“Why Star Wars’ Increased Female Representation Is Important”

“Some of my strongest and most cherished memories growing up are connected to Star Wars. Star Wars provided me with a wealth of characters to idolize and pretend to be. As a white male, the archetypes within these films indicated nothing short of my ability to be anything I wanted. After all, everyone looked like me.

For a girl watching Star Wars, however, options were substantially more limited. While, yes, Leia is a strong and interesting character, she’s still the only substantial female character in the original trilogy. Since the release of The Force Awakens, followed by the first trailer for Rogue One, things have been looking more positive in this realm, however, which has led me to have many discussions with women in my life about how important the increased female representation in the franchise is and how their experiences differ from my own incredibly privileged one.

To look at this more deeply, I talked with two women I know who are around my same age but had entirely different levels of interest in Star Wars growing up, as well as one who is old enough to have experienced Star Wars since the beginning.

Anja Crocker is a photographer who just graduated from Boise State University and also happens to be my wonderful girlfriend. Erin Nelson is a 25-year-old musician, writer, cat mom, and marketing expert living in Boise, ID. We play together in the band We Are Apes, where she composes, sings lead, and plays keyboard. Patty Evans is my mom. She’s a teacher in a deaf and hard-of-hearing program, and is on the verge of a well-deserved retirement. Like many things in my life, she is at least partially responsible for introducing me to Star Wars as a child.

I asked each of these women the same five questions to get their perspectives on Star Wars and the importance of female representation in these films. While they can’t possibly be a complete cross section of how women feel about Star Wars, their differing experiences are no less interesting…”



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