One day, a Star Wars movie will be directed by a woman, it's just not clear when that will happen or what the movie will be exactly. Be that as it may, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy assures that they will have a female director at the helm of a big screen adventure in a galaxy far, far away at some point in the future.
To date, no woman has been behind the camera for a Star Wars movie, at least not in the main chair anyway. Victoria Mahoney served as the second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker alongside J.J. Abrams. That represented progress, but many still want to see a woman get a shot at tackling a story in the legendary sci-fi franchise. During the recent BAFTA Awards, Kathleen Kennedy was asked if this is something we'll ever see during a red carpet interview. She seemed confident in her response.
"Oh, absolutely. Without question."
The franchise has been making strides recently. The Mandalorian, the first ever live-action Star Wars TV show, which debuted on Disney+ last year, saw a couple of female filmmakers in Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard directing installments. While it wasn't a full movie, these did serve as important, and not to mention beloved, entries in the Star Wars canon. This is something Kathleen Kennedy addressed when initially confronted with bringing female filmmakers into the fold at Lucasfilm.
"Oh, we've already got 'em. We're doing Mandalorian, we've got two or three fantastic women working with Star Wars. We just brought in Deborah Chow, who is doing the Obi-Wan series. We're cultivating a lot of great talent."
Deborah Chow is directing the Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ series, which will see Ewan McGregor reprising his role as the iconic Jedi. Again, that's a big step but directing a Star Wars movie is on another level. For now, the franchise will be taking a break from the movies for a few years to give fans a breather following the release of The Rise of Skywalker. Little is known about the future of the series, as no specific titles have been announced by the studio. Originally, Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were on deck to helm a trilogy, but they left last year.
Beyond that, we know Kevin Feige is producing a Star Wars movie. There are reports suggesting that the High Republic and Old Republic eras will be explored in future movies, but that has yet to be confirmed. There is also the mysterious Project Luminous, which is set to be revealed later this month. Currently, the next release is dated for December 2022. Whatever the projects end up being, there is certainly room for female directors in the future of the franchise and, if Kathleen Kennedy is good to her word, we'll see it happen. This news comes to us via the BBC.
When the still-untitled Indiana Jones 5 was officially announced, its targeted release date was July 19, 2019. Since then, Disney has pushed back its release date several times, and though we haven’t gotten an update in several months, it sounds like director Steven Spielberg and star Harrison Ford are still on board and the project is slowly inching toward production.
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy offered a quick Indiana Jones 5 update from the BAFTAs red carpet, which you can read below.
“We’re working away, getting the script where we want it to be and then we’ll be ready to go,” Kennedy told an interviewer from the BBC. “Harrison Ford will be involved, yeah. It’s not a reboot; it’s a continuation. He can’t wait. He absolutely is [up for it.]”
Considering all the delays, I suppose there may have been a chance that Lucasfilm had altered its approach to another Indiana Jones movie. After all, Harrison Ford isn’t getting any younger. If the film actually opens on its current release date of July 9, 2021, Ford will be just four days shy of celebrating his 79th birthday when audiences begin pouring in to see the movie. But Kennedy’s comment confirms that Lucasfilm is not interested in rebooting the franchise, and instead are committed to giving Ford one last ride as the famed archeologist/adventurer – and it sounds like the actor is eager to put the fedora on again. Sorry, Chris Pratt.
Back in 2016, Disney CEO Bob Iger was asked whether Indiana Jones might get its own full-fledged cinematic universe, akin to Lucasfilm’s other top-shelf franchise. “Not like Star Wars, no,” he said. “But we hope…right now, we’re focused on a reboot, or a continuum and then a reboot of some sort…we’ll bring [Harrison Ford] back, then we have to figure out what comes next. That’s what I mean.”
The fifth film has gone through the hands of several writers, including David Koepp, Jon Kasdan, and Dan Fogelman – and last we heard, it was back in Koepp’s hands. “I’m working on it again,” Koepp said in September. “We’re still trying. And I think we’ve got a good idea this time. We’ll see.”
Some fans still feel burned by 2008’s Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and Spielberg is definitely aware that he didn’t hit all the right notes for everyone that time around. “I think [Indiana Jones 5] is straight down the pike for the fans,” Spielberg said of the upcoming sequel a few years ago. “The one thing I will tell you is I’m not killing off Harrison [Ford] at the end of it.”
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker hit Blu-ray this week, and so did The Art of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. That means the final entry in the Skywalker Saga is back in the news yet again. Case in point: a new episode of The Star Wars Show on YouTube goes all-in on the many Rise of Skywalker props, including a plethora of stuff that appeared in John Williams‘ cameo scene. And these weren’t just your average props, either. Each was intended to reference a different film that featured a John Williams soundtrack.
Rise of Skywalker Props
This episode of The Star Wars Show has some up-close looks at the many props used in The Rise of Skywalker. There’s the Wayfinder that served as a very big MacGuffin. There’s Dark Rey’s cool-looking, but ultimately useless double-sided lightsaber. There’s even the medal Chewie gets at the end. But the coolest section of this video comes near the end, where the focus is on the props surrounding John Williams in his cameo as a bartender.
The props department made 40 different props from 40 different films that feature John Williams soundtracks, and a handful of them are on display here. The items have been Star Wars-ized, but if you look close enough, you can spot them. There’s a Time Turner from Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Then there are several miniature versions of the yellow barrels from Jaws. An iron is meant to represent the iron that smacks Marv in the face in Home Alone. A futuristic-looking fiddle is an homage to Fiddler on the Roof. Then there’s a tape reel-to-reel paying tribute to Nixon kids love Nixon references in their Star Wars films!. Rounding out the items: pilot wings meant to reference Catch Me if You Can; the Sankara Stones from Indiana Jones and the Temple Doom, and, of course, a whip meant to be a sci-fi replica of Indy’s classic bullwhip.
As disappointing as I find The Rise of Skywalker, I have to admit these John Williams-inspired props are neat, and a wonderful tribute to the man who has been responsible for the franchise’s most iconic music.