With demand for stronger female roles at an all-time high and Kathleen Kennedy driving the ship as an executive producer, you can expect that we'll see more women emerging amongst the stars in that galaxy far, far away. LucasFilm and director Rian Johnson are rumored to be seeking a strong female lead for the next sequel Star Wars: Episode VIII. This comes after Star Wars: The Force Awakens upped the female ante quite a bit. It features three main female characters that include Daisy Ridley as Rey, Lupita Nyong'o as Maz Kanata (a mo-cap/CGI creation) and Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma (who wears a chrome stormtrooper getup for the majority of the film). Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has Felicity Jones as its central character (though she is surrounded by an otherwise all-male cast).
When the Star Wars: The Force Awakens cast was announced, it came under fire for only having one new central female character in Daisy Ridley, who was joining the franchise's only other substantial female presence Carrie Fisher. Throughout its first six films, the Star Wars franchise has always been front loaded by male actors. It makes sense that Kathleen Kennedy would want to help continue to change that. Though, at this point, we haven't heard any real news about Star Wars: Episode VIII aside from the fact that Benicio Del Toro is considering taking on the role of the main villain. He has not signed on yet.
There is still much we don't know about Star Wars: The Force Awakens. A few confirmed plot details have come forward, but the main thrust of the story has yet to be revealed aside from some unsubstantiated rumors. Even when it comes to Rey and Finn, we don't truly know who they are, or what their heritage is. And aside from the title Knights of Ren, we don't quite know how Kylo Ren fits into the overall arc. We do know that he is a Darth Vader Obsessive. And he is a relic collector who seeks out Jedi and Sith artifacts. We also know that Luke Skywalker's original blue lightsaber, now in the possession of Princess Leia, somehow sits into Star Wars: The Force Awakens' two hour structure.
GeekNataion first discovered that Star Wars: Episode VIII may be seeking a new female lead. This is interesting in that the previous two trilogies didn't introduce any new lead hero characters, aside from Lando in Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, and in his two movies he was always a secondary, though very important, presence. This new female character is said to be one of the primary heroes, and may be tied to one of the series' more prominent characters.
Sources claim that Rian Johnson is heavily involved in the process of finding a new actress. This makes sense, as Kathleen Kennedy announced over the course of D23 that the movie would solely be his creatively, as he works from what director J.J. Abrams and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan have already established in Star Wars: Episode VIII. The rumor goes onto state that this new female lead character is Han Solo's daughter. Right now, many believe that Daisy Ridley's Rey is Han Solo's daughter, that's why they're keeping her last name a secret. And she even goes as far as to pilot the Millennium Falcon at one point. But maybe all the rumors and speculations about this trilogy starter are wrong?
It's now being speculated that Han Solo's daughter isn't being introduced in Star Wars: The Force Awakens at all. That Rey, Finn, Kylo and Poe Dameron are all individual presences without a tie to the force. Though, that doesn't make sense when it comes to Luke Skywalker's line about how strong the force is in his family. Someone in Star Wars: The Force Awakens belongs to the Skywalker/Solo bloodline...Right?
Perhaps the reveal of Han Solo's daughter is being saved for Star Wars: Episode VIII? We won't likely know until this December, when all of Star Wars: The Force Awakens secrets are revealed. It isn't known how deep into the casting process Rian Johnson, Kathleen Kennedy, LucasFilm and Disney are. There are no front runners announced at this time. And the character's role in this new trilogy will probably be kept a secret if this all pans out. Star Wars: Episode VIII will be the first new franchise film to open in the traditional spot of May, after Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were given winter release dates to meet the demands of shareholders. That's a key right there that this may only be about money. So should you even care?