We’ve been seeing some extra girl-power with the latest batch of Star Wars films and diverse casting when it comes to male roles. Yet, when it comes to female leads the studio seems to be only comfortable with hiring white British women.
It looked like Han Solo was going to buck that trend as the many actresses testing for the female lead were revealed to be women of color. Those names included Tessa Thompson (Creed, Dear White People, Thor: Ragnarok, Westworld), Zoe Kravitz (Mad Max: Fury Road, Dope, X-Men: First Class, Fantastic Beasts), Kiersey Clemons (Dope, Flash, Flatliners, Transparent), Naomi Scott (Power Rangers, The Martian, Terra Nova) and Adria Arjona (True Detective, Emerald City, Pacific Rim: Maelstrom, Belko Experiment).
Clearly, all these actresses are talented, on the rise and could be in a position to help attract new audiences to the franchise along with being more diverse.
We had assumed this role could be Sana Starros, a woman of color in the Star Wars universe that had a connection to Han Solo‘s past possibly being his ex-wife. A character that was explored a bit in the canonical Han Solo comic book series.
Then, Lucasfilm decides that Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke would be taking the role instead. Adding Force Awakens‘ Daisy Ridley and Rogue One‘s Felicity Jones into the mix, we’re a little puzzled why all three female leads are all white and of British origin. Clarke seemingly the only white actress out of the groups revealed by trades as testing for the main female lead.
It seems extremely odd the studio would give the public the impression they were going to hire an actress of color, then change their minds at the last minute. To say we’re disappointed is an understatement and we hope to see a woman of color eventually given a lead role in her own film.