As A Feminist What I Loved and Hated About The New Star Wars

I first want to warn everybody that there will be spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Also that this will not exactly be a review for the film in other than words I will not be listing why this is a good or bad movie. Here are my opinions on the feminist aspect of the new Stars Wars film:

  1. Rey is an bad ass future Jedi. I think she is one of the most interesting dynamic characters in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but there might be too many strengths and not enough weakness. The future Jedi has the force, is a talented natural pilot, and great at fighting with a staff. While I absolutely love how Rey flipped the damsel and distress stereotype on its head when she always rescued herself or had to save Finn, but how many talents can this girl have.  She is a future Jedi so I can see her being able to bend people’s minds or use a light saber pretty well. Fine I can buy that all those years tinkering with spaceships can lead her to be a pretty good pilot and  catch Hans Solos eye, but also extremely skilled with a staff come on. That takes years of training and being taught by a master plus thats one too many natural talents. How about Rey still saves herself and Finn from the stormtroopers, but instead of being this trained warrior be a super scrappy fighter. She can defeat the brain washed soldiers with messy, but effective kicks and punches. While Rey had emotional weakness especially with her parents dying they were not explored enough leaving the viewer unable to fully feel the impact.
  2. I loved the new Yoda character Maz Kanta who is a thousand year old female ex-pirate and bar owner at Takodana. Maz Kanta helps Rey realize she has a force and teaches the young woman how to sense it from within. Kanta also gives the girl Luke Skywalker’s light saber which is a vital plot point. The thousand year old pirate was the only character in the film to exhibit any philosophy when she explained how the force connects all of us. The only problem I have is Maz Kanta is not a Jedi so there now way Rey can have Master/Student relationship which could add a cool dynamic to the movies.
  3. Princess Leia becoming General Leia Organa of the resistance was super awesome to watch on screen. She helps orchestrate all of the missions from the mission base, but there is a sense of gravitas missing from the character. I am not saying Princess Leia has to be more masculine or aggressive, but just have a sense of authority. Captain Kathryn Janeway could not be labeled as an aggressive masculine character. In fact Janeway is extremely compassionate and gentle in most of the time, but you believe that she could lead a whole crew on a starship  like Voyager. With Leia I don’t feel that way.

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3 thoughts on “As A Feminist What I Loved and Hated About The New Star Wars

  1. 1.) Rey did seem a little overpowered, but a lot of her powers surprisingly made sense when you consider her strengths as a scavenger. The reason why she’s great at wielding a lightsaber is because she’s good with a staff, plus some of her movements while fighting with Kylo Ren implied she knew some fencing.

    I also agree about the emotional aspects not being explored enough, especially with Rey but also with Finn and Poe. Finn and Poe are not showed as emotional enough to me. Rey was allowed to cry multiple times throughout the movie, but Finn and Poe never once shed tears. For example, everything Finn experiences is a new and stressful. I get why Poe didn’t cry much though: he’s more experienced with stuff in the movie, but I did enjoy that Finn overreacted in situations due to not knowing how to socialize because of the brainwashing he went through.

    2.) I do think Maz Kanta’s philosophy will be important later on, and I hope she’s shown more in the future. I enjoyed what part she did have, even though it was short. For such an action packed film, exploring philosophical aspects felt crucial especially since there needed some more quiet, analytical moments. I think she’ll be important later on. I would love to see Poe, Finn, and Rey go on different routes where one of them becomes some kind of philosophical route where Maz Kanta is one of the character’s masters.

    3.) I feel like the reason why Leia as a general felt lackluster was because she didn’t get enough screen time depicting her as a leader, making decisions, etc. If there were more scenes showing her doing her job and leading, i felt like it would have been more convincing. As a result of the movie focusing on Rey, Poe and Finn (who were all fabulous characters in their own right), it felt like there wasn’t enough room in the movie to depict her doing her job. My opinion on this might change as I see older movies in this universe.

    Overall, I agree with what you’ve said and I think

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  2. Cool and thanks. I think what I really missed from the film were backstories and a great soundtrack. I loved the film, but I hope the other ones have more philosophy. I agree with you that those deep moments are vital and if you watch the older movies you’ll see that the force brings out the philosophical speeches.

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    • My opinion of The Force Awakens will likely change with the viewing of prior movies in the universe, because I’ll have the context of the entire universe at my disposal.

      I’m also hoping the future movies are more philsophically based, but I do enjoy the action packed nature of the movie.

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