Monday 18 June 2018

Rian Johnson: ‘Hell yes, it’s time’ for diversity in Star Wars directors

Johnson called for more diversity among creators in the Star Wars franchise.

Rian Johnson and guest (Ian West/PA)
Rian Johnson and guest (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson has said “hell yes it’s time” for a woman or a person of colour to helm a Star Wars film.

Johnson, who was best known for directing the 2012 thriller Looper before he was tasked with taking on Episode VIII in the franchise, said he would like to see a director who is not a white man take on a Star Wars story.

He told a press conference: “Hell yes it’s time, there are so many incredibly talented female directors, directors of colour out there, and so many that I would love to see play in this universe. I would love it to happen.”

ipanews_d33a158e-44ca-4424-95c1-15c18e7af8c9_embedded234132703
Rian Johnson (right) joined by cast members from Star Wars: The Last Jedi (Ian West/PA)

Johnson follows in the footsteps of J.J. Abrams, who directed The Force Awakens, and George Lucas, who directed Star Wars and the three prequels, as well as Irvin Kershner (director of The Empire Strikes Back) and Richard Marquand (director of Return Of The Jedi).

The Han Solo spin-off film, entitled Solo, is being directed by Ron Howard after Phil Lord and Chris Miller departed the project while Abrams will return to direct the upcoming Episode IX after Colin Trevorrow parted ways with the film.

Johnson also spoke about the importance of diversity on screen as well as off, saying; “It felt right, it felt good as I was writing it, and for Star Wars to reflect the world a little more closely as it looks around us – all movies are trying to do that more and more, and that is nothing but a good thing.”

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is released in UK cinemas on December 14.

Press Association

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment