TV’s Frink said:
Rio is a man.
He’s a male, but not a man.
Look I feel we’re getting too far into semantics with that one 😉
It’s just as important to have disposable female characters who only exist to advance the plot as it is to have important female characters who drive the story. Just like male characters.
Equality means equality, not just making all the females the best characters ever and all the males disposable simpletons.
Solo was a great example of gender, race, etc., not even being an issue in regards to the story. The most important thing is that the character is good or important; if that character happens to be female, whatever, it doesn’t matter. Just make the character good.
Honestly the fact that this is even a discussion in the Star Wars fanbase astonishes me.
Leia is one of the most recognisable characters in cinema history, as is Lando; both of which are amazing characters who serve an important purpose.
Go further forward and you have Padme, literal Queen of an entire planet and an extremely strong politician who’s integral to the story arc of an entire trilogy.
Or, y’know, Mace Windu - Second only to f*ing Yoda.
Race and gender have never been an issue in Star Wars, ever. Why we’re suddenly pretending it is is silly.
Maybe a case can be made for A New Hope, but that’s one movie made in 1977 out of a 40 year history.