Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.
The Schmooze

Yet Another White Man Picked To Direct The New ‘Star Wars’ Series

As the “Star Wars” franchise has taught us, anything can happen in space. A princess can become a senator, a spy, and a general. A neurotic robot can form an enduring friendship with a flippant droid. An orphaned scavenger can lead a resistance movement. Laser swords can be used alongside mental manipulation in an intergalactic war between good and evil.

But “Star Wars” has also taught us that only white men can tell these stories. On Thursday it was announced that Jewish director Jon Favreau will write and produce the new live action “Star Wars” television series. This means that the “Star Wars” franchise’s legacy of offering top writing and directing jobs exclusively to white men will remain pristine. As Variety notes, of the 17 films (existent or planned) in the 41 year-old franchise, just one has had a woman in a major creator’s role. That was Leigh Brackett, who wrote “The Empire Strikes Back” 38 years ago.

Favreau, who gave the world not one but three “Iron Man” movies as well as that really great scene where Scarlett Johansson eats spaghetti in “Chef”, is no doubt capable. But perhaps another perspective could bring us away from the blandly predictable plots and tropes that “Star Wars” films have a tendency to lean on. There is a theory that the earliest and most magical “Star Wars” movies were saved by the brilliant editing of George Lucas’ wife, Marcia Lucas. And now the highest role at Lucas Films is occupied by a woman, Kathleen Kennedy. You know what they say — if two broads manage not to mess it up, maybe give a third a try?

Given the race and gender diversity in the cast of the most recent “Star Wars” movies, it is clear that the franchise is trying to do better. But as we know, the reality is do or do not do. There is no try.

Jenny Singer is a writer for the Forward. You can reach her at [email protected] or on Twitter @jeanvaljenny

I hope you appreciated this article. Before you go, I’d like to ask you to please support the Forward’s award-winning, nonprofit journalism during this critical time.

Now more than ever, American Jews need independent news they can trust, with reporting driven by truth, not ideology. We serve you, not any ideological agenda.

At a time when other newsrooms are closing or cutting back, the Forward has removed its paywall and invested additional resources to report on the ground from Israel and around the U.S. on the impact of the war, rising antisemitism and the protests on college campuses.

Readers like you make it all possible. Support our work by becoming a Forward Member and connect with our journalism and your community.

Make a gift of any size and become a Forward member today. You’ll support our mission to tell the American Jewish story fully and fairly. 

— Rachel Fishman Feddersen, Publisher and CEO

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.