Kevin Feige: From the MCU to the Galaxy Far, Far Away

Move over Spidey, Kevin Feige is making space in his heart for the Galaxy Far, Far Away. As reported on October 25, Feige has been invited by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to have a hand producing a future Star Wars film.  Among the fan community the reaction has been mixed. Some, quite fairly, groaned at the aspect of creative control of a Star Wars property in the hands of one more white man. To recap, here’s the list of previous Star Wars films that have not had a white man in the captain’s chair so to speak:             .

Right, only with the advent of The Mandalorian has a live action property had a director that did not meet the aforementioned demographic.  Hence, the disappointment that followed the news.  Diversity behind the camera, in the production side, is important because different people bring with them different experiences, perspectives on the world around them, and channeling just one demographic narrows this creative conduit. However, some fans greeted Feige’s stepping over from Marvel Studios as a possibility for advancement in representation.

After all, once Feige was able to operate without the interference of Ike Perlmutter, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was enriched with the additions of Black Panther and Captain Marvel.  Indeed, Feige has already announced sequels to these highly successful films, the former being the first MCU film to receive a Best Picture Oscar nomination.  Feige’s Phase 4 promises to be the most inclusive round of superhero films ever produced, but what does that mean for his role in producing a Star Wars film? This is where the crystal ball becomes cloudy.  Feige has shown he will tap people of color and women to direct films, but will he do it here?  It is, unfortunately, a wait and see that is bereft of the potentially more exciting prospects for storytelling had a different candidate, a person of color, for example, been offered the same level of opportunity.

Deborah Chow, Announced Showrunner for Obi-Wan Kenobi Series

By Jess Shitara

After a dry spell on the representation front, StarWars.com announced that Deborah Chow will be directing the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series on Disney’s streaming service— starring Ewan McGregor as Kenobi.

Chow will be directing an episode(s) of The Mandalorian, airing on Disney+ November 12, which also has a diverse directing roster.

Chow will be joined by Hussein Amini, an Iranian-British writer (The Alienist). Other than Doug Chiang, these are the first Asian creatives announced for a live-action project and it shows promise that the TV arm of LFL’s Star Wars train is listening to our plea for more diverse storytellers behind the camera. Kennedy’s comments from Starwars.com mentioned that they saw how well Chow was able to develop characters in The Mandalorian, and it gave them faith she would do right by Kenobi.

A few comments were floating around the Twitter-verse about how Chow is not a well-known Director. Systemic misogyny and racism in Hollywood has historically made it difficult for people with backgrounds like Chow and Amini to break into major franchises like Star Wars. It’s a good sign that these big studios are actively assessing their head count and seeking out different perspectives, especially for original trilogy fan favorites like Kenobi.

While the team at #swrepmatters is thrilled by this news, we are still ready to see more diversity and inclusion on the silver screen, and not just TV, books, and comics.

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