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Lucasfilm president walks back remarks about women directing Star Wars

Kathleen Kennedy: “I have every intention” of giving a woman a chance at the job

Jyn Erso, a dark haired woman wearing a jacket and scarf, emerges from the shadows in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Lucasfilm/Disney

Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said her previous comments about hiring a female director for Star Wars would happen when the time was right were taken out of context.

Kennedy was asked about her comments during a press conference for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the next installment in the Star Wars franchise and the first stand-alone film. When asked what the future of Star Wars looked like for women, Kennedy said that she has “every intention of giving someone an opportunity,” as seen in the video below.

“That quote was taken out of context,” Kennedy said. “If someone actually moves through the process of making movies and wants to make a Star Wars movie and shows that they have actually stepped into the role on that level, of course we’re going to consider a woman. That goes without saying.”

The quote Kennedy is referring to came out of a recent interview with Variety. In the article published, Kennedy was quoted as saying that Lucasfilm would bring on a female director to helm a Star Wars film when the time was right. To date, every Star Wars film has been directed by a white man. That's true for ones planned to 2019, too.

“We want to make sure that when we bring a female director in to do Star Wars they’re set up for success,” Kennedy told the magazine. “They’re gigantic films, and you can’t come into them with essentially no experience.

“We want to really start to focus in on people we would love to work with and see what kinds of things they’re doing to progress up that ladder now, and then pull them in when the time is right.

Still, while Kennedy has said she and Lucasfilm have every intention to bring on a female director, little has been done to show for that at this point. Kennedy said the reason they went with Gareth Edwards, who’s directing Rogue One, was because of his work on Godzilla and Monsters beforehand.

“This gentleman did Godzilla before we hired him to direct the movie,” Kennedy said, pointing to Edwards.

As it stands right now, Rian Johnson, Chris Miller, Phil Lord and Colin Trevorrow are all slated to direct the next three Star Wars installments, including the Han Solo stand-alone film. The earliest date that a woman could direct a Star Wars movie would be 2020. Kennedy has also said there’s a lot riding on the success of Rogue One as far as the future of stand-alone films are concerned. If it’s a success, than they’ll continue to make them, but if doesn’t perform at the level they expect for a Star Wars movie, they’ll look into other avenues.

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits theaters Dec. 16.

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