The 10 Most Influential Women of ‘Star Wars’

Photo Credit:http://ualbertalaw.typepad.com/faculty/2016/03/the-women-of-star-wars-.html

So far, the number one thing Disney has gotten right with its take over of Star Wars is its very loud diversity push. From Rey to Jyn Erso to even Iden Versio, Kathleen Kennedy’s galaxy far, far away hasn’t just made moves to make up for the series’ ridiculous gender imbalance, but done its best to try and tip the scales, not just for this saga, but for Hollywood blockbusters at large. There’s even Forces of Destiny, a series of online animated shorts that all star one or more of the main female characters. So as this push continues, we want to highlight ten female figures from the saga we wouldn’t want to watch it without (for all intents and purposes, these are characters only found in the new canon—sorry Mara Jade fans).

 

10. Bo-Katan Kryze
First Appearance: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Photo Credit:http://www.starwars.com/databank/bo-katan-kryze

In terms of sheer cool factor, Bo-Katan outdoes Boba Fett every day of the week. At one point the second in command to Mandalorian terrorist group Death Watch, this warrior went on to lead Mandalore through its violent civil war during the Clone Wars. She would return to that post in the year prior to A New Hope, when another character further down this list entrusted her to rule once again.

 

9. Maz Kanata
First Appearance: The Force Awakens

Photo Credit:http://www.digitalspy.com/movies/star-wars/news/a809094/star-wars-episode-8-maz-kanata-will-be-back-lupita-nyongo-confirms/

Though she only had a small part in the new trilogy’s first chapter, Maz had an immediate impact as a sort of pirate version of Yoda. As one of Force Awakens’ most unique new faces, she boasts a wise nature about her, something actress Lupita Nyong’o can seemingly do in her sleep (or at least through motion capture), but also some of that signature Star Wars goofiness.

 

8. Mon Mothma
First Appearance: Return of the Jedi

Photo Credit:http://www.starwars.com/databank/mon-mothma

We don’t see a whole lot of the Rebellion’s higher ranks in the original trilogy, but when you do, they make quite an impact. That’s never more true than when Mon Mothma showed up at the briefing for the attack on the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi. She shows genuine remorse toward the lives lost to make their potential victory possible, and is the reason she keeps popping up in even more significant roles in other stories. Rogue One and Star Wars Rebels rewardingly paint her as the leader who not only gathers the larger Rebellion, but pushes it to actually rebel.

 

7. Sabine Wren
First Appearance: Star Wars Rebels

Photo Credit:http://fangirlblog.com/tag/sabine-wren/page/2/

Star Wars Rebels only recently started figuring out how to handle its Mandalorian member of the team, but it’s led to some of the best material on the series yet. Initially acting as your typical closed off teenager, Sabine later has had to come to terms with the actions she took under the rule of the Empire before she joined the Rebellion, and that conflict takes her to some fascinating and complicated places. Her subsequent choices, however, ascend her to true heroism.

 

6. Padme Amidala
First Appearance: The Phantom Menace

Photo Credit:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7HF4JG1pOg

One of the most frustrating aspects of the prequels is Padme’s ultimate fate. While many fans agree that the prequels get better as they go, Padme’s progression as a character gets worse with each installment. But when we meet her in The Phantom Menace, she’s a 14-year-old queen determined to take her planet back by any means necessary, continuing the tradition her daughter set forth in the original trilogy as the lone, yet utterly badass, female hero of the trilogy.

 

5. Asajj Ventress
First Appearance: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Photo Credit:http://www.starwars.com/news/5-moments-when-asajj-ventress-surprised-us

They couldn’t all be heroes. Quite literally a witch (watch the series, it works), Ventress trained under Count Dooku during the Clone Wars as his assassin in hopes of becoming his Sith apprentice. With her twin red lightsabers, and powerful command of the Force, Ventress causes the Jedi quite a bit of grief before her master betrays her, sending her on a rewarding journey of self-discovery. The later position her as a figure strong with the Force who switches between Dark and Light at will, making her one of the most unpredictable, exciting, yet still expertly written, women in the galaxy.

 

4. Hera Syndulla
First Appearance: Star Wars Rebels

Photo Credit:First Appearance: Star Wars Rebels

In the films, you either have to be a Skywalker or Poe Dameron to be an ace pilot in the galaxy, but then Rebels gave us Hera, captain of the Ghost and a general in the Rebellion (so Rogue One tells us). Boasting the richest character arc of the series thus far, Hera has faced the difficult crossroads of family and duty countless times throughout, and more often than not, she chooses duty. When Rebels comes to a close early next year, we’re rooting for a way for her to have both, as her skills as the team’s proverbial “mother” and a fierce warrior combined have made her the leader the Rebellion needs.

 

3. Rey
First Appearance: The Force Awakens

Photo Credit:http://www.denofgeek.com/us/movies/star-wars/251552/star-wars-10-reasons-why-we-already-know-rey-s-backstory

We’ve only spent one film with Rey so far, and we don’t even really know who she is, but her impression was immense. Kind, powerful, and a little jaded, Rey looks to be the heart of the new trilogy, and Daisy Ridley has proved that she’s more than capable of carrying that torch and getting the audience to engage with her in the way they did with Luke in A New Hope. That moment in the snow, where the lightsaber flies to her hand and not Kylo Ren’s, is positively spine tingling.

 

2. Ahsoka Tano
First Appearance: Star Wars: The Clone Wars

Photo Credit:https://hiddenremote.com/2017/05/04/star-wars-ahsoka-tano-shines-clone-wars-rebels/

Ahsoka has been almost every type of Star Wars hero. She’s been the bratty teenager. She’s been a sarcastic source of genuine kindness. She’s been the wise master. The journey between the them is rich, emotionally complicated, and ultimately heroic. Ahsoka could have merely been a tool to further develop Anakin’s fall to the Dark Side, and in a way she is, but she’s also a fascinating character unto herself, one fans got to watch grow while her future was constantly shrouded in mystery. Was she to die? Turn to the Dark Side? But at the end of her time as Anakin’s padawan, she does what no one else could have, and walks away from a situation that reaches its lethal boiling point in Revenge of the Sith. Her decision remains among the most powerful moments in the whole saga. She chooses peace, a choice she again hopes will appeal to her old master when she meets Vader in combat decades later. How that went remains Rebels’ most maddening mystery because, even more than Luke, Ahsoka deserves to see Anakin, Obi Wan, and Yoda in a harmonious afterlife.

 

1. Leia Organa
First Appearance: A New Hope

Photo Credit:https://moviepilot.com/posts/2367662

Before Ellen Ripley, before Sarah Connor, before Hermione Granger, Leia took the word “princess” and shattered its preconceptions with a precise blaster shot. Set up to be a damsel in distress, you can practically see Carrie Fisher flip the bird to the concept. Leia, as we came to know her, and as Fisher defined her, wasn’t afraid to be the boss, wasn’t hesitant to call a certain scoundrel out on his shit, heroically stayed behind as long as she could while the Rebellion escaped Hoth, turned Empire-controlled Cloud City into a war zone, and, when chained, used those very chains to choke out her oppressor. As fierce as she is kind, as determined a she is thoughtful, Leia has grown into something larger than Fisher or even George Lucas likely ever imagined. Today, now officially with the label of General in the new films, Leia is synonymous with feminism. Her face adorns countless posters at equal rights marches. She is the resistance, both a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, and right now. She’s proof that through all its special effects pomp and frills, Star Wars means something. She inspires hope.

 

Who are your favorite women in Star Wars? Let us know in the comments below!

By Matt Dougherty

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *