Leslye Headland, a co-creator of the Russian Doll series and former personal assistant to Harvey Weinstein, is set to helm a woke "female-centric" Star Wars TV show for Disney, according to Variety. Right after the announcement, a video clip of her speaking at Variety’s Inclusion Summit popped up on twitter. In the clip, she calls white women the "silent killer" because they do not push for enough diversity in entertainment. She then advocates that talent should be hired based on their background, ethnicity, gender, or disability.
In a plot twist, it turns out this announcement made by Headland went without approval from Disney. According to well-known Disney insiders and bloggers: the Bobs—Bob Iger and Bob Chapek—at Disney are livid at Lucasfilm for pushing this project without Disney's consent.
Star Wars as a woke vehicle was always a bad idea. Star Wars is at this point a toy sales venture advertised by a boy's adventure series. Yes, the adventures of Luke Skywalker are meant for a general viewing audience. Still, the main demographic it's appealing to is young boys and men who are young at heart, like yours truly. That is why the beloved classic series features cool ships shooting at each other, space wizards with laser swords, and damsels in need of rescue. Lucas created the series as an homage to all the cool stuff he loved as a kid.
Therefore, choosing a project creator whose claim to fame is scandalous romantic comedies, and a Netflix show that could be accurately described as Sex in the City meets Groundhog’s Day is such a foolish business decision.
Under the control of Kathleen Kennedy, Star Wars has become a house divided. On one side are the Lucas faithful, such as Dave Filoni, Jon Favreau, Sam Witmer, the folks at Respawn, and others. They understand what Star Wars is and want to play in that sandbox. That is how we get new seasons of Clone Wars, Rebels, The Mandalorian & excellent Star Wars video games like "Jedi: Fallen Order." Until very recently (as in last December) this group of people was out of favor.
Instead, the group with the reins were team Force is Female, led by the woman who coined the term: LucasFilm President Kathleen Kennedy. Under her auspices, most of the new Star Wars projects since Disney bought the franchise have been progressively bent projects not dissimilar to a long cultural march of woke narratives vying for supremacy over legacy storytelling.
The Star Wars Disney trilogy that featured The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker is an excellent example of this. The films feature a better than everyone and instantly perfect at everything Mary Sue character named Rey. What male characters were featured are buffoons who need their privilege checked, which included the original hero himself: Luke Skywalker.
The Last Jedi, in particular, was a film dedicated to subversion made by someone that never understood the franchise, who only continued to mock fans about it since. Major themes of the film considered by members of the Star Wars resistance as the greatest of all time include saving animals over people, the evils of capitalism, and women achieving rightful dominance and how problematic history must be erased. To some long-time fans that watched the new trilogy, it seemed as if they were created to troll and chastise them for ever enjoying Star Wars in the first place.
Unfortunately, this attitude didn’t stop with the films. Even Disney’s official kids' offering, Star Wars Forces of Destiny, is a feminist girl-power cartoon full of, to be blunt, retconned misandry. Old stories are rewritten and the men in this cartoon portrayed as morons that need women to show them the right side of the blaster you should be holding before firing it.
So it shouldn’t surprise anyone when it turns out not that many kids or their families like to be insulted with the new postmodern feminist version of Star Wars. This is why if you visit your local Walmart or go online to Amazon, they literally can't give-away Admiral Holdo dolls.
Which makes the merchandise situation at Disney a total basket case. Chick Terceira, the President of Diamond Select Toys, speaking with rebelscum.com, admitted that demand for toys for the new Disney trilogy was down and has been like this for at least five years. Terceira said "The overall demand for busts and Star Wars products is not what it was ten or even five years ago.” Five years ago, huh Chuck, I wonder what happened?
Disney’s Consumer Products division, what's often referred to as the toys and comics division, is down, and according to the 2018 quarterly report was Disney’s only division to be losing money. Before the coronavirus hit, revenue from their theme parks was down, and they had an almost disastrous trilogy finisher with The Rise of Skywalker. Hopefully, promising Baby Yoda toy sales will be a salve. But even before the coronavirus and its threat to harm the Disney empire, the situation got so dire that Motley Fool asked bluntly: "Has Disney's Star Wars Acquisition Been a Failure?”
Apparently, its not a great business decision to insult your audience. Star Wars already featured strong females, racial minorities, and themes about equality. The stories did not need saving because they already stood firm for equality and goodness.
It isn’t a sin for boy and men to enjoy well produced stories about their favorite space wizards’ franchise. It seems like there is no patience left in western entertainment, whether its tv, movies, comics or video games for men to enjoy stories featuring those things that the male mind enjoys: tough adventures, masculine heroes, feminine damsels in distress, the worries about the conflict of light versus darkness and cool action sequences. So many of the great nerd institutions such as Doctor Who, Star Trek, Dungeons and Dragons, and Star Wars, were about this. And today they seem ashamed of it.
While Star Wars does have room for great female characters and alternative kinds of stories, it should have never forgotten its bread and butter. That's what it's doing by giving the story, the world, and the universe to Headland so that she can make some kind of "Sex and the City: Coruscant" stories.
To a parent, to have to go back 30 years to the Clinton administration to find stories to entertain that also uplift sons is a societal wrong. Women matter, but so do men. The human souls inside those boy bodies are worth as much as daughters and we should allow space for them to enjoy fictional adventures too. And as Disney is relearning with The Mandalorian, doing so is good business. Perhaps the Bobs will grab hold of this story and give to someone who loves the franchise, instead of someone who wants to use it to further their own activism.