Hey Star Wars-It’s Time for Female Protagonists

Woke up to the news that the patriarchy is still winning in a galaxy far, far away.

The only man in Star Wars to have his own cape closet is getting his own show. 

Let me be clear about a few things. I have NOTHING against Lando Calrissian, who probably has a really interesting backstory and would be exciting rep for the queer community (if Disney allows the show to definitively confirm that Lando is pansexual). And I’m HAPPY for Donald Glover in getting this opportunity. He is excellent in the role and deserves this opportunity to lead this adventure.

A Lando Calrissian television show is not a bad thing. I firmly believe this.

But…

I bemoan the fact that once again Disney has passed over interesting female characters to give the spotlight to a male protagonist.

Star Wars and Sexism: The Struggle is Real

Female fans have been fighting for a place at the galactic table for 40 years, only to be told repeatedly by “real” (aka white male) fans that while we can enjoy Star Wars, Star Wars isn’t for us.

Disney doesn’t really go out of its way to prove otherwise. On the contrary-they crafted an entire movie to appease a toxic male fanbase. Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy can wear “The Force is Female” shirts and promise female directors and stories all day long, but the proof is in the pudding. Or in this case, the proof is in the Disney+ lineup. Spoiler alert: it’s all about men.

“But!!!” you say, “There was just a whole trilogy about a girl!”

Yes, that’s true. But I would argue that there are female protagonists, and then there are female protagonists told through a female gaze.

Look, I love Rey with my whole damn heart, but after The Rise of Skywalker it became very clear that Rey was only ever meant to be Luke Skywalker 2.0 but with a vagina. With the possible exception of The Last Jedi, her story catered to the male gaze. Feel free to fight me on this; I could go all day.

And it’s not enough to relegate female-centric stories to the niche markets of comics and novels. LADIES CAN CARRY MAINSTREAM ENTERTAINMENT. Oh, and we can write it, produce it, and direct it too. And I bet men will still watch.

Give Us the Fem-Gaze Stories We Deserve

Stories where women can be complicated and messy. Stories with soft strong women and hard strong women. Women who are lovers and fighters. Survivors. Women who have dreams and goals and who fight to get what they want. Good women, bad women, and morally grey women. Women with different body types and skin colors.

Stories with women as we are, not as men expect us to be. 

And COME ON Disney, Qi’ra was RIGHT THERE.

Disney

Bottom line, Disney, you’ve had one of the strongest women in the galaxy to lead your way. Make General Leia Organa proud and tell our stories.

For more Star Wars, click here

Scroll To Top