Star Wars actress challenges claims of fan sexism in new film

TODAY -- Pictured: Daisy Ridley on Thursday, January 25, 2024 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Daisy Ridley on Thursday, January 25, 2024 -- (Photo by: Nathan Congleton/NBC via Getty Images)
Images source: © GETTY | NBC

9:34 AM EST, January 26, 2024

"Star Wars" fans can't wait for another episode of their beloved series. After a five-year break and the "Rise of Skywalker" premiere, the continuation of the story emerged on the horizon with the "New Jedi Order" announcement. Meanwhile, many people pay attention to the choice of the director of this film and the fact she is a woman.

In April 2023, during the "Star Wars Celebration" event held in London, it was announced that Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy would be the director of one of three new expected Star Wars movies. As it turned out, Pakistani will be responsible for "The New Jedi Order", expected to be released in May 2026.

However, this choice of director evoked a significant backlash among fans, who expressed their concerns or even disapproval that the filmmaker of their favorite movie series is a woman and feminist, which would be the first such a case in the history of the Star Wars franchise.

Daisy Ridley, the actress who played Rey, one of the main characters of the last three Star Wars movies (The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and The Rise of Skywalker), will also star in The New Jedi Order, and she confronted all critical comments about the gender and worldview of the filmmaker. Ridley expressed her incomprehension of such opinions and support for the Obaid-Chinoy in the interview for NBC Today.

"I think my take is things get blown out of proportion. And the interactions I've ever had with people have been nothing but wonderful and supportive. [...] Honestly, the day we announced that I was coming back last year, you cannot imagine the joy and goodwill in that room" - she said.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a 45-year-old filmmaker born in Pakistan. In 2022, she directed the Marvel series "Ms. Marvel". She was also responsible for "Sitara: Let Girls Dream" from 2019 and "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness" from 2015. In an interview with CNN, she also commented on fans' critics: "We’re in 2024 now, and I think it’s about time that we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away".

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