A Woman of Color Should Lead the Next Star Wars Live Action Show
Lucasfilm, do something right.
Amidst the chaos of Disney announcing that Game of Thrones‘ David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are still directing their ill-advised Star Wars trilogy, news broke that a third live-action Star Wars show was officially in the works. While there is no official announcement about when the show will take place or who the protagonist will be, I do have one small request: it really should be about a woman, preferably a woman of color.
Lucasfilm has been steadily making strides in diversity; both of their current live-action shows feature men of color in the lead roles, as do the past two animated series. The animated shows in particular feature strong women of color in supporting roles. On the silver screen, we’re seeing three out of the four last films from Lucasfilm feature a white woman in the lead with a support cast made up of men of color. However, Lucasfilm has not had a woman of color in the lead role in any of their film or television properties.
Now is the perfect time to change that. A third live-action show centered on a kickass lady, be she Rebel officer or Sith on a redemption arc, would showcase a willingness to grow and center stories beyond female protagonists who all look like sisters. Star Wars consistently casts white brunettes in major roles for the films, and many of the women of color cast in the films are killed off (The Last Jedi‘s Paige Tico and Solo’s Val spring to mind). While The Rise of Skywalker will feature both Rose Tico and newcomer Jannah, there is still no Star Wars film or television property that features a woman of color getting top billing.
One obvious choice, if Disney wants to cash in on the Galaxy’s Edge marketing and tie together their books and theme park, is Vi Moradi. Vi is a Resistance spy who is one of the central characters in Delilah S. Dawson’s Phasma. She’ll also be the protagonist of the upcoming Galaxy’s Edge tie-in novel Black Spire. A capable, funny, and clever spy, Vi could be the perfect central character for a show bridging the gap between The Last Jedi and The Rise of Skywalker. She could also bring the world of Batuu to life, which in turn leads into the theme park at Disneyland and Disney World.
If Lucasfilm wants to go for a darker, more adult series, then my favorite villain Rae Sloane is always an option. Sloane, alongside Brendol Hux and his son, helps found the First Order. A scary, Empire/First Order centric series set in the Unknown Regions, featuring cameos from Snoke, Phasma, and others, could draw in the more Imperial minded fans. The series would then also have a queer protagonist, as Sloane is bisexual. Telling the story of Sloane’s rise and fall is exactly the space opera stuff fans live for, and her passionate fanbase would surely turn up in droves.
There are so many interesting women of color in Star Wars who could get a series. Sabine Wren, Ciene Ree, Shara Bey, Doctor Aphra … the characters are there. Lucasfilm needs to prioritize their narratives as well, because Star Wars is supposed to be for everyone. Let’s make the galaxy far, far away more inclusive, because everyone deserves the chance to see themselves represented.
(image: Del Rey Books)
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