Some people on the Internet were upset over the Rogue One trailer because the main protagonist was a woman. These people couldn’t believe that we live in a world where two Star Wars movies would feature female heroes in the forms of Jyn Erso and Rey. As someone who is about to be the father of a little girl, I am extremely excited about this feminine turn in that galaxy far, far away.
While I’m still a few years off from showing our daughter Star Wars, I got to experience the excitement of a female hero first hand with my nieces. My sister showed my five-year-old and three-year-old nieces The Force Awakens and they absolutely loved Rey. One of them said that Rey was like Tinkerbelle because they both find things.
I went to their house and actually watched a little of the movie with them. They were completely engaged with Rey and watched her every move. They also really liked BB-8, but he didn’t steal any of Rey’s thunder.
I grew up loving Star Wars, in no small part because I could identify with the Luke Skywalker and Han Solo. Even though Leia was a strong female character, she was sometimes relegated to damsel in distress and gold bikinis. The fact that my daughter and my nieces will have female role models front and center excites me; instead of pretending to be a boy wielding a lightsaber, they’ll be able to pretend to be Rey.
I cared about positive female role models before, but now that I’m going to have a daughter of my own I care so much more. I love being a nerd and consuming movies, television shows and comic books. I would love to consume those forms of media with my daughter without having to explain why female characters are only used as sexual objects. I won’t be showing our daughter any Emma Frost comics, but I’ll be happy to read Ms. Marvel comics with her.
Nerdclinations were mostly a boys’ club when I was growing up. Girl nerds were cool, but they were few and far between. That has changed a lot in recent years, especially with Harry Potter and Doctor Who. I’m happy that change has found its way to the galaxy of Jedi and Sith. Hopefully my daughter and my nieces will have plenty of female heroes from that galaxy far, far away for years to come.
Who are some of your favorite female heroes?