9 No-Spoiler Reasons Why The New Star Wars Is Awesome For Women
By Wanita Nicol
We got a sneak peak of the new Star Wars and it’s awesome…especially for women. Our resident fan girl dishes on why, spoiler free (yes, it was a challenge!)
Confession: I’ve been a crazy Star Wars fan for almost 30 years. Nerd level: Dangerously high. And, aside from the prequels-that-must-not-be-named, I’ve had only one major gripe. But it’s a biggie: Star Wars is a very dude franchise. In the original trilogy, Leia’s the only woman who gets more than five minutes of screen time. And let’s be honest, she’s mainly there as a love interest for Han Solo and a plot twist for Luke. Padmé starts out as a strong queen, but ends up dying of a broken heart in a giant, gaping plot hole.
A New Hope…For Womankind
Well, never again will little girls have to run around with lightsabers, pretending to be Luke Skywalker or Obi Wan Kenobi. Because newly-released Episode 8: The Last Jedi is just as awesome for girls as it is for dudes. Here’s why…
1 Rey is getting more and more badass.
Fan girls were thrilled when Daisy Ridley was cast as lead heroine, Rey, in The Force Awakens. A female lead in a Star Wars movie! But Rey’s fate at the end of the movie was uncertain…off on a quest, surrounded by dudes, there was so much opportunity for her to fall into distress and need rescuing. Well, her badassery continues, with interest. “I like that I never questioned being a heroic woman in a film, and that’s thanks to my upbringing,” says Ridley. “My mom’s always worked; the women I grew up around always worked and were inspirational. So, it’s weird, because the way people reacted made me question more than I did. It’s a great role but not just because she’s a woman. That’s how simple it was to me. But others were like, this is a big deal, clearly. But it’s exciting to be a part of that. And I’m like, let’s continue. This is how it should be.”
2 Leia is a wise boss lady who takes zero BS.
It was bitter-sweet seeing Carrie Fisher on screen. But it was freakin’ awesome seeing Leia being a strong, formidable leader. No gold bikinis or coquettish smiles to soften the character. Just a strong woman who commands respect. It was a fitting tribute to Fisher, who was a vocal advocate for women’s rights.
Star Wars’s video tribute to Carrie Fisher is everything…
3 Loads of female characters doing seriously cool things
The galaxy had a sudden influx of X chromosomes. And they’re no wilting daisies, either. Phasma is back for the bad guys; Maz is back for the good guys. And they’re joined by a whole new cast of female characters who fly X-Wings, command armies and, most importantly, don’t need to be saved.
4 Porgs are the cutest things since teacup pigs.
If you’ve been keeping up with the trailers and hype, you’ll have seen these little creatures already. They inhabit the island where Luke Skywalker is hiding out like a hermit. Creative supervisor Neal Scanlan created the porgs to be a mix of puffin, owl and baby seal. And they are adorable. And whimsical and funny. The babies are called porglets. Cuteness off the charts.
Watch the official trailer featuring a co-pilot porg…
5 Witty dialogue
I enjoy an exploding spaceship as much as the next action-loving girl, but a big part of what made the original trilogy special was the dialogue. The banter between Luke, Leia and Han. Han’s snide asides. C-3PO’s dithering. Even R2-D2’s beeps. All delivered with perfect comedic timing in a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The prequels-that-must-not-be-named completely lost this key component of the Star Wars experience. It’s good to laugh with the film again, rather than at it.
6 Epic lightsaber duels
But of course, it’s not Star Wars without lightsaber action. And there’s plenty. Seeing a female character wielding a lightsaber is going to inspire a generation of little fan girls in a way I never got to experience. And that’s so exciting. “I do struggle with it because physically I never have had to push that hard,” Ridley admits of the stunts. “It’s a psychological thing of knowing you can do it more and more. And, in The Force Awakens, I was allergic to the snow and I wasn’t able to do as much as I wanted to. But now, because I’ve been training hard, I feel like I pushed through. But it varies so much and is really hard. The stunt team is absolutely amazing. They’re the first people I made relationships with here. They’re my boys and girls.”
Watch this video of Daisy Ridley training for the fight sequences…
7 Great visuals
From space battles to a desolate island and an exotic casino, the film is visually spectacular. “The sets were absolutely amazing. Stunning. You forget that you’re standing on a set,” says Ridley. Rather than create everything with CGI, the movie was shot in physical locations. Luke’s hermitage was a cliff top on the west coast of Ireland. “The cave we shot in was just amazing. I don’t know how it feels to not have that,” says Ridley. “It’s just brilliant. It does make it easier, because we’re there doing it. And with the costumes, the whole thing is amazing.”
8 It’s full of surprises.
None of which I can share in a no-spoilers post. But, rest assured, you will not be bored. “I think Rian (director Rian Johnson) has written a story that people won’t expect,” says Ridley. “I think everybody gets their moment to progress. And, even though it’s the second episode in this series, it’s its own thing without just leading on to the next one, which is great. Some of the stuff that happens will surprise people.”
Watch this peak behind the scenes…
9 Adam Driver takes his shirt off.
Ok, so one teeny-tiny spoilertjie. This happens. And it’s glorious. You wouldn’t guess it with all those black robes swishing about, but the man is ripped! And after Carrie Fisher’s gold bikini and Natalie Portman’s gratuitously ripped shirt, we feel no skaam about enjoying this moment.
Need a laugh? Watch this fan’s no-spoiler reaction to watching the Last Jedi…
Spoiler free review of @starwars The Last Jedi! @joelle shares her thoughts on the film. Exclusive interviews with the cast of The Last Jedi tomorrow, right here on @starwarsdaily ••• #thelastjedi #starwars #joelle #disney @riancjohnson @starwarsmovies @johnboyega @joonassuotamo @kellymarietran @hamillhimself