The Women Who Shaped the Star Wars Franchise

Some statistics have cited white men as the predominant force in Star Wars, but many significant, often uncredited, contributions are from women.

Kiri Hart and Kathleen Kennedy at Star Wars Celebration 2016

[Update: Reposted from February 11th for #StarWarsDay 2018. May the 4th be with you!]

After Lucasfilm announced that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss had been hired to create a new series of Star Wars films, Variety examined who had been involved in writing and directing previous Star Wars films. They found that of the 24 writers and directors of Star Wars films, including announced upcoming films, 96% were white men. The one exception to the rule that the Variety article includes is Leigh Brackett, who wrote the original screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back (1980). As of yet, no person of color written or directed a Star Wars film.

There is, however, an additional dimension to the creation of Star Wars; it's not simply that women have not been involved. There are a number of women, including women of color, who have been involved behind the scenes of Star Wars, several of whom have been responsible for making influential creative decisions. It's true that 96% of credited writers and directors are white men - but that statistic also reflects how too often women are not properly recognized for their contributions to the film industry. Women have always helped to shape Star Wars: to give voice to its characters, to conceive of its biggest plot points, and to propel its stories forward and into the future.

Related: Rumor: Women & People of Color Are Developing Star Wars Movies

We have put together a list that highlights some of the women who have helped to create Star Wars behind the camera, including women whose directorial or screenwriting contributions may not be officially credited. Without these women, Star Wars would certainly not be what it is today. Hopefully they will soon be joined by the first woman to direct a Star Wars project and the first people of color to write and direct Star Wars films.

This Page: Gloria Katz

Page 5:  Carrie Fisher

Gloria Katz

Gloria Katz Was an Uncredited Screen Writer for Star Wars A New Hope

Gloria Katz is a screenwriter who, along with her husband Willard Huyck, wrote films including Lucas's American Graffiti (1973), Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), and Huyck's own Howard the Duck (1986). Katz and Huyck were friends with George Lucas, and after American Graffiti, he asked them to help improve the dialogue in his new project: Star Wars. The couple focused on injecting humor, characterization, and fast-paced banter into the film. Huyck and Katz wrote approximately 30% of the dialogue that appears A New Hope, including some of the film's most iconic lines. As is typical with script doctors, they did not receive a writing credit.

Key Release Dates
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
  • Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019
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