Star Wars: 96% of franchise's directors and writers are white men

Clarisse Loughrey
Rex Features

There's a deep, bracing irony within the Star Wars universe.

Despite the franchise making significant strides in onscreen diversity thanks to the likes of The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and Rogue One - which has won Disney a good amount of (deserved) praise - that diversity does not stand behind the screen.

The 41-year-old franchise, with 17 feature films either released or currently planned, has seen white men form 96% of its leading creative voices - specifically as writers, directors, or otherwise taking creative lead on a film.

Calculated by Variety, 23 of 24 key creators were white men. The only exception was Leigh Brackett, a white woman who had a screenplay credit on The Empire Strikes Back.

Lucasfilm may boast a woman at its head, Kathleen Kennedy, but its leadership has failed to find reflection in who's actually being hired to tell the stories of the Star Wars universe. The news that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will oversee an entire trilogy of films only deepens the disappointment.

The high-profile success of Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman last year, the record-breaking pre-sales of Ryan Coogler's Black Panther, the hefty budget of Ava DuVernay's A Wrinkle in Time, the continuing commercial success of F. Gary Gray and Justin Lin's work: all proof that no more excuses can stand.

As Carey Mulligan pointed out to Variety: "If [Mudbound director and screenwriter] Dee Rees was a white man she'd be directing the next Star Wars."

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