Today’s must-read was an article from Meredith Woerner at the Los Angeles Times about the women of The Force Awakens. In addition to the characters (it’s revealed that Captain Phasma will be returning for VIII,) Kathleen Kennedy also talks about the importance of having women behind the scenes, and how that helped the movie.
→ On that note, agent Adriana Alberghetti told the LAT that she’s gotten meetings for four female directors and three female writers for Star Wars films. She doesn’t name names, but Newsarama notes that her clients include Orange Is The New Black director S.J. Clarkson and Buffy the Vampire Slayer writer Marti Noxon.
→ George Lucas has seen The Force Awakens and, Kathleen Kennedy tells The Hollywood Reporter, “he really liked it.”
Her Universe and Hot Topic launched a new Star Wars collection today! Several of the designs are available now, with more coming next month. And, Ashley Eckstein tells The Daily Dot, there’s another in development.
The items are avaliable in extended sizes, and Hot Topic’s sister shop Torrid will carry some items as well, including a lightsaber dress based on the skirt introduced earlier this year.
Ashley is also encouraging fans to share with the hashtag #MyStarWarsStory:
Making Star Wars reports of rumblings that Lucasfilm is “retiring” the Slave Leia bikini. However, do note that piece’s only quoted source is J. Scott Campbell, an artist whose work mostly seems to consist of pinups – not exactly the most neutral of parties regarding this subject.
That said, I do feel it’s a very smart move for Lucasfilm to be more selective in how and when they use the bikini. It’s all-too-often used as the character’s default look – see Tsundo Sanda’s recent Newsweek cover, where any iconic Leia would do the trick just as well. The problem isn’t so much that slave Leia is a thing that exists in merchandising, it’s that the bikini dominates – and that’s not a fair representation of the character.
I do think a blanket ban on it is rather unlikely – I don’t have a huge problem with the Return of the Jedi poster that MSW uses an an example, for instance – but less of the bikini? Yes, please.
“I have a huge number of men who call me,” she says. “And tell me how much of a Star Wars fan they are, how much they want to get involved in anything to do with Star Wars. I don’t have a lot of women who call.”
James was able to attend a Rebels season 2 screening and press conference last week, and here’s his video of the presser.
Among the reveals: Dave Filoni said that S2 will have two episodes that explore Hera’s backstory: One that ficuses on her piloting skills, and another having to do with her family. There’s also going to be a new trailer debuting this week that will give us a look at something new regarding Sabine. He also talks about the importance of having a wide range of roles for female characters.
There are a few minor spoilers for ‘The Lost Commanders’ in the video:
Fast Company has a profile of Hasbro Star Wars design director Steve Evans, focusing on The Force Awakens rollout. Of special interest to us, some words on the changing market:
“I’m actually very, very fond of the three-and-three-quarter inch Rey figure,” Evans says. It’s an appropriate choice, and not just for the fact that Rey is one of the main characters in the next Star Wars chapter. That figure symbolizes a radical shift in the action figure market—and the Star Wars toys market in particular.
“It’s because of what it stands for,” says Evans. “Just because of the way it’s embracing girls into the brand more. I have a son and two twin daughters and my girls are infatuated with Rey. They think she’s brilliant.”
Back in the ’70s and ’80s Star Wars action figures were thought of as something to be made just for boys. But Evans says that’s all changed now. And not only are the artificial gender action figure barriers are coming down, now they’re designed to appeal to people of all ages.
As for The Force Awakens, “as we lead up to December 18, there’s a certain amount that gets released,” says Evans. “There are certain surprises from our product line that no one knows about, that we’ll release leading up to the movie, at the movie, and beyond the movie.”
Fortune magazine is honoring Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy as one of their selections for 2015’s Most Powerful Women. (She’s #42.) They’ve published a lengthy profile, which includes the interesting factoid that “more than half of her 18-person executive team, with whom she meets weekly, is female.”