No, I’m not referring to Venus and Serena Williams but I am referring to the new additions to the Star Wars franchise, Lupita Nyongo and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Ms. Nyongo will be in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Ms. Mbatha-Raw will be in Episode VIII due in May 2017.
Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Photo Courtesy of: Comicbookmovie.com
As someone of Ghanaian descent it’s cool to see two women of African descent (Mbatha -Raw from South Africa via the UK, and Nyongo from Kenya via Mexic0). This is very great news when it comes to seeing Women of Color in Sci Fi and comicbook related properties.
On 60 Minutes today, the director of The Force Awakens, JJ Abrams was asked by Bill Whitaker about the diversity that is in The Force Awakens. His response was that it was important to him to have a film that reflected the audience in which it was being displayed to. Now to me that’s very forward thinking. When you have directors like Ridley Scott, who make movies like Gods of Egypt portraying a biblical event with a virtually all Caucasian cast (not the least bit historically accurate), its nice to see a director making a movie that accurately reflects the audience that makes up the current movie going populace.
This is just the beginning though. I look forward to seeing Women of Color in more prominent roles in genre films, whether it be superhero movies, sci fi, or fantasy. Could you imagine someone like Kerry Washington playing the commander of a star ship, or Teyonah Parris playing Captain Marvel, or Tika Sumpter playing an Elvish Queen? That would be awesome.
What do you think? Would Kerry Washington make a good Starbuck or Candice Patton a good ice maiden? Please share your thoughts below. I’m looking forward to a lively conversation.