tano. Genevieve O’Reilly will also be making an appearance as legacy character Mon Mothma.

Kennedy claimed that Rey is the first of many intriguing personalities that can potentially form. She also added that director Obaid-Chinoy has “brilliant ideas” and is developing some pretty intriguing characters.

Ridley made her film debut as Rey in The Force Awakens in 2015, then starred in The Last Jedi in 2017 before ending out her story in The Rise of Skywalker in 2019.

However, at the same event, The Mandalorian co-creator Dave Filoni claimed that he was not particularly concerned about consciously developing female characters.

“It’s honestly not something that I plan,“ he said. “The characters are everything that has gathered through time.”

He noted: ’These are great heroes. There’s no end to the type of heroes, you just need to have interesting people playing them and interesting challenges for them.”