The next Star Trek movie is finally starting to materialize, and it looks like the director is someone fans didn’t see coming. It’s not Quentin Tarantino or Doug Jung. Instead, according to reports from Variety on Thursday, the franchise will welcome its first female director to a feature film: S.J. Clarkson, who is known for her work on Jessica Jones and Orange is the New Black. But, as any fan knows, Star Trek has had women behind the camera since the very beginning.
Unlike a franchise like, say, Star Wars, the sprawling universe of Star Trek has had several women on the creative side of things since the very beginning in 1966. Star Trek’s very first script editor and writer of several notable episodes was Dorothy “D.C.” Fontana. Melinda Snodgrass was a Next Generation powerhouse, and Jeri Taylor co-created Star Trek: Voyager, to only name a few. The current Star Trek series, Discovery also has several female writers, including Kirsten Beyer and Bo Yeon Kim. Also, countless Star Trek episodes have been directed by women. Gabrielle Beaumont directed several Next Generation bangers, including “Disaster” and “Face of the Enemy,” while Roxann Dawson helmed “Dead Stop” on Enterprise.
On Wednesday, Paramount confirmed two new Star Trek films were in the works, and now it seems one of these will be directed by Clarkson. This news comes just a few weeks after Lucasfilm confirmed the second unit director on Star Wars: Episode IX would be Victoria Mahoney. Other than Leigh Bracket’s unused screenplay ideas for The Empire Strikes Back and Marcia Lucas’s uncredited editing of A New Hope, Mahoney’s hiring marks the first time a woman has been put in such a prominent behind-the-scenes role on a Star Wars film.
All of this indicates that huge sci-fi franchises are finally making sure the women are in charge of the huge space enterprises (pun intended) that so many people cling to for inspiration and entertainment.
But in the case of Star Trek, because it has a long history of employing creative women in front of and behind the camera, the idea of a woman helming one of the Trek movies was always where this franchise was headed.
The only question now is an important one for hardcore fans. Because S.J. Clarkson has worked with Star Trek: Voyager alum Kate Mulgrew on Orange is the New Black, could she figure out a way to bring Captain Janeway back for the next movie? -Star Trek: Discovery season 2 is currently filming. A release date for the new Star Trek films has yet to be confirmed.