Meet Deborah Chow, Star Wars’ First Woman Director In 42 Years

Photo: Jean Baptiste Lacroix/Getty Images.
Warning: Major spoilers for the first three episodes of The Mandalorian are ahead.
The Star Wars franchise may take place in a distant past in a distant universe, but one problem remains disappointingly Earthian: a lack of woman directors. It wasn't until episode 3 of the newest chapter of The Mandalorian on Disney+ that a woman director touched a live-action Star Wars creation. Deborah Chow, who directed the beloved episode "Chapter 3: The Sin," has emerged as an overdue symbol of progress for a franchise that's been around long enough to have no excuse. Her resumé will have you scrambling to catch up on her creations that lead to this incredible episode, and eager for more: She's directing the upcoming the Obi-Wan Kenobi series with Ewan McGregor.
"One of the really interesting things about the project is that it was different," Chow said in a video on Fab TV's YouTube channel ahead of The Mandalorian premiere. "It's a new period, and it's new characters. So, even though it feels like we know so much, everything was original and new, and that was really exciting."
Her passion shines through in her episode. Chow somehow manages to make an epic fight sequence as tense as it is heartwarming, and the fact that the creature the internet has dubbed the Baby Yoda was the star didn't hurt. When the Mandalorian (Pedro Pascal) realizes that the Client (Werner Herzog) has suspect intentions for the baby he just handed over, he decides to storm the Client's lair, kill all the stormtroopers, and rescue the baby. The episode ends with an epic street battle: the Mandalorian vs. the bounty hunters. It's only when a rush of other Mandalorians come out of hiding to help the Mandalorian escape with the baby that he prevails. People loved it.
Chow received her MFA in directing at Columbia University, and wrote and directed 2002 film Daypass that won the Best Actor Award at the Milano Film Festival and the Best Short at the Turin Film Festival, according to the Tribeca Film Institute. In 2004, her short film The Hill premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival, and in 2005 she was the winner of the Kodak New Vision Mentorship.
Her past TV work includes directing episodes of Reign, Jessica Jones, and Better Call Saul, but this is her first foray into a Disney series. The fact that she has already been tasked with bringing another Star Wars story to the screen means, hey — maybe we should try this woman directing thing more often?
To be fair, that's what The Mandalorian is doing. Chapter Four is slated to be directed by actress Bryce Dallas Howard. We waited for 42 years, so yes, we can wait for another week.
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