New ‘Star Wars’ Film Will Let Women Start Shaping the Franchise

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Daisy Ridley as Rey Skywalker in 'Star Wars: Episode IX -- The Rise of Skywalker' (2019)

Credit: Lucasfilm

After nearly 50 years, the release of Rey’s Star Wars film will allow women to finally start shaping the Star Wars franchise.

It’s hard to believe that with 11 Star Wars movies in the universe, we’re yet to see a single cinematic title led by a female director. But that’s all about to change. With the return of Daisy Ridley as Rey in an upcoming film focused on the rebuilding of the Jedi Order, a female director is finally at the helm in the form of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.

Daisy Ridley and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on stage at Star Wars Celebration announcing Rey's new movie
Credit: Lucasfilm via Twitter

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As was announced at Star Wars Celebration 2023, Obaid-Chinoy will join the studio to bring Rey back to a galaxy far, far away. The director recently spoke to CNN about her Lucasfilm debut, confirming that the “special” project will mark an important shift for the franchise.

“I’m very thrilled about the project because I feel what we’re about to create is something very special,” she said. “And we’re in 2024 now, and it’s about time that we had a woman come forward to shape a story in a galaxy far, far away.”

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy on stage at Star Wars Celebration
Credit: Lucasfilm

Deborah Chow previously became the first female director to lead any live-action Lucasfilm project for two episodes of the Disney+ series The Mandalorian. She was later joined by Bryce Dallas Howard, marking the studio’s commitment to promoting inclusivity behind the scenes as well as on screen.

Obaid-Chinoy’s interview also appeared to confirm that the as-yet-unnamed film will be released in 2026. Lucasfilm currently has a release pencilled in for May 22, 2026, which seems the most likely slot for Rey’s return.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) getting into combat position to face Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) on Pasaana in 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'
Credit: Lucasfilm

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For now, we know very little about Rey’s return to the big screen except for the fact that it’s supposedly set 15 years after the events of Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker (2019) (and that Adam Driver will almost certainly not return as Kylo Ren). However, Obaid-Chinoy – who will also be the first director for the franchise – previously described her excitement to delve into the concept of a new Jedi Order.

“I’ve spent my life meeting real life heroes, who have overcome the most oppressive empires and battled impossible odds and that to me is the heart of Star Wars,” she wrote in an Instagram caption in April 2023, “which is why I was attracted to the promise of a new Jedi Order… And why I’m particularly excited about being immersed inside a Jedi Academy with a powerful Jedi Master.”

Are you excited for Rey’s return to the Star Wars franchise? Let us know in the comments!

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