Disney’s biggest Star Wars mistake? Too few women cast members.

Alyssa Rosenberg writes in the Washington Post the dearth of women in the cast shows not much changes millennia from now.

“After Disney announced the much-anticipated cast for the next “Star Wars” movie yesterday, io9′s Annalee Newitz pointed out just how male the list is. “There is only one new female character being added to what is arguably the world’s most beloved mythic series,” she wrote. “It’s as if 51 percent of the population cried out in pain, and was suddenly silenced.”

She has a point, and I would be particularly interested to know what happened to newly minted Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o’s talks with J.J. Abrams about the project. But for me, the casting announcement, which included the welcome news that “Attack The Block” star John Boyega and “Girls” veteran Adam Driver will be in the mix, comes second to a bigger loss announced late last week.

The folks who are guiding Star Wars have decided to abandon the Expanded Universe, the novels, comics and games that carried the original story forward. Those stories will live on, but as a sort of alternate timeline rather than as material for adaptation as Disney, which now owns the franchise, plans a major build-out of the Star Wars universe. Animated series set during the events of the live-action prequel movies, and another animated show in the works, will continue to count; the events of those series will be factored into world-building and character development. But the rest of the stories so many of us have spent so many years caring about? Like Alderaan, they will live on more in memory than in reality.”

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