Star Wars Between Misogyny And Radical Feminism

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Star Wars is more than just cinema. Beyond technological feats, lightsaber fights and the often promoted marketing venture, the saga created in the late 1970s by George Lucas conveys values and messages that reflect social, political, and even religious concerns. One of the concerns that Star Wars raised in the original saga is gender inequality.

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Since Star Wars was created to portray the masculine hero’s journey, illustrated in Josef Campbell’s Hero Of a Thousand Faces, women suffered from gender inequality in the original and the second trilogy where the speaking of two major female roles was reduced to few lines, and the secondary roles were totally silenced. Ann Larabee, a professor in Michigan State University, said, One of the oft-noted limitations of Hero of a Thousand Faces is that it focuses on male heroes, as regected in its subsequent adaptations (7). In addition, Padmé and Leia were periodically put in their stereotypic picture as emotional beings often invaded by their internal impulses. In contrast, in the recent trilogy, Rey has become a model for little girls. To make an unknown young woman the star of a Hollywood movie was one thing. To give her the keys to the most popular saga of all time was another.

Because after the death of Luke Skywalker in The Last Jedi, it is now on the shoulders of this character that rests the future of this space opera. This heroine clearly does not need men to fulfill her destiny and forge, with a little assistance, a better world for her galactic contemporaries. However, some critics are expressing concern about the aggressive and vengeful feminism that might damage the heroic journey of the hero as a concept. Star Wars might fall between two extremes, the lake of women representation in the original saga and the promotion of aggressive feminist movements in the recent releases. There is an obvious gender inequality in the first trilogy of Star Wars. The two major roles entrusted to women are those of Princess Leia, played by Carrie Fisher in the first saga, and Padmé Amidala played by Natalie Portman in the 1999, 2002 and 2005 saga. Both characters have marked the trilogy by their strong personalities and their ability to fight. Intelligent, funny, necessary to the story, however, these women are all, inevitably, reduced to their feminine stereotypic nature.

The Princess Leia, member of the rebel Alliance, is being perpetually put in situation of weakness vis-a-vis men, and often brought back in popular culture with her golden bikini (so mythical a bikini that it has today its own Wikipedia page). In addition, Padmé Amidala, passing from politician to lover, then sacrificed mother, she illustrates weakness and fragility. Both equipped with the same abilities as men at the beginning of the story,

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