J.J. Abrams. Rian Johnson. Colin Trevorrow. All names that should be well known to Star Wars fans by now, as they’ve all been announced as directors for either the next Star Wars trilogy or one of the spin-off films arriving within the next few years. In many fans’ opinions, including this author’s, a female director’s name should also be on that list. Abrams apparently agrees with that sentiment, as he put Ava DuVernay’s name up on the docket as a suggestion. DuVernay, the acclaimed director of last year’s Selma, is widely considered to be one of the best directors working today — gender aside. Her name has also been bandied about in regards to other upcoming blockbusters like the Black Panther feature film, so it’s not like this is the first time that Ava has been suggested for something high profile with a large fandom. It’s also not completely a flight of fancy to put up her name. According to the L.A. Times, Kathleen Kennedy was quoted as saying:
[Disney] “very much support[s] the fact that we are trying to grow in the workforce the number of women in executive positions.”
In his interview with Nerdist, Abrams gave his reasoning for wanting DuVernay in the director’s chair as:
“DuVernay’s passion for genre filmmaking and the deft hand she showed with bringing Martin Luther King Jr.’s campaign for equal voting rights to life in the Oscar-winning film.”
Not only does DuVernay boast these accolades, but she’s also admired by many film fanatics who may not be Star Wars fans yet. It sounds crazy to say that there are people out there who aren’t fans of one of the most successful franchises of all time and could still be swayed, but if anybody could do it, DuVernay certainly could. It would be great to see her sink her teeth into a standalone Leia (or should we say General Organa) story, but why shoehorn her into directing a female-led movie just because she’s a female director?
DuVernay would bring great gravitas to a story about a family living in the Star Wars universe that’s adversely affected by the ongoing battles between the resistance and the enemy. Heck, she might even be able to turn around public perception of Jar Jar Binks. Just kidding, no one on this planet could pull off that miracle. Whatever she does or doesn’t do with the Star Wars series in the future, having her be a part of an amazing sci-fi franchise would be just plain awesome. And if she doesn’t, she remains one of the best in the business anyway. It’s a win-win!