We’ve been getting a lot of Star Wars news recently. Little of it has been particularly informative. It has been mostly rumors, nonstatements, or meetings. These Star Wars casting rumors will be no different, except that it is a little different for reasons I’ll go into in a minute.

First let’s lay out the basics. David Oyelowo (The Butler) and rising superduperstar (you heard it here first) Michael B. Jordan (Fruitvale Station, Chronicle) both took meetings with the Star Wars higher ups. Jordan met with the lord of secrets, J.J. Abrams himself. This is great news. Both Oyelowo and Jordan are fantastic actors and seeing them in a project the size of Star Wars would be great for their careers, and for us as fans.

I really hope that the two of them are being brought in for different roles. Obviously because more good actors often bodes well for the fate of a film, but also for more socially significant reasons. It’s pretty hard to dispute the dearth of people of color in the leading roles of major blockbusters. It’s an issue a lot of people don’t love to talk about, willfully ignore, or even worse actively exacerbate.

Just a few months ago the internet was aflame with horrifying vitriol regarding the possibility of Michael B. Jordan being cast in the new Fantastic 4. There was no secret that race was the primary motivator in that controversy. It’s awesome to hear that there is at least something going on in that department these days.

If it’s not an indicator of overall cultural progress, at least studios aren’t taking hints from the more problematic digital spaces. There’s still no non-white (or non-male) superhero movie on the Marvel Studios roster, but maybe that will change too. More diversity in the Star Wars universe is a good start I for one, look forward to a Star Wars movie where the nonwhite portion of the cast can’t be described just by saying Billy Dee Williams. Are we excited about this? Do these Star Wars casting rumors signal a change in the culture? Let’s get sociological below.

Source: Latino Review