The Rise Of Skywalker, Driven by These Fearless Females (With the Help of Porsche)

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Driven Women- Women of Lucasfilm breakfast and track experience at the Porsche Experience Center in Carson, CA on Thursday, November 19, 2019 (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages}

A discussion about “What Drives You,” fueled by Porsche, reveals how these women are driving the future of Lucasfilm.

You may wonder what Porsche and Star Wars have in common. Surprisingly, it’s more than just their collaboration in the upcoming film, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, in which Porsche helped to define new dynamics for the movie’s tri-wing starship.

Maybe it’s the feeling of soaring that a Porsche gives a driver and that Star Wars gives its audiences. But more likely, it’s that ability to harness power, to climb new heights and to inspire others to do the same.

To explore how the women, who have driven much of the success of Star Wars, have achieved their own personal heights, Porsche and Disney brought a group of Lucasfilm executives together to discuss “What Drives You” and what they have learned from their journeys.

Starting with Porsche.

“Driving on the track is one of the coolest things I’ve ever done. The Taycan is unbelievable. It almost feels like you’re going to fly,” Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm said.

If you’re wondering what she means, watch this and listen closely. You’ll hear how the Taycan creates that starfighter feeling on the road, driven by our friend Shea Holbrook:

Starship or Porsche, Get In the Drivers Seat and Take the Wheel

But what the group talked about is something more. A deep-seated commonality that reaches into the belly of the industry to show us these women and their tireless drive to create something new, without losing that which makes them excel, so that others can use it as a guide to find their own way.

We often talk about what it takes, as women, to build a career in the automotive business. A business, which up until recently, was predominately driven by men. Did we think we were alone? Not in the least.

This was a group of women directors, editors, and Kathleen Kennedy, the president of Lucasfilm, whom all, along with their male counterparts, helped to bring a crescendo to the Star Wars story.

Panel moderator Andi Gutierrez of Lucasfilm, noted “being part of that collective voice is important.” This idea is one that the automotive industry, through the evolution of design and marketing to include the female perspective, is in the midst of. “It’s about telling a story that means something to [different] people,” she adds, “that’s what makes something iconic.” 

And it’s this iconic sense that brought Porsche and Star Wars together in the first place. “We are both approaching generational moments in our history. For Lucasfilm, the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker marks the completion of one of the most epic sagas in the history of cinema. At the same time, we will welcome the all new Taycan, our first fully electric sports car, into the Porsche line-up this year,” shares Jade Logan of Porsche. “Both of these monumental releases combine the DNA of our past while refreshing it for the next generation.”

Related: Yes, You Can Live the Porsche Life: Learning to Drive, and Have Confidence, on a Track 

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Women of Lucasfilm, left to right: Deborah Chow, Bonnie Wild, Rayne Roberts, Maryanne Brandon, Michelle Rejwan, Lynwen Brennan, Victoria Mahoney, Kathleen Kennedy and Andi Gutierrez. (Photo: Alex J. Berliner/ABImages)

The Future is a Story We All Can Share

“As a kid, who sat in my backyard with my sleeping bag and backpack waiting for someone from Star Wars to come get me… And to go from that into a space with all of these women and find our way to pioneering new grounds and finding new ways, [it’s inspiring],” said Rayne Roberts, director of development for Lucasfilm.

The ever-flowing stories of the women on this panel were authentic, but they were not all together that different. “It’s thrilling to be right on the edge of something… and if you’re not terrified, you’re not pushing the envelope far enough,” said Victoria Mahoney, second unit director for The Rise of Skywalker. “You get there when you never thought you would,” she said. “It’s something that someone does beside you, and when you feel exhausted or tired, it allows you to put gasoline in your own tank and keep going,” she says about the support she’s felt from the women in her field. 

It’s these collective voices that are not only driving their own careers forward through uncharted territory, but they’re creating a path through their own hero’s journey and the mentoring of those that follow in their steps. So what is the overall advice that that the women behind Lucasfilm want us all to know? It’s to be fearless.

“It takes fearlessness to bring a film together. Be fearless in driving it forward,” said Lynwen Brennan, EVP and general manager of Lucasfilm.

Related: This Girl Has Drive: Inspiring Woman Aurora Straus, Teen SportsCar Racer with Harvard On Her Radar

Porsche Drives Innovation Forward with 2020 Taycan Reveal

With the release of the new film, Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, comes the much anticipated introduction of the Porsche Taycan. This fully electric sports car embodies Porsche’s willingness to step into the future, but doing so without compromising its core.

Overall, that’s why this collaboration between Porsche and Star Wars makes sense. With each new Star Wars film, the story, innovation, and ideas have progressed, but the vision and what made the films iconic has remained.

“The collaboration is about doing something only these two brands could do and something only these two brand would do,” said Jade Logan.

And who inspires these women? “My mom,” said Rayne Roberts. “What drove me is I learned to drive a stick in her Porsche.”

Mary Moore is a frequent road tripper, vintage car collector, and quirky travel enthusiast. One might say that her... More about Mary Moore