Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy recently spoke out about the challenges that women in the “Star Wars” franchise face, particularly when it comes to online attacks from fans. In an interview with The New York Times, Kennedy acknowledged that female stars like Daisy Ridley and Kelly Marie Tran have been targeted by toxic fans due to the male-dominated nature of the fan base.

The upcoming series “The Acolyte,” created by Leslye Headland, has already been the subject of backlash from certain corners of the fandom. Set before the events of “The Phantom Menace,” the show features strong female characters played by actors like Amandla Stenberg, Carrie Ann-Moss, and Jodie Turner-Smith. Headland, the first woman to serve as a showrunner for a “Star Wars” series, has faced criticism for the diverse cast of characters in the show.

Kennedy expressed her support for Headland’s vision for “The Acolyte,” emphasizing the importance of representation in storytelling. She acknowledged the challenges that women face when stepping into the “Star Wars” universe, especially in the face of personal attacks from fans. Headland, for her part, has chosen to limit her exposure to online negativity in order to focus on creating the best possible show.

Despite the pushback from some fans, Headland remains committed to telling a diverse and inclusive story in the “Star Wars” universe. She believes in empathizing with fans’ frustrations while condemning any form of bigotry, racism, or hate speech. “The Acolyte” is set to premiere on Disney+ on June 4, offering fans a new and exciting chapter in the beloved franchise.

As the “Star Wars” fan base continues to evolve, it is essential for creators like Headland to push boundaries and challenge stereotypes. By embracing diversity and inclusivity, the franchise can continue to grow and thrive in a changing cultural landscape. Kennedy’s support for Headland’s vision signals a positive step towards a more inclusive future for “Star Wars” and its fans.