Sign In

Strong Female characters in the Star Wars universe

Author
Time

I’d say Leia, but that’s obvious. Into the garbage chute flyboy…

I really liked Shira Brie in the Marvel series. She was so good - in fact that whole era of Marvel SW was so good - that I actually expected her to be in RoTJ. I didn’t follow her story after RoTJ - I know she became Lumiya but I’m not really up to speed on all that. She should’ve been the ‘other hope’ IMO…

I love Commander D’acy in TLJ although I can’t quite pinpoint why. Rian Johnson says in the commentary that she was given more screen-time because she had this great presence. I agree, there’s something magnetic about her.

I’m not thrilled with how Rey has been written, but Daisy’s great and the sight of little kids cosplaying as Rey never fails to make me tear up…

Author
Time

Shopping Maul said:

I really liked Shira Brie in the Marvel series. She was so good - in fact that whole era of Marvel SW was so good - that I actually expected her to be in RoTJ. I didn’t follow her story after RoTJ - I know she became Lumiya but I’m not really up to speed on all that. She should’ve been the ‘other hope’ IMO…

Well, that was a surprise pick for a first name in a new thread, but I agree completely. She was great and it’s too bad she got the shaft too quickly. She could’ve used more story time, even after she turned dark. And I don’t mean explaining everything, just making her more present before and after to make a deeper impact.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Shira is one of my favorite characters in all of Star Wars , the original red haired assassin years before Mara Jade , and she made the leap from comics to novels decades after she was introduced .Also , I have always pronounced her name as Shyra Bry , but Dave Michellinie , who wrote her , has said that he does pronounce her first name that way but the majority of fans he talked to pronounced it Sheera and he also has said the last name is pronounced Bree .The Sheera pronunciation reminds me too much of She Ra from Masters Of The Universe and Bree reminds me of the cheese food ,so in my head , I am sticking with the Shyra Bry pronunciation.

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

Author
Time

screams in the void said:

Shira is one of my favorite characters in all of Star Wars , the original red haired assassin years before Mara Jade , and she made the leap from comics to novels decades after she was introduced .Also , I have always pronounced her name as Shyra Bry , but Dave Michellinie , who wrote her , has said that he does pronounce her first name that way but the majority of fans he talked to pronounced it Sheera and he also has said the last name is pronounced Bree .The Sheera pronunciation reminds me too much of She Ra from Masters Of The Universe and Bree reminds me of the cheese food ,so in my head , I am sticking with the Shyra Bry pronunciation.

I hear that after being rejected by Luke, she married someone called Hee-Man Camembert…

Author
Time

I really appreciate how they’ve managed to write Dr. Aphra and Sana Starros as scoundrels in the same vein as Han and Lando instead of falling back on gendered “femme fatale” tropes. I’d love to see either of them on screen at some point, they’re two of my absolute favorites in the new canon.

Author
Time

juliatom543 said:

I will go with Leia and shira. I admire a lot from both of you. I mostly follow both of them because I like their fashion sense. In fact, I dye my hair like Shira by using Regenepure products( https://www.reecoupons.com/view/regenepure )

^Ahsoka Tano is a very good character too , she started out as a snippy teen and evolved into a formidable and wise warrior .Plus , what is on top her head is natural and she does not require product nor peddle product overtly on message boards at random . As a member though , she might leave a link in her signature .

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

Author
Time

Assaj Ventress is a really great character. She starts off bland, but later in TCW they go into her backstory and it’s quite tragic. From there she evolves from Dooku’s pawn to a dark lord in her own right, then to just someone trying to survive, and finally to a Republic hero.

Maul- A Star Wars Story

Author
Time

There’s no such thing as a strong female character; only a strong character.

Author
Time

I think Padmé Amidala is very underrated she’d never back down to anybody even Anakin when he was at his breaking point.

Author
Time

I think there is some truth to that statement, but I think the term does have some merit, regarding well-written characters from a uniquely female perspective. Just a lot of writers think a strong female character is a “strong” character that is female, but like you said Anakin, is a well written character. But I do think it does take some effort for male writers to write some female characters, understanding that perspective, depending on the story.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Anakin Starkiller said:

There’s no such thing as a strong female character; only a strong character.

good point . I am going to leave the title of the thread as is though as I feel female characters in Star Wars movies were grossly under represented in the OT…Leia being the only main female character , and it’s nice to see this changing and seeing more of a female presence to give more avatars for the female audience to plug themselves into .

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

Author
Time

Anakin Starkiller said:
There’s no such thing as a strong female character; only a strong character.

I like this comment, though the thread title is fine and required in order to only talk about strong characters that are female 😛

screams in the void said:
good point . I am going to leave the title of the thread as is though as I feel female characters in Star Wars movies were grossly under represented in the OT…Leia being the only main female character , and it’s nice to see this changing and seeing more of a female presence to give more avatars for the female audience to plug themselves into .

Strong OT characters that are female:

  • Princess Leia will always take the cake of course
  • Mon Mothma

As far as OT representation goes:

  • Princess Leia
  • Mon Mothma
  • Aunt Beru
  • Oola
  • Sy Snootles (SE I know but it’s still a female character in the OT)
  • Yarna d’al’ Gargan
  • TESB Echo Base Map-Reading Woman
  • Various background females at the Cantina, Cloud City and Jabba’s Palace

*Source for the names of the last few (that I remember but never knew their name) and others that fall into the various background category: https://www.thrillist.com/entertainment/nation/women-in-star-wars

Yeah, not a lot of representation still but a little bit more than you might casually think. You’re probably aware also that there were originally meant to be 3 female Xwing pilots in 1977 ANH but they were later edited out, apparently due to the thought of how seeing female Xwings getting blown up on screen might be received. Definitely still pretty obvious that the movies were originally targeted at boys and young males in times where it was thought they would be the only ones really interested in such a movie.

Val

Author
Time
 (Edited)

^ and of the examples above , Leia is still the only one in the OT that had more than approximately one minute or less of screen time . I thought the deleted female pilots were from Return Of The Jedi and not the original film .Oh ,and I would add Nomi Sunrider from the Tales Of The Jedi comics to the list of strong female characters…http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Nomi_Sunrider

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

Author
Time

Yeah not trying to say otherwise, just that there was one other strong character in there and even though she doesn’t get much screen time, she does have a strong presence and is believable as being in that position of power.

The others were just simply in regards to representation of females which I agree could have been higher and better represented in leading roles by today’s standards but I think it is entirely expected and the norm for the time it was made in. Star Wars '77 is akin to other movies that were more directed at portraying a young male as the main protagonist who starts out as a nobody (ie. the boys watching the movie) who goes on to find high adventure, rescue a damsel in distress and ultimately saves the day. Most female characters in such movies are only there to support the main male character and not much more, it is actually a small miracle that we got Princess Leia as she was, who in the frame of only Star Wars '77 existing at the time, is still literally called a “Princess” who is rescued and offers her hero a kiss who is holding her as they’re about to swing across a chasm on a rope. Pretty cliche stuff.

In saying that, many females still loved the OT movies and actually looked up to Luke as their hero and inspiration as he was a great character that both males and females could relate to and the same could be said of Leia. Furthermore, yes there could be more females as lead characters in the OT but is this an issue in relation to the story? No. As long as the characters themselves are compelling and effectively tell and communicate the story being told then it matters not whether they are male or female. The very fact that Katee Sackhoff made an awesome Starbuck in the 2004 remake of the Battlestar Galatica is proof enough of this and the fact that many females look up to Luke’s character despite being of the opposite gender.

The only actual issue a lack of female leads across a multitude of movies and genres points to is equal opportunity and that’s what needs to be addressed, not putting females in lead roles who are not fit to convincingly portray that character just to balance out a ratio which has no impact at all on how good a movie will be.


In regards to the female pilots, I looked it up recently via this article which seems to indicate it being in 1977 for the original Star Wars. I am wondering if they are mistaken though, if you look behind Lando between 0:18 and 0:19 in the below ROTJ video I am sure you can see the same female pilot as is seen in the below image taken from the article:

https://www.cinemablend.com/new/Revealed-Star-Wars-Originally-Had-Female-X-Wing-Pilots-34581.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pWXVUJfSvDs

Another reference actually talks about 4 female pilots, with 3 being cut and the below one being dubbed over with a male’s voice (I remember learning about this particular example some time ago myself but had since forgotten about it):


Anyway getting back to strong female characters in Star Wars, I meant to add my own to the thread in my previous reply, which would be Mara Jade from the Heir to the Empire book trilogy by Timothy Zahn. I’ve only read it once so far in the past year but I think she’s a great character that can stand on her own against the biggest characters in the OT.

While the story of that series wasn’t perfect by any means, I think an adaptation could have been absolutely brilliant as it feels infinitely more like Star Wars than the current ST and logically furthered the story of the existing saga up to that point. Even if it wasn’t made into the new ST, I wish the new ST could have been made so that the Heir to the Empire series could easily coexist within the time jump from the OT to the ST.

Val

Author
Time
 (Edited)

yeah , The original Zahn trilogy was great and Mara was a good character ( though I suspect that Zahn borrowed heavily from Shira Brie in the original marvel series when creating her ) . As for Leia being a damsel in distress , She turned that trope on it’s head and actually ended up taking charge ,“into the garbage shoot flyboy !” and during the swing across the chasm , she blasted her fair share of stormtroopers.plus, she is the best shot out of all of them …she never misses throughout the OT.

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/

Author
Time
 (Edited)

“Strong female character” is a crap term. It’s overused and is vague enough so as to be a pointless metric. Many take it to mean the strength of the character them self (be it physical, emotional, or intellectual), but what’s far more important when it comes to storytelling is the strength of the characterization. In that regard, the Star Wars films feature shockingly few, but thankfully there has been a concerted effort to add more with each new entry.

Author
Time

I would say the universe is full of them. We really only get two in the OT, Leia and Mon Mothma, but both are obviously people to be reckoned with. But all the EU and comics I’ve read, from the Brian Daley books on are full of more. I can’t think of a single classic stereotype out there. Plus we end up with Mara Jade and Jaina Solo. While the ST has wiped all of them out, Qi’ra is awesome. Jynn is great but with flaws (she doesn’t shape the story until the mid-way point). Hera and Sabine are great and get some nice depth over the series. And I think everyone has been faithful to Carrie’s portrayal of Leia.

Author
Time

yotsuya said:

I would say the universe is full of them. We really only get two in the OT, Leia and Mon Mothma, but both are obviously people to be reckoned with. But all the EU and comics I’ve read, from the Brian Daley books on are full of more. I can’t think of a single classic stereotype out there. Plus we end up with Mara Jade and Jaina Solo. While the ST has wiped all of them out, Qi’ra is awesome. Jynn is great but with flaws (she doesn’t shape the story until the mid-way point). Hera and Sabine are great and get some nice depth over the series. And I think everyone has been faithful to Carrie’s portrayal of Leia.

^Yes ! even Carrie herself , who assisted with the script to The Last Jedi .

https://screamsinthevoid.deviantart.com/