It started innocently enough. When the leads of the three new Star Wars movies post-Disney acquisition were announced nobody batted an eyelid that the lead was a young girl. This was Star Wars, after all, the franchise that gave us Princess Leia and Mon Mothma. Strong female characters, and leaders. Then there was the infamous photo. Maybe, in hindsight, it was the first warning sign. Back then, we just assumed this was simply a correct and proper attempt to open up the franchise to a wider fanbase.
Oh, how young and naive we were. This was just the harbinger of what was to come. They really, really were not joking. It became clear that this was not just about increased reach. Male characters were sidelined, undermined, or killed. Sometimes all three! Director after director quit over “creative differences” as a very clear type emerged for Kennedy. Almost like a fetish. Every single movie featured a particular flavor of actress.
Posh, British. The type that positively reeked of a correct upbringing, with a cut glass accent, a certain confidence, and better than even money on being raised in an area that probably had “Upon-Thames” in its name. Their characters would arrive fully equipped, and receive little or no instruction, training, or guidance. They would simply be better than everyone.
Training, study, heroes journey, being challenged? These were just trifling inconveniences when you are blessed with the boob. By the power of Mary Sue! You are just better. Modern Disney Princess syndrome dictates that you need no growth. The power is always within you, you simply need to learn that it is somebody elses fault (probably a man) that you haven’t realised this and now, you go grrrrrl! Just let that power out and strong girl roar.
This would even cross franchises at Lucasfilm, with the approach appearing elsewhere.
With movie after movie being creatively mauled, or financially failing, you might assume that somebody, somewhere in the power structures at Disney would point a few things out to Lucasfilm leadership? Clearly it either didn’t happen, or wasn’t taken on board, as it is all happening again.
This April, three new Star Wars films were announced at Star Wars Celebration in London. First up is the New Jedi Order film starring Daisy Ridley, reprising her role as Rey Skywalker for the first time since The Rise of Skywalker. To be directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a Canadian-Pakistani filmmaker who previously directed episodes of Ms. Marvel, very little was known about the project… until now.
A few days ago, the plot for the next Star Wars movie was revealed:
“We follow Rey’s courageous endeavor to restore the Jedi Order, where she assumes the role of a mentor to two promising young students – a girl and a boy. As her training progresses, it becomes evident that the girl possesses extraordinary abilities, destined to emerge as the future leader.”
Because of course she does.
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