‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ star, Moses Ingram, has expressed her desire for her Jedi-hunting character Reva to make an impact that could be felt beyond the screen, especially among young Black Star Wars fans. She said:
“I know it’s going to mean a lot to a lot of people…it’s important that when we turn on the TV, we see the world that we live in reflected back to us in what we’re seeing. Representation is so important, and I feel so blessed that I get to be the vehicle that this character comes forth through”
Ingram has been hands on in the creation of her character’s image as she wanted to create a look that kids who resemble her could easily emulate. She said:
“We had a lot of conversations about hair and what the right hair might be. Part of that conversation…was really that I wanted kids to be able to have the opportunity with their own hair at Halloween. If you look at all the kids of color or Black kids with kinky hair, when they want to be Elsa [from Frozen]…they got to put on a blond wig. [Now] there are so many kids that’ll be able to wear their [own] hair at Halloween”
The Star Wars Saga, created and produced by George Lucas is one of the most successful movie franchises of all time, but had long faced criticism for its lack of diversity. However, it appears to have made a conscious effort to tackle that over the last few years with the fictional universe now better reflecting the real world, with more female characters, people of colour and LGBTQ community members, including Daisy Ridley, the first Jedi played by a woman, John Boyega, as the first black Stormtrooper, and characters Finn and Poe, who were both announced as gay.
“Obi-Wan is going to bring the most diversity I think we’ve ever seen in the galaxy before,” Ingram began. “To me, it’s long overdue. If you’ve got talking droids and aliens, but no people of colour, it doesn’t make any sense. It’s 2022, you know. So we’re just at the beginning of that change. But I think to start that change is better than never having started it.”
Moses has been vocal around the sometimes negative reception and resistance online from some Star Wars fans over the franchise taking this stance, and recently told The Independent that the film executives warned her that she would likely face harassment online as a Black woman entering the franchise in the upcoming series. Actors such as Kelly Marie Tran left social media due to the toxic sexism and racism she received after joining. Moses says:
“Overall, there’s an outpouring of love and people want to love you and welcome you into the fold. And I think with anything, there are pockets of toxicity and it’s all about management: what you have time for and what you don’t.”
The first two episodes of the mini-series and Star Wars spin off, ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’, are set for release today, May 27, on Disney+.