I have been a STAR WARS fan since the age of five; actually I should dig up this old video my parents have of me battling the laundry line pole with a stick. I was 5-years-old at the time and in the home movie my dad says to me, “Bethie, what are you doing?” I reply in-between animated slashes, “Fighting the bad guys and saving Luke.” In fact, whenever I would imagine I was part of the STAR WARS galaxy I would often resemble a strong girl, who was not a princess but a skilled warrior and brilliant pilot. Princess Leia had nothing on me and Han Solo clearly chose me over her anyway so…yeah. With the newest STAR WARS film releasing this Friday I thought I’d take a look at some of the strong female characters in all of the STAR WARS films. If you’re new to STAR WARS or think it’s just a boy’s film, let me tell you, you couldn’t be more off point. My dad has two daughters, no sons, he passed his love of the film onto me.
If there’s ever a time for you to jump on the STAR WARS bandwagon right now is the time. Girl power has never felt more alive than in a galaxy far, far away.
5 Strong Women I Want My Daughters To Look Up To in STAR WARS
Princess Leia Organa
STAR WARS: A New Hope shook things up when they introduced us to Princess Leia with her infamous hologram playing, “Help me Obie Wan Kenobi. You’re my only hope.” Princess Leia is anything but a damsel in distressed, able to hang with the boys and hold her own with a blaster, Princess Leia quickly becomes an asset to the Rebel Alliance. When we see her again in THE FORCE AWAKENS she’s in a position of power as the general of the Resistance. She’s incredibly intelligent, strong, independent, and fiercely loyal to the cause. She’s just like her mama, Padmé Amidala, who we’ll get to in just a little bit.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the girl we met in THE FORCE AWAKENS on Jakku, who took on Kylo Ren with Luke’s lightsaber and returned it to him at the end of the film will be a central figure in THE LAST JEDI. Rey is a survivor. We don’t know who her parents are and when we meet her she’s scavenging on her own and making it. She’s incredibly athletic and determined. She has a natural inclination and sensitivity to use the Force and it’s going to be so exciting to see what training with Jedi Master Luke Skywalker will do for her ability to use the Force.
Now, Jyn Erso, is by far my absolute favorite heroine in the STAR WARS films. She’s the character I was imagining I would be as my five-year-old self playing in the backyard. We meet Jyn Erso in the first standalone STAR WARS film ROGUE ONE which tells the story of how the Rebels came into possession of the Empire’s ultimate weapon the Death Star. Now if you haven’t seen any of the STAR WARS films stop reading and go watch the movies. Jyn Erso, is the daughter of Galen Erso, who was the chief engineer of the Death Star, and her relationship with her father becomes the key to unlocking the plans for the Death Star. It’s critical for the Rebel Alliance to get access to these plans so they can stop the Death Star’s construction. ROGUE ONE centers around Jyn Erso and with no love interest, her character is one that I want my own daughters to look up to as resourceful and fiercely independent.
Admittedly, many of us probably forgot who this woman was from the original trilogy to ROGUE ONE but she holds one of the most powerful positions in the Rebel Alliance. Her brilliance and political genius helped her rise into a position of influence within the Alliance. She started out as a representative of her home planet Chandrilla in the Galactic Senate and Imperial Senate and when Senator Palpatine started to rise to a position of power, Mathma, along with Senators Bail Organa and Padmé Amidala, spoke out against him. While Palpatine did come to power, as the first Emperor of the Galactic Empire, Mathma became the first Chancellor of the New Republic. She recruited Jyn Erso in the mission to gather intelligence on the Empire’s secret weapon and leads the Rebels to victory in A NEW HOPE.
More than a pretty face or the love of Anakin Skywalker’s life and even more than being the mother of Luke and Leia Skywalker, Padmé Amidala is a political force to be wreckoned with. We first meet her in Episode I: The Phantom Menace where she’s able to unite her people with the amphibious Gungans (remember, Jar Jar Bninks?) who also inhabited her home of Naboo. Together they defeat the Trade Federation’s invasion. She’s a believer in peace and would rather raise diplomacy than arms against anyone. Make no mistake though, she’s not afraid to use a little “aggressive negotiations”.
Up and Coming Strong Female Characters in THE LAST JEDI
We don’t know much about newcomer Rose Tico but from the looks of it, it seems like she plays a pivotal role in THE LAST JEDI. Her biography from StarWars.com,
Part of the support crew that keeps the Resistance starfighters flying, Rose has hated the First Order since she was a child. Now able to fight back against the enemy, Rose keeps her focus on her mission.
Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo
We don’t know much about Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo other than she’s played by actress Laura Dern. My guess is that she is most likely a major player in the film since Laura Dern is one of the biggest actresses in Hollywood especially with the roles she’s played (Big Little Lies, JURASSIC PARK) as well as two Oscar nominations. One of the Entertainment Weekly THE LAST JEDI covers had a subtitle that read: Can Poe Get Along with His New Boss. Next to actor Oscar Isaac who plays Poe Dameron, is Laura Dern dressed as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. We can assume that she’s playing nice for the rebels but you know what they say about assuming. From the Entertainment Weekly article,
The Resistance paid a high price for its victory in The Force Awakens, and with the New Republic’s capital demolished, Leia’s forces are battered, bruised, and scattered.
A new leader rises to guide the battle against the First Order, Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, who doesn’t quite have Leia’s everyman (or everywoman) touch with the troops.
That leads her to conflict with X-wing ace Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac). His history, training, and loyalty lies with Leia – but what he doesn’t realize is, so does Holdo’s. Both learned everything they know from the princess turned general.
We are SO FREAKING EXCITED for December 15th to get here already. Until that day comes, check out some of the films that are out or watch the trailer over and over again (not that I’ve done that, no, I haven’t watched 20 times…)
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STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI opens in theatres everywhere December 15th!