I’ll call this Op Ed, but something keeps bugging me as a woman and a long time Star Wars fan. We keep hearing all about how Leslye Headland is getting a new “female-centric” Star Wars show that will feature martial arts, and a new time-line, and may or may not change the Force, and how exciting it is to have a woman be doing a Star Wars show, etc., but what we don’t hear about is Deborah Chow. She is an asian director that worked on The Mandalorian and is the director of the upcoming Obi-wan show for Disney+.
The headlines about Headland keep promoting her and her show, like it’s somehow new for a woman to do a Star Wars show or that strong women in Star Wars is a new thing, I can assure you it’s not. The franchise has had “strong female” characters in the movies, shows, books and games for years.
As far as female directors we had them with The Mandalorian. We got Bryce Dallas Howard and Deborah Chow as the first women to helm live-action Star Wars stories. But for some reason those women aren’t getting the fan fare that Headland seems to be getting.
Headland has already been controversial after she deleted over 200 tweets before her Star Wars announcement and she is also the same person who sat at an inclusion summit and “called white women out” saying:
“I think white women need to kind of step up their game, to be quite honest. Sorry, but I’m calling you b***hes out. You really do. ‘Cause like, I couldn’t agree more with everything these women are saying, but I’m also seeing the silent killer, which is a lot of white women at the top who are kind of reinforcing a lot of old ideas.”
I just found it ironic considering how much attention Headland is getting and yet we hardly hear anything about Deborah Chow, who is also a female director and who has been part of ‘Star Wars’ much longer. Could it be because she is directing a show about a beloved male character and not a show that’s defining feature is that it’s a “female-centric” Star Wars show? Frankly I’m getting so sick of these agenda pushing shows and Chow doesn’t seem to be interested in anything except doing the best she can do at her job.
Chow even told Vanity Fair:
“I want it to be about the work. I want to be a good director, not a good female director, not a good Asian director. But by the same token, obviously, my career path and the representation… it is important. It is meaningful. I want to see more women directors and I want to see more directors of color.”
Meanwhile Headland and Kathleen Kennedy seen to be on a mission to push Headland out in the media, while two pioneering female directors already had the honors of being first. If I didn’t already feel like there was some kind of strange agenda surrounding all of this, I would definitely think something was up after seeing the story being pushed surrounding this new show. And the way they are stepping over other women to promote just one woman.
Personally, I would love to see more with Bryce Dallas Howard and I can’t wait to see what Deborah Chow does with the new Obi-wan show. But if I’m being honest, they turned me off of this “new direction” just from the choices, behavior, and possible agenda being spun. As a female Star Wars fan, I just want good shows with good characters, told by talented people. Sometimes those characters are female and sometimes they aren’t and that’s fine. But stop acting like women weren’t important in Star Wars before 2015 and stop acting like Headland is ground breaking when she really isn’t.
Source: Vanity Fair