From The New York Times:
“Five days a week, in the foggy hills of San Francisco, 11 writers and artists discuss the minutiae of storm troopers. This is the Lucasfilm story group, and its members hold the keys to everything “Star Wars”: Under their guidance, the franchise’s narratives are linked no matter the platform, whether it’s television, games, theme parks, publishing, merchandise or, of course, film. With their ideas shaping each character and setting, they don’t see themselves as gatekeepers but as partners furthering the stories their creators want to tell.
Kathleen Kennedy founded the group in 2012 when she succeeded George Lucas as president of Lucasfilm, putting Kiri Hart, a former film and TV writer, in charge of the unit. […]
Today, the Lucasfilm story group is a diverse outlier in Hollywood: five of its members are people of color, and the team includes four women and seven men. This is a rarity in 2017, where women account for 13 percent, and minorities represent 5 percent, of all writers working on the top-grossing films. In addition to maintaining the continuity of the “Star Wars” universe, they aim to increase its diversity. This goal has sometimes led to struggles over their female characters.
Early on, the story group fought for the character Ahsoka Tano, a 14-year-old girl created by George Lucas and further developed by the director, producer and writer Dave Filoni. Not initially popular, she had a high, whiny voice and all the self-control of a bratty teenager when she was introduced in 2008 in the animated film and subsequent series “The Clone Wars.” In his review, Roger Ebert called her “annoying,” and angry letters and emails flooded in from fans.
Yet Mr. Filoni and the story group were insistent that there was more to Ahsoka Tano. Even after the series was canceled in 2013, the team would not let her die. Instead they included her in a new animated series, “Star Wars Rebels,” taking her on a journey from adolescent to compassionate 30-year-old adult, one whose nuanced arc reveals flaws in the Jedi order and insight into Anakin Skywalker’s descent. She now has a considerable fan following, including many young women who treasure their “Ahsoka Lives” T-shirts.”