Star Wars: Forces of Destiny is the latest project from Lucasfilm. A series of short animations focusing on the women characters of the Star Wars universe, it kicks off with a series of 8 stories, all released on YouTube. A further 8 episodes will follow in the autumn, and will debut on the Disney Channel. Each episode is 2-4 minutes long.
Series writer, Jennifer Muro spoke to FANDOM ahead of its premiere about what we can expect from Forces of Destiny, why Lucasfilm is choosing now to focus on the women of Star Wars and why she wants to make a Leia spin-off movie.
So which female characters are featured in Forces of Destiny?
Rey, Jyn, Princess Leia, of course, and Ahsoka, and Sabine. Padmé is going to be in there from Clone Wars so it’s a really great group – and Maz Kanata is going to be in the specials for Disney Channel.
So how does it all fit together? Those are characters from different timelines…
Right. So, the way it fits is kind of showing the everyday heroism, for all of the characters. It’s pretty authentic Star Wars storytelling. There are no false constructs – putting these people together that don’t belong together. So, everything is appropriately Star Wars, with authenticity, but I think really the through line is just about the heroic moments that shape these characters individually.
So are they all standalone stories?
Are they connected in any way? Is there a McGuffin that runs through?
Not a McGuffin, but the themes really are, like I said, heroism, friendship, standing up for others. All the very similar things that have always been in Star Wars. That theme continues in Forces of Destiny.
Does each episode focus on a different hero?
Yeah. I mean, they do. Like, there’s going to be a Rey story, and some of the characters get together depending on the time period if it works out.
Does it always have a woman character as the main protagonist?
Yeah, pretty much. It really is told from their point of view, the heroines of Star Wars in general.
There are some male characters – which prominent male characters will we see?
We’ll definitely have Anakin in there. I know people are really excited for that.
How do you translate characters like Rey and Jyn, played by Daisy Ridley and Felicity Jones on the big screen, to an animated series?
We’re so lucky to have Daisy [Ridley] and Felicity [Jones] doing this. I think it’s even easier because of this. Having the feature actors doing this makes it immediately authentic and it brings the same kind of energy that they bring to the features which is great. So, I think it translates really well. And it’s just great to have stories told in another medium for Rey.
Why is Lucasfilm focusing on women characters now?
I think it’s just time. It’s been a long time coming. I don’t think this is brand new. Especially in the animated series, they’ve been having so many strong female characters. Leia has always been strong, and Rey and Jyn more recently. I think it’s just a nice avenue to showcase these women and bring them to the forefront. I think it’s just time and audiences are ready for it.
Could you see yourself stepping into the Star Wars live-action universe?
I would love to. Not that anything is happening. But if it ever does someday I will be knocking on that door absolutely.
It would be good to see more women in that arena…
Behind the scenes, it would be great. Carrie Beck, who was the executive on this, she’s amazing and helped create Star Wars Rebels so she’s another very strong woman in Lucasfilm.
There’s a handful but she’s the one I dealt with the most. So that was great to have. I mean, it was indispensable. And maybe they’ll have a woman director one day. I have a lot of hope for that for women in Lucasfilm.
How did Lucasfilm pitch the idea to you in the first place?
It’s really stayed on message from the beginning. It really was about showcasing these women and telling stories of heroism from the point of view of the females of Star Wars. Even though there are male characters in it, we just wanted to show it through their eyes or through their experiences. And that has really stayed from that initial pitch to today which is great.
What’s important to you when you’re developing female characters?
For me, their strength but I really like them to have a sense of humour and bring out that sense of humour that’s organically in the characters. So I think always making sure that personality is there. That’s really important. And really individual personality traits that maybe others don’t have.
If you could write a Star Wars movie, what would be your spin off choice?
I would like to see how Leia was growing up on Alderaan, I think that would be amazing. I would love to see her life growing up there and what kind of adventures she had. Also, I think a live-action Star Wars: Rebels would be amazing too.
‘Star Wars: Forces of Destiny’ is available on YouTube from July 3. You can also see it on the Disney Channey from July 9.