Screen Shot 2014-06-03 at 10.51.51 AM

It’s exciting that Lupita Nyong’o has been cast in Star Wars as initially promised. When casting news first came out and her name wasn’t it there was the fear that one giant door had bee closed. Why does it matter so much? Well, because usually any Oscar winner who is the “it” girl immediately is flooded with offers. Since opportunities for black actresses are scarce it looked as though this would be the beginning of bad news for her career.

Why does Star Wars matter? Because nowadays most actresses must attach themselves to some fanboy tentpole to stay relevant. There is little doubt the part will be substantial. This is still a boy’s game. We’ve come a long way from the days when Carrie Fisher was a major standout in the original Star Wars movies.

Load More Related Articles
Load More By Sasha Stone
  • Kane

    Between Lupita and John Boyega (finally!) this should be an exciting movie to watch.

  • Filipe

    This website should be called Women Daily. I love your take on Oscars, but it’s getting a little annoying, I’m sorry. You should rename the blog or use a diferrent one to post these.
    It doesn’t help women’s image at all that all you do is complain and never let go.

  • andres

    Lots of women love Star Wars.

  • andres


    Fanboys are people too.

    And I KNOW you are going to see STAR WARS and be totally stoked to watch it.

  • andres

    A lot of men read these posts and you are being unfair to men in some of your posts. I love your stuff, but it’s starting to be offensive honestly. I enjoy reading your posts when they are making fair points about men and women without all the snarky stuff. I see you points in your writing, but no need to defecate the other sex. Not all men behave the same way, and things ARE changing. Lupita Nyongo, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence all great examples of leading ladies paving the way.

  • Jerp

    If her part is substantial, shouldn’t she have been at the table read? I realize scheduling, etc, gets in the way but…hm

  • I really think Lupita is the kind of star who can make a difference not by playing the game of appeal, but by seeking out roles in much smaller films that showcase the talents of female directors and writers. Directors like Ingrid Veninger, Sofia Coppola, Ava DuVernay, Dee Rees, etc. are proof that the voices who craft powerful female-driven stories are there, it’s just that studios don’t distribute them.

    I think a star like Lupita could have a successful career lending her newfound starpower to smaller films to elevate them to prominence instead of playing into what you’re saying is “the boy’s game” by taking a role simply because it’s in a prominent franchise that will make a lot of money.

    Roles like this will be important for the longevity of her career, but I think she could have a much more important career in the long run for the advancement of women behind and in front of the camera if she were to balance a role like this with something much smaller from a female director/writer.

    But, I’m very excited that she has been cast in this film, it’s a great opportunity for her and I can only hope that she has a consistent career from this point forward.

  • Aragorn

    Is she a star already???? Oh well, if you say so! I think anyone is a star nowadays…So why not she is one of them!

  • SallyinChicago

    Well, she has about 3 movies in the kettle if you believe However,I see Lupita doing stage work. Unless the movie is very strong, she’s going to get lost in these supporting role movies. She’ll probably have 10 lines in Star Wars. Audra McDonald a black actress has done very well doing JUST broadway. Nothing wrong with that.

  • Alex

    @Felipe/others, “It doesn’t help women’s image at all that all you do is complain and never let go”

    I disagree with a lot of what Sasha says but you can’t call it complaining or “never letting go,” IMO ALL film blogs/critics should have an eye out to what is often blatant sexism — and it goes both ways (there are often ridiculous standards for men as well), but at least men ARE constantly offered much more interesting and developed (and especially LEAD) roles … just look at the 2011 oscar noms for best pic, the only film that year with actual female leads was The Help; the year before that, out of 10, only three (Black Swan, Kids are All Right, and Winter’s Bone); year before that, three out of 10 again, and once you go back to 5 noms, it was down to 1 (maybe 2, as 2002 with Chicago/The Hours) where women played actual leads in movies told from their points of view, and even then, most of those movies didn’t have substantial male leads to begin with; as in, if there’s a male lead, he’s almost always *the* lead, a la Silver Linings Playbook (which I adore, btw), or Hugo, or In the Bedroom or The Artist. It’s very rare that we get an actual balance, as in Amour or As Good as It Gets or even Titanic (which was WAY more about Winslet’s character, and, gasp, mostly her point of view) … point I’m getting at: women can be leads, but usually only if they’re the only ones on screen anyways – Gravity, Zero Dark Thirty, The Hours – and even movies like these are STILL too rare. Even this past year the only movie with substantial male AND female leads (American Hustle) was still predominantly told from Bale’s character’s point of view (no reason it couldn’t have been Adams); only Philomena and Gravity unwaveringly focused on the development of a female character without letting male characters detract from that (I count Philomena esp. because in this movie, the male character actually served to develop the female character, which almost never happens).

    Film criticism, after all, involves analyzing how directors and their movies develop and portray their characters, and if you are spending your career/life analyzing movies and never comment on the disparity of how these developments are applied to men vs women, that most basic of “divisions” (poor word choice but point across — not even gonna touch on minorities, not least because I think I hold pretty different views from Sasha re: this point, though I think that we both ultimately are working towards the same message), then maybe you’re not doing your job too well.

    I ESPECIALLY am against there ever being the need for a different forum for “women” or “minority” discussions. The point is that these shouldn’t even be their own categories — these topics are completely intertwined with any discussion of film … and they should be treated as such so that we get to the point that these topics are, too, considered normal, not “fringe debates…” I do believe that they are issues EVERYONE can and should talk about.

    Sasha can and does write great pieces consistently about movies that don’t always bring up directly issues about sexism and racism i.e. her huge championing of Inside Llewyn Davis last year, which starred a Hispanic actor in a “white” role — to be fair Oscar Isaac is a racially white, Hispanic man — and was mostly about said white male; didn’t cloud Sasha’s and Ryan’s opinion that it was among the best, if not the best, movie of the year, a view I also hold. Basically, Sasha knows how to talk about movies, which includes talking about some the biggest issues facing (at least American, popular) cinema today. I hope you come to view these discussions as less fringe ones that are not relevant to you and more as ones which are ENTIRELY relevant.

  • Bryce Forestieri

    The whole world is fired up about this motion picture — to be shot in 35mm no less!

  • m1

    True Grit, Black Swan, The Kids Are All Right, Winter’s Bone, The Help, Zero Dark Thirty, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Amour, Gravity, Philomena.

    These are all films with a woman in the lead that were also nominated for Best Picture in this decade. Good to great films, all of them. It’s nice that Hollywood is starting to get a clue after all these years.

  • Natasha

    Sasha–I’m happy to have been mistaken, apparently, regarding what I thought was a lukewarm response on your part toward the future of Star Wars when you wrote the article on this blog called “Fluffers Unite” back in late April. I hope you and as many of us as possible will truly enjoy these new SW chapters.

  • Rob Y

    Lupita Nyong’o name sounds like a Star Wars character.

  • Rob Y

    I applaud Sasha’s continual writing about the roll of women in Hollywood. This is hardly one woman ranting and raving. Hollywood DOES have an issue with sexism.

    Last year was an extraordinary year for women. The biggest Oscar-winner last year was a female driven science-fiction movie. The biggest film at the box office was a female driven movie. The biggest animated feature of last year was about two sisters. If anything, last year showed that female driven films can be successful—both in box office and awards. It would be a near crime to let this momentum go by returning to the status quo.

    I have learned a lot from Sasha’s writing. With many different facets, she has managed to take a theoretical concept, personalize it, and make it realistic. For that I thank her and look forward to the next piece.

  • andres

    @Rob Y

    I totally agree that Hollywood misrepresents women and that there are problems. Doesn’t mean we need to disrespect all men, all I’m saying.

    And yes, I appreciate Sasha and all she contributes to this page. She’s a badass.

  • Alan of Montreal

    How is she disrespecting men? She disrespects the men who run Hollywood , maybe, or the male members of AMPAS or male critics, but I’ve never seen her diss men as a whole. If she’s dissing anything, it’s the system or political economy of male (and white) privilege that is so entrenched in the film industry, from greenlighting projects to celebrating awards for them. I think you need to stop taking her comments so personally and look at them more as critiques of patriarchy

  • She disrespects the men who run Hollywood , maybe,

    We respect a lot of the men who run Hollywood.
    We just don’t like the men who ruin Hollywood.

  • Kane

    ^^^Fantastic way of saying that, Ryan.

  • TOM

    I could picture her being a light saber-swinging badass (Dark Maul/Episode 3), but hopefully, she’s not used like an exotic Grace Jones/A View to a Kill. Otherwise, she might go to waste being some foreign Princess who just walks about with head-scratching hairdos.

  • SallyinChicago

    From THR:
    Lupita Nyong’o, Brad Pitt to Reteam on Film Adaptation of Novel ‘Americanah’
    ^^ She’s producing.
    Don’t cry for her, she’s well taken care of.

Check Also

Predictions Friday – Manchester and Moonlight Get a Boost

It isn’t that people weren’t predicting Kenneth Lonergan’s Manchester by…