Image from Movie Pilot
May the Fourth be with y’all. Admittedly I’m not the biggest Star Wars fan. That’s not to say I’m not a fan, just that I didn’t bother to get tickets to an opening night show of The Force Awakens or anything like that (to be fair, Marty & I were in Chicago that night and were busy doing Chi-town things). I did go the following Monday to a matinee by myself, so I didn’t waste too much time missing out.
I loved The Force Awakens. It was super-fun, it harkened back to the old movies (of course, because it was basically A New Hope), and most importantly, it had a badass female protagonist. I’ve read a lot of from other writers about how Rey isn’t the first strong female character in the series because Leia and Padme both fit that category, but there are two things about this particular character in this episode that make her stick out for me.
- She is the Luke of this film, so she’s the principle character, not an auxiliary character who cheers on the principle. She is the Katniss Everdeen, but without all of Katniss’s annoying pandering and waffling and obsessing over boys while she’s fighting for life and death1.
- Rey is never questioned by the other protagonists because of her womanness. Is there a quick moment when Finn asks her if she has a boyfriend? Yes, but when she shuts him down, he respects her and doesn’t continue to bother her. Han Solo lets her fly the Millennium Falcon without too much questioning. Something I talk about often is that women can’t gain equality alone. We need to have male allies stepping aside and allowing us to take that 20% that we currently aren’t getting. We need to have male allies calling out their friends and coworkers for saying sexist things or for objectifying women rather than valuing them for their humanness. This is what Rey got from Han, Finn, Poe, etc.
I hope you all have a beautiful Star Wars Day. Watch an episode for me; I’ll be at a birthday party tonight.
1I mean, like, I sort of get it. Even when you’re fighting you’re thinking about your loved ones and a lady’s heart – at least my ladyheart – is often getting in the way of business. But it really made the reading experience unbearable at times. So if you only saw the Hunger Games movies, where this internal debate isn’t evident, you maybe don’t know what I’m talking about at all.
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