Tuesday, February 6, 2018

'Game of Thrones' Creators Join 'Star Wars'

Lucasfilm announced today that Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be writing and producing a new series of Star Wars films. There are no details on plots, release dates, or whether this will even be a trilogy versus a string of standalone movies.
The fan reaction to this announcement has been generally negative, and for good reason, too. Once again, two white male filmmakers have joined the Star Wars franchise, while women and people of color are still shut out. And though the director slots for these movies are still wide open, Benioff and Weiss have only collaborated with three female writers and directors (each for only a few episodes) and zero writers or directors of color over 67 episodes of Thrones.

Kathleen Kennedy has cited their character and mythology-building skills as the most exciting qualities they bring to Star Wars, and she's not necessarily wrong. But Benioff and Weiss have also been repeatedly criticized for their treatment of women on Game of Thrones (particularly the frequent portrayals of rape and other abuse against women), as well as a lack of diversity that crosses the line to subtle racism.
Of course, these controversies are nothing compared to the other HBO project that Benioff and Weiss were developing: Confederate, about on an alternate history in which the Civil War ended with the South seceding from the Union and maintaining institutional slavery until modern day. The announcement of the series was met with immediate and near-universal backlash, and though it's probably no longer in development, it hasn't helped their reputation.

The one silver lining is that on Thrones, Benioff and Weiss have demonstrated that they can write empowered (though often abused) female characters like Daenerys Targaeryen, Cersei Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, and Arya and Sansa Stark. At the very least we can trust them to create a narrative that includes women as leaders and warriors...even if they're all white, and even if there's still some underlying misogyny. 
What do you think of this announcement? What kind of Star Wars stories do you want Benioff and Weiss to write? Tell me in the comments or tweet to @SithObserver, and may the Force be with you all.

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