Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy has declared that, “There’s nothing [she]’d like more,” than to see a woman directing a Star Wars film. Kennedy, who co-founded Amblin Entertainment with Steven Spielberg, and who became president of Lucasfilm after its purchase by the Walt Disney Company, made the statement while talking to The Guardian at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit this week.
“There is an assumption made that the people involved should predominantly be men,” Kennedy remarked when asked about getting a woman in the director’s chair for a future film in the franchise, before reminding people, in a statement that depressingly appears to have been necessary, that, “There are women who are Star Wars fans. That’s what’s so insane.”
Of course, acknowledging the insanity doesn’t change the fact that there are five Star Wars films in active development right now—The Force Awakens, Episode VIII, Episode IX, Rogue One, and the planned Han Solo movie—and that all of them are being directed by men. (Two of them, in the case of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller’s work on that last one.) Kennedy chalked the discrepancy up to “complicated” factors, but highlighted a failure to properly nurture talent as a major reason women don’t get tapped for the big-budget jobs.
“We need to not go to a filmmaker who’s done one movie,” she said—possibly alluding to Chronicle and Fantastic Four director Josh Trank, who either stepped down or was removed from a planned Star Wars spinoff film—“And expect them to come in and do something the size of Star Wars without having an opportunity to find other movies they can do along the way.” (Presumably, the many female directors working in Hollywood who have already completed far more than one movie should be expecting their call from Lucasfilm any day.)
Kennedy also acknowledged the importance of finding a good balance in the creative team, noting that six of the eight people behind the development of The Force Awakens were women. That mix, she stressed, was reflected in “the dialogue, the point of view”—and then she was presumably drowned out by the sound of a million devoted Star Wars fans—many of them, statistically, women—reflexively rushing to make jokes about how “a certain point of view,” is a phrase that gets used in the movies. (Later on, we’re guessing that someone else involved in the franchise had a “bad feeling” about their dinner, and the internet promptly burned to the ground.)