News broke last week on Collider.com that the showrunners of popular HBO series Game of Thrones will be writing and directing a brand new Star Wars trilogy, presumable after Episode 9.
On the surface, it’s sort of like, cool, these guys have some Emmy’s under their belts and have made a fantasy series into a household name and visually, Game of Thrones is gorgeous to look at, from costume design to sets to character minutiae. It’s been wildly successful, so why not be joyous these dudes are gonna have a go at one of the richest universes in sci-fi?
That’s where it gets complicated for me.
It’s not a secret I love A Song of Ice and Fire and its television counterpart Game of Thrones (as evidenced by our Youtube series A Game of Theories). However, I can love something and criticize it at the same time, much like I already do with Star Wars. The handing over of a trilogy to Benioff and Weiss means it’ll be that much longer before a director of color or a female director gets a shot at expanding the universe. While it might not matter to some, for me, and other people of color like me, it feels like a missed opportunity at the least.
“But they have a fantastic resume!”
Do they, though? Benioff wrote X-Men: Origins in 2009 (which most of were very lukewarm towards), and Weiss hasn’t done much in the way of big budget films.
My point is, something like Star Wars in the hands of someone with a different lens on life would be refreshing. Plus, a successful trilogy does wonders for the resume of someone who wouldn’t normally have the opportunity to helm them. I’m not suggesting anyone in particular here, but it’s something I would love to see, sooner rather than later.
My main issue is how they have portrayed women.
Game of Thrones is known for pushing the envelope. Mostly in a negative way regarding female characters. In a series where rape and incest is prevalent, it makes zero sense to add MORE. A strong character does not need a traumatic backstory based in assault of some kind. I understand that seems to be a mindblowing concept, but I’m loathe to embrace a Star Wars universe in where this could be allowed. I have some trust in how iron of a grip Kathleen Kennedy has on the property as a whole, but her endorsement of Benioff and Weiss gives me some pause. No, I don’t think we will see rape onscreen, but based on their track record, it’s safe to say we will get a Disney friendly, Whedonesque rapey backstory for whoever the female character may be.
“But Leia, there’s not any mention of rape in Star Wars!”
Maybe not outright, but I guess Oola the slave girl, just danced and didn’t encounter any sexual assault ever. I guess Leia didn’t encounter any sexual assault while she was Jabba’s prisoner. I guess Rey didn’t encounter anything against her will by Kylo.
Look, I’m always a diehard for Star Wars, but I’m hesitant about this development. I’m hesitant that we will get Confederate (their so far failed HBO series about what if the South had successfully seceded and slavery became legal and modernized, oh wait, that’s the prison system, isn’t it), but in space cause there ARE slaves in the Star Wars universe.
I’m just plain hesitant.