I’m Excited For Pedro Pascal And Angry About The Lack of Women of Color in The Mandalorian
Star Wars, do better!
Star Wars has officially announced the cast for upcoming show The Mandalorian, and it’s pretty impressive in certain regards. One of the highlights of the news is the official confirmation on Pedro Pascal to the growing roster, joining Carl Weathers and Omid Abtahi in the cast. I am most excited about Giancarlo Esposito, because I’ve been a fan of him for years and he deserves only the best, including a big role in Star Wars. Werner Herzog and Nick Nolte are fascinating choices for major roles, and I cannot wait to see what they bring to the table. (Note: a previous version of this article stated Mr. Abtahi’s first name was Omar. We have since corrected this.)
However, I am less than thrilled about the female cast line-up. Namely, we’ve got two women in the eight member main cast, and both of them are white brunettes (classic Star Wars). I am so excited for the representation that we see with the male members of the cast, but also am disappointed in the lack of diversity, and indeed lack of roles, for women in this project, especially since Lucasfilm has to be aware of the desire for representation on that front.
We’ve covered the white brunette situation many times on the site, but every time more casting news drops we have to bring it up again. There’s a solution to this, but Lucasfilm seems incapable of considering things outside this particular box. We have Rose and Paige Tico, Enfys Nest, Val, and whoever Naomi Ackie is playing, and that’s about it when it comes to live action women of color. There are women of color in the animated series and the books, but those are only going to be read or watched by a small fraction of the films’s audiences.
I want to celebrate the diversity in the men of color of The Mandalorian, and find their inclusion to be hugely important. But women of color in Star Wars has always been lacking, and this is just another reminder of how little they seem to care about casting non white brunettes in major roles. To be honest, I never expected the cast to be heavy on female roles, as Favreau isn’t famed for his female-centric work. But the lack of inclusion in these roles is troubling.
At some point, Lucasfilm has to do better. Rey and Jyn and Qi’Ra don’t work on their own if they’re as far as Lucasfilm is willing to go with representation. The studio needs to make a concerted effort to include more women of color, because if they don’t their mantra that they’re here to represent all audiences falls flat. And when we say cast women of color, we don’t mean to keep them masked and hidden from promotion for a surprise reveal (like Enfys) or to kill them off early on (Val and Paige).
Lucasfilm needs to do better. I’ll be watching The Mandalorian for the director’s lineup and for Pascal and Esposito, but I’m disappointed in the female roles. Lucasfilm has to do better, otherwise they’ll find themselves being left behind.
(via StarWars.com, image: 20th Century Fox)
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