It seems that there have been some complaints about the lack of gender equality in the “Star Wars” universe. When the new cast was announced, and only one female was listed as a new character in the franchise, people cried foul. It was pointed out that, while Princess Leia and Princess Amidala were important, “Star Wars” never placed the same value on female characters as they did on males.
That might have changed. It appears that “Star Wars: Episode VII” was not finished casting yet and added two more female cast members, one of which is an Oscar winner. Lupita Nyong’o, who won an Oscar for “12 years a Slave” has joined the cast of “Star Wars: Episode VII” and joins Gwendoline Christie, who played Brienne of Tarith in the TV series “Game of Thrones.”
With that new announcement, here is a look at the major female characters in the Star Wars universe, both the original movies as well as the expanded universe.
The original “Star Wars” trilogy was a boy’s club mostly, with Han Solo, Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Obi Wan Kenobi, Lando Calrissian and more hogging the screen time. As a matter of fact, there seemed to just be one major female cast member that mattered – Princess Leia. While that was it for the original trilogy, Leia played a major role, the leader of the rebellion and the one who called all the shots. She was a strong character, but it was still the boys who did all the heavy lifting.
In the second trilogy, prequels the original films, there was only one major female as well in Princess Amidala. Unlike Princess Leia, Amidala was nowhere near as important. She was still someone who passed laws and was very important to the government part of the story. However, over the course of the trilogy, Amidala ended up as nothing more than a love interest for Anakin Skywalker.
It wasn’t until the expanded universe exploded that true female heroes finally appeared. While Princess Leia was a strong leader, Mara Jade was the first true fighter to appear in the Star Wars universe. She was originally an assassin working for the Empire who eventually turned to the side of good. She also eventually married Luke Skywalker, while never really losing her edge.
Finally, one of the characters that are expected to appear in the new Star Wars movies, despite the claims that the expanded universe will be ignored, is Jaina Solo. As anyone can tell by her name, she is the daughter of Han Solo and Princess Leia. She is also a strong Jedi warrior as is her twin brother and played a huge, and key, role in the expanded Star Wars universe.