May the Fourth Be with You: The Powerful Women of Star Wars

May the Fourth Be with You: The Powerful Women of Star Wars
May the Fourth Be with You: The Powerful Women of Star Wars
Posted at 6:32 PM, May 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-05 08:01:06-04

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WTXL) - In a galaxy far, far away women have always held their own on the battle field.

The Star Wars franchise has strayed away from the typical damsel in distress character, opting for heroines like Princess Leia. She's a damsel who will put you in distress.

In the new trilogy, Leia transforms into a powerful leader of the rebellion

Emma Jonas, a Tallahassee Nerds & Geeks member, says, "I just think it's a really beautiful thing because you get to see the evolution of Princess Leia as General Organa, you know, leading her own fleet." Princess Leia was always a fighter... shooting blasters at stormtroopers, helping the rebel alliance, and standing up for herself.

In the original trilogy, women remained mostly in the background. Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia, was the only female lead, among nearly a dozen male characters.

Joe Fisher, a local Mandalorian Merc, says, "In the first movie, I think there were maybe 2 or 3 women, in almost the entire series. So, it's good to see branching out to just make it the status quo."

Fast forward to 2015 and the opening of "The Force Awakens". The new reboot of the series led by Daisey Ridley as Rey. She's brave and independent like Princess Leia.

The galaxy is packed with strong women. Princess Leia has been a feminist icon since the beginning of the Star Wars saga. Now, Rey is wielding a light saber and is possible the last Jedi?? The force is strong with the women of Star Wars!

Dr. Shantel Buggs is a Sociology Professor at FSU, who specializes in how race, gender, and sexuality is represented in popular culture.

Dr. Buggs says, "We get a lot of our ideas about various kinds of stereotypes and notions and expectations in our society from the media that we consume." She says, it's important that kids are watching movies and shows that include a diversity of characters, making media relate-able to people of all colors, shapes, and sexual orientations.

Dr. Buggs says, "Being able to see women who are kind of skilled, or are being leaders, and don't have to be sexualized, unless they want to be is super important. Not just for women in society, but I think it tells a more interesting story." She says, there's been a shift toward women starring in movies and television shows.

"The Force Awakens" is a great example. Large female roles are sprinkled throughout the movie.

Jonas says, "The princesses of our childhood, at least for my childhood, are now sort of the leaders. And I think that's a really cool thing to look at."  

To see the first  “May The Fourth Be With You” series talking about the mythology behind Star Wars, click here