Late this afternoon, during one of the most exciting moments in human history, when Space X launched the Falcon Heavy rocket, Lucasfilm decided to create a fireball of its own. The official site announced that GAME OF THRONES creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be writing and producing a new series of Star Wars films.
These new films will be separate from both the episodic Skywalker saga and the recently-announced trilogy being developed by Rian Johnson, writer-director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
This news was further compounded with additional information provided by Disney’s President and CEO Bob Iger during today’s quarterly investors call.
“Their interest was in creating a series of films that are Star Wars-based. We’ve actually been talking to them for a long time. To my knowledge, they didn’t express interest in creating a [TV] series… They’re focused on a point in time in Star Wars mythology, and we’re taking it from there.”
Any announcement of new projects from Lucasfilm is a reason to be celebrated. The lengthy discussion about the possibility of two Star Wars films a year now looks to be a reality. The current roll-out of Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Solo: A Star Wars Story will showcase what life may be like from now on. Adding to that- there will be multiple series on the upcoming Disney streaming service. Life is going to be chock full of Star Wars.
The additional information from Bob Iger screams of films based in the era of the Knights Of The Old Republic. An era in the mythology that will satisfy a segment of fans and hatred from others. Although I might have reservations about this period, I have faith in the storytellers at Lucasfilm to make it a success. A good story is a good story, regardless what time period it’s from.
With this news came a firestorm more significant than the Falcon Heavy rocket provided on the launchpad at Kennedy Space Center. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, deserve their incredible success and accomplishment with HBO’s Game Of Thrones, a series that has become a pop culture phenomenon. However, with that victory, came some dramatic ugly stumbles in their execution on the small screen. Throughout the last seven years, there has been anger from the public in their story choices to punish Actresses who refused to perform in the nude to the over the top on-screen violence against women. Scenes that didn’t add to the characters, but to instead, just showcase useless blood-curdling violence.
Adding to that rocket fuel mix, the apparent reward for past lousy behavior with yet another major project that would be filled by white males and not women or people of color. An announcement which saw Star Wars Twitter cleaved in half yet again.
Residing and working here in the Nations Capital forces individuals to live politics. Here in Washington D.C. the trials and tribulations of trying to change policy and move social causes forward are Sisyphus personified. It’s in the waters here; we drink it, we live it. But what you learn in this slow slug through the morass of politics is that small steps can lead to giant leaps, as long as opportunities present themselves. Although the loss of two prominent project positions is lost to two white men, the chances for female and people of color for Directors positions are made available.
I understand the anger, frustration and the dreaded feeling of once again, a golden opportunity flying right by. But there is hope here, as now we know that there are a series of movies and tv shows coming. This is the time to start the pressure through social media, letters and the like to persuade the executive leadership at Disney and Lucasfilm to engage that change. Something that is incredibly hard to do, when you have no idea that a project is even coming. But now we do, and the hard work starts now. Don’t lose sight with closed, angry eyes, when an opportunity for Directors lay straight ahead.
Kathy Kennedy has earned the trust she deserves with a resume of accomplishments that should be bronzed. The acquisition of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss is a choice that we should trust. If it pans out great, if not, then Kathy Kennedy will pivot and do what’s necessary to provide the financial security for the employees and the brand she controls. She has made it abundantly clear about her position with creatives that don’t cut the mustard.
Remember folks; motion pictures are a collaborative effort with thousands of hands in the creation of our stories. Kathy isn’t contracting Benioff and Weiss for salacious, over-the-top tale ripped with violence, draped in blood. She’s requestioned a story for children that adults can enjoy.
Faith in people is easy when times are good. It’s tested when choices seem scary. Take that leap in the dark and let’s see where we land at the end of it. Stay consistent in our beliefs of representation matters, and push for change.