Newly announced Star Wars director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy recently provided some details about her upcoming film and how she believes it is part of a movement of women “to move forward in places previously closed to them.”
Speaking with Vice News, Obaid-Chinoy first provided details about the upcoming film saying, “My name is Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and I’m directing the next Star Wars film. I’m excited about bringing Daisy Ridley back into the Star Wars galaxy, and in telling her story, I am excited to be immersed in the Jedi Academy, and I think there is so much excitement around the new Jedi order.”
@vicenews Pakistan-born Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will be the first woman and person of colour to direct one of three new Star Wars films. She’s Muslim, brown, an Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker and this is her first major Hollywood feature. #StarWars #womenoftiktok #Pakistan #southasian #director #movie #film #msmarvel #daisyridley #jedi ♬ original sound – VICE News
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She continued, “I’ve always kicked open doors that were previously closed, and I think my feeling is that there is a critical mass of women who have begun to move forward in placess that were previously closed to them.”
“I’ve been a filmmaker and a storyteller for the last 20 years. And a few years ago I began to think about what I wanted to do,” she said. “Ms. Marvel was coming around and I thought about a brown, Muslim superhero and what impact she would have on the way young girls themselves.”
“And you know, my filmmaking and storytelling has always been about championing heroes, men and women who really go through extraordinary circumstances to create a better tomorrow,” she asserted.
Obaid-Chinoy then went on to detail what she plans to bring to Star Wars, “When I became a filmmaker it was around 9/11, and it was at a time when brown and Muslim filmmakers really existed. This is our time. If you see Joyland, that’s a film that has come from Pakistan. If you see actors like Riz Ahmed and Kumail Nanjiani, Iman [Vellani[, the Ms. Marvel Pakistani-Canadian girl and how she’s become a global icon. In the soil that you live on in Pakistan, creativity has permeated through that for centuries. Remember that you come from these deep roots and carry that through.”
“Because the censorship, the pushback is temporary,” she proclaimed. “We will rise and we have been rising and when one person comes out, they need to open a door for another.”
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As for her claim that the film is somehow part of a critical mass for women who have begun to move forward in places that were previously shut to them, the truth couldn’t be farther from it.
Kathleen Kennedy, a woman, is the President of Lucasfilm and is one of the key personalities making creative decisions when it comes to Star Wars.
In fact, back in 2015 before The Force Awakens even debuted, Kennedy appeared at The Most Powerful Women Summit hosted by Fortune Magazine where she revealed one of her goals was to hire a female director.
Kennedy said, “I also feel that it is going to happen. We are going to hire a woman who’s going to direct a Star Wars movie. I have no doubt.”
“On the other hand, I want to make sure that we put somebody in that position who’s set up for success. It’s not just a token job to look out and try to find a woman that we can put into a position of directing Star Wars,” she explained.
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Interestingly, Kennedy went on to lament that she actually had an issue with finding female directors because many of them were not interested in Star Wars, “I have a huge number of men who call me constantly and tell me how much of a Star Wars fan they are and how much they want to get involved in anything to do with Star Wars.”
“I don’t have a lot of women who call and have those conversations with me. Now, that’s not to say there aren’t Star Wars fans out there and women who have been, their careers have been shaped by Star Wars if they’re in film. But it’s not in the same way that it is for men,” she noted.
“So that’s one of the challenges that we keep talking about. Is if we do want to bring a woman in to direct a Star Wars movie, we want to make sure that it’s somebody who’s passionate and really, really wants to do a Star Wars movie. We don’t want to talk somebody into it,” she concluded.
The door to direct a Star Wars film was not closed nearly a decade ago. So it’s unclear what in the world Obaid-Chinoy is talking about. And on top of that the top executive position is held by Kathleen Kennedy, a woman, at Lucasfilm.
What do you make of Obaid-Chinoy’s comments?
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