Star Wars Does Not Have A Director Problem

Star Wars Does Not Have A Director Problem

A report came out saying Star Wars has been all white men working on the series - but diversity can't be enforced.

Recently, a report came out that Star Wars writers and directors have been 96% white men. Leigh Brackett, who wrote the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back before her death in 1978, is the only woman who has worked in those capacities on the films. And many have started pushing for Lucasfilm to hire on a woman or non-white director for one of the several Star Wars films coming out between now and whenever people get tired of them. But pushing for it is more of a hindrance than a help for production work. Simply put, the job should go to whoever has the most talent and best vision for the film, regardless of who. So with that in mind, let's look into the behind-the-scenes jobs and see whether it's an actual issue with the movies, or just complaining about nothing.

So far, not counting the made-for-TV-but-released-in-theaters-overseas Ewok Adventure movies from the 1980s, there has been ten Star Wars movies, with an eleventh on the way. Of these ten, four were directed by George Lucas, who also wrote those same four, and co-wrote/worked on the story of an additional two, three if you include his involvement with The Clone Wars cartoon as part of the writing on the pilot movie. J.J. Abrams is director and co-writer of The Force Awakens, as well as the yet to be released Episode IX, while Rian Johnson is in charge of an entire trilogy due to his work on The Last Jedi. Including Solo: A Star Wars Story, Lawrence Kasdan has written four installments in the series. It seems like it's not a matter of “hey let's hire the same guy,” but rather it is bringing people back to help guide the story so it all fits perfectly together. As much as I enjoyed The Last Jedi, it does seem more of it's own story than the middle step between The Force Awakens and IX, and I think that comes down to Kasdan and Abrams not being involved in the planning stages beyond the first scene of Luke Skywalker. Despite the male teams, it should be noted that since 2012, Kathleen Kennedy, who produced many of Steven Spielberg's movies, has been in charge of Lucasfilm and is the final say on the individual Star Wars movies. So regardless of whether or not the director is male, a woman is still the one signing the paycheck.

And this is Star Wars – strong female characters define it just as much as the Force or the Millennium Falcon. Princess Leia, Padme Amidala, Rey, Jyn Erso, Ahsoka Tano, Rose Tico, Sabine Wren, and Hera Snydulla are all major players in the series, some in cartoons, others in live action films. A New Hope, despite some now feeling only women can write strong women, was written by George Lucas and features a princess who pretty much saves herself after the heroes open her cell door. Jyn Erso saves the Rebellion and the galaxy at that by stealing the Death Star plans and transmitting them back to Tantive IV. Rey brought Luke Skywalker back to the Force, as well as getting the Resistance to escape the First Order approach on Crait. Basically, the production teams seem to have no effect on the characters, especially not female ones. For over forty years, girls have looked up to Princess Leia – and yeah the metal bikini is kind of demeaning, but it's supposed to be, Jabba the Hutt isn't the kind of gangster to let his slaves dress like royalty. There's even a series of dolls and short animation based around these iconic female characters, Forces of Destiny.

Would I like to see Jordan Peele or Patty Jenkins write/direct a Star Wars movie? Of course I would, they're all talented directors in their own right, race or gender means nothing. While race really isn't a big hurdle to jump over in Hollywood anymore, we do need to consider that there aren't too many female directors in the business right now. Sure, we have Greta Gerwig and Kathryn Bigelow, but they both seem to do more character dramas than sci-fi action with a little drama. We need to show young girls who want to work in filmmaking that they can direct whatever movie they want, and not try and pull them towards just writing or acting. We also cannot be saying that they should hire a woman or a non-white director who hasn't already made a name for themselves somehow, because Star Wars isn't really a first-time-directing thing. If you want to see a woman direct one, then help young female filmmakers get their names out in the city of stars.

Wonder Woman was not a hit because it was directed and written by a woman, nor was Creed because it had a black director. Rather, the stories are great, the actors give it their all, and the directors and writers are talented in their field. Lucasfilm looks for talent, and so far, Kathleen Kennedy has found some amazing talent to take the reins on the Star Wars series. Ron Howard was brought in after Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired, and he was chosen because of his Lucasfilm connections. Forcing a production company to hire someone because of their race/gender without looking at their ability to make a good movie will only cause lesser quality films to be made – I wouldn't want them to hire some young white guy just because they could, I'd want them to get someone who can make a great final product. Maybe one of the Rian Johnson trilogy or the D.B. Weiss/David Benioff movies will have a black director a female writer. So long as they're the best choice, then by all means. Star Wars isn't going anywhere for a long time, we'll see different directors as time goes on, for now, let's just focus on getting Solo and IX out.

Cover Image Credit: Lucasfilm

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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