Last week the first trailer dropped for the upcoming Star Wars Anthology film Rogue One, that aims to tell the story of how the Rebels acquire the plans for the first Death Star (if, by some freak accident you’ve never seen Star Wars, the plans for the Death Star are what Princess Leia was smuggling at the start of A New Hope).
The trailer has had the so-called ‘Social Justice Warriors’ out in force – especially on places like IMDb, protesting at yet another female lead in a Star Wars film (following on from Rey in The Force Awakens). I find myself wondering just what these SJWs are afraid of – should it be of any consequence in 2016 that the lead character in a Star Wars film is a woman?
The answer is of course no. SJWs protest at the ‘marginalisation’ of males, but lets be honest guys, we have relatively easy. Most films continue to portray us fellas as the top dogs, the brave heroes, and the noble saviours – we are hardly marginalised (just take a look at Captain America: Civil War, where the two main characters are brooding, muscular males, surrounded by other brooding, muscular males – or Independence Day Resurgence, which would appear to put men front and centre in the hero category). I think the problem of the SJW is rather that Star Wars is not dancing to their tune – a beloved franchise is doing things a little differently to established thinking.
Or is it? Princess Leia may not have been the principle hero of A New Hope but she was no shrinking violet either, whilst Mon Mothma led the Rebellion. Queen Amidala may not always have been portrayed brilliantly, but she was also a strong female leader and later, a much-respected senator for her people. Star Wars is filled with important female characters, and whilst they have not always escaped objectification (Leia and the gold bikini anyone?), it would be a mistake for anyone to think women cannot be leaders in the Star Wars universe.
This brings me to my next point – this is Star Wars. It is a space opera featuring telekinesis, laser swords and planet-destroying moons. People can shoot lightening bolts out of their fingers – in all of this, does it matter whether a woman is a figure of importance or not? Is that really the deal-breaker for you suspending your disbelief and enjoying the movie? If that’s where your priorities are, then I suggest you need to reevaluate said priorities, and try to remember that Star Wars is inclusive, not exclusive – unless you’re allied to the Empire.