J.J. Abrams is returning to direct the final installment in the Star Wars Skywalker saga, which means he’s also returning to respond to criticism of the films. In a recent interview with IndieWire, Abrams took aim at fans who had a problem with the sequel trilogy’s focus on female characters.
“Star Wars is a big galaxy, and you can sort of find almost anything you want to in Star Wars,” Abrams said. “If you are someone who feels threatened by women and needs to lash out against them, you can probably find an enemy in Star Wars. You can probably look at the first movie that George [Lucas] did and say that Leia was too outspoken, or she was too tough. Anyone who wants to find a problem with anything can find the problem. The internet seems to be made for that.”
Though he refused to share details, Abrams said that this sort of criticism won’t affect Episode IX.
“I will say that the story of Rey and Poe and Finn and Kylo Ren — and if you look, there are three men and one woman, to those that are complaining that there are too many women in Star Wars — their story continues in a way that I couldn’t be more excited about and cannot wait for people to see,” he added.
Going further in depth on lack of equality in Hollywood, Abrams said that the problem isn’t so much that women and people of color aren’t selected to helm films like Star Wars, but rather that they aren’t even considered in the first place. Abrams said that Hollywood needs to look for new talent and give them opportunities.
“We’re not asking to take away the male point of view or male artistry or male contribution,” he explained. “We’re simply saying, ‘What is fair?’ I can see why people might get freaked out by it, but the people who are getting freaked out are the people who are accustomed to that privilege, and this is not oppression, this is about fairness.”