Rumor: Han Solo Spinoff Movie Looking to Cast Non-White Female Lead
The latest Star Wars films have featured a much welcomed spike in diversity. Both The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story are female led, and both feature diverse casts of actors ranging from various racial and ethnic backgrounds. That’s been huge for franchise largely centered on white, male characters. And now a new rumor hints that Lucasfilm may be even more devoted to diverse casting in their next spinoff.
Now this is of course only a rumor, so take it with a grain of salt. But that doesn’t mean we can’t speculate. Slash Film suggests that the Han Solo film could be looking to cast Sana Solo, also Sana Starros, the smuggler’s wife (sorta) who was recently introduced in the Star Wars comics. Sana is a pilot who introduced herself to Princess Leia as Han’s wife (uh oh), but technically the two were only married as a plan to pull off a heist. Either way, she’s a woman of color and she might be the role Miller and Lord are looking to cast. So far the official cast only includes Alden Ehrenreich as Han, but a recent report suggests the studio might cast a young Lando Calrissian, originally played by Billy Dee Williams.
Whoever the female role ends up being, it’s an exciting possibility that the Star Wars universe could continue adding diversity to the big screen. It’s no news that Hollywood really needs that right now. If two years of #OscarsSoWhite isn’t enough evidence of how bad diversity is, look to a recent USC Annenberg study. The study, which tracked over 400 films and TV shows from 2014 to 2015, found that only 28.3 percent of the characters with dialogue were played by non-white actors, and only one-third of the speaking roles were by women. If major studio films like Star Wars are casting females, and especially actresses of color, in leading roles, than it shows signs of a more inclusive future for the film industry.
We’re seeing these slight increases of diversity in other films too. Disney is reportedly developing a reboot of the 1991 film The Rocketeer, replacing the original white male lead with a black actress. Marvel Comics’ new Iron Man will be a 15-year-old black woman. And Bryan Fuller‘s upcoming Star Trek TV series will star a female lead, a role being described as “potentially diverse.”
History is being made behind the camera, too. It was revealed earlier this month that Selma director Ava DuVernay is the first woman of color to direct a film with a $100 million budget with Disney‘s A Wrinkle in Time, and only the third woman ever to do so. Little by little, Hollywood is taking small steps away from a white, male dominated industry, and it’s great to see Star Wars helping pave the way.