In recent years, film and media consumers have become increasingly peeved at the lack of female representation in movies, especially the lack of females serving as the lead characters in films. This is a problem that the producers of Star Wars have been attempting to correct in recent years, with characters like Rey in “The Force Awakens” and the upcoming film “The Last Jedi” and of course, Princess Leia.

Star Wars is taking their implementation of female characters a step further with their series of animated shorts called “Forces of Destiny,” which Disney and Lucasfilm announced at the Star Wars Celebration in Orlando, Fla. The series will premiere in July 2017. The shorts will center around popular female Star Wars characters such as Rey, Jyn Erso and Princess Leia, according to CNN.

“Forces of Destiny” is a huge feminist move on the part of Star Wars, as the series is revolved around solely female characters, thus making them the primary lead figures of the show. No longer will these characters be overshadowed by their male counterparts, such as male figures like Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader who will be merely background characters in comparison.

The film universe is in dire need of a series such as this one, for more often than not, male characters dominate films and TV series, and their female counterparts find themselves serving as their sidekicks time and time again. There’s no logical reason for this, as females are just as capable of filling in the power roles in cinema as males.

Take Princess Leia for example. While she may have been the damsel in distress in “A New Hope,” we clearly see her become a bonafide badass that ends up leading the Rebel Alliance and eventually, The Resistance by the time of “The Force Awakens,” overshadowing the reclusive Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. Fast forward to the characters of Rey and Sabine Wren from “Star Wars: Rebels,” who have been marketed as strong female characters to children, specifically through the merchandising of different toys and advertising campaigns.

The commonality of males as lead characters is simply another example of the way in which long-standing gender stereotypes have plagued the entertainment world and Star Wars is taking a step in the right direction by crushing these ideologies and centering their new series around female characters instead.

For the little girls who go to the theater and often find themselves looking at male characters as the archetypical hero, Star Wars has redefined the image of what it means to be a feminine hero, even before the modern wave of feminism in the 1990s. So don’t be afraid to buy your daughter or little female relative a lightsaber or a blaster; the force is also strong with her.

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-- Editor-in-Chief Emeritus-- English: Journalism/Creative Writing

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