Star Wars: The Last Jedi, directed by Rian Johnson premiered last Wednesday and left us thirsty for more badass women in space. The latest installment to the franchise only proves that ladies can and will be a force to reckon with when it comes to winning in battle.
No longer are women left in the backseat of a space ship, overly sexualized like Twi’Lek in skimpy clothing, or Force-choked to death after delivering the cheesiest lines in all the galaxy. We have fierce—and Asian!—women leading the battlefront, manning bomb squadrons, and rising up the military ranks. The very Rebellion is led by strong women, and subsists because of strong women.
As a kid who grew up with the original trilogy, I’ve always dreamed of becoming a blaster-wielding princess like Leia. But now with a modern trilogy, we get to see little girls growing up with a new generation of, excuse my Wookiee, head b*tches in charge.
Rey (Daisy Ridley)
She’s got spunk, she’s got strength, and she’s got a power only Jedi novices could dream of. But it’s not just the Force Rey is sensitive to, but real and human emotions, too. She longs to find her family and, subsequently, herself—which gives her character such gravitas. There’s that familiar battle between light and dark within, but instead of following her Chosen One predecessors, Rey puts compassion over recklessness. So perhaps it really should be women who wield the swords.
Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran)
You don’t need a lightsaber, pistol, or pure midichlorians in your genes to be a hero. She may have been “just” a maintenance worker, but she rose way above her given role, pun unintended. Rose started off a flustered fangirl, but her most lovable quality is her passion to fight for what’s right while refusing to be defined by her circumstances.
Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie)
The strongest soldier in the First Order is a fierce yet feminine knight in shining chromium. Her armor was salvaged from a Naboo yacht once owned by Emperor Palpatine, and its mirror-like quality is such a wonderful foil every time Finn sees his face on it. Still, Captain Phasma outshines her armor with her skill and severity.
Lieutenant Kaydel Ko Connix (Billie Lourd)
Okay, so Billie Lourd may have only appeared as a cameo in the film, but we see her running major operations at the spaceship’s bridge with as much confidence to match General Organa’s. Truly, this Star Wars trilogy is ushering in a new breed of fighters, unhinged by their limitations whether gendered or occupational.
Admiral Amilyn Holdo (Laura Dern)
Admiral Holdo has the austerity of a war officer and an almost-hidden empathy that guides her decisions. She entered with this glorious pastel coiffure and a smirk that said, “I’m more qualified for a promotion than Poe Dameron, obvs.” I’d like to think she and Leia are close friends because they eliminated the gender pay gap in the galaxy, but I digress.
General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher)
Princess-turned-general Leia Organa proves that women take on multiple emotional roles and still get sh*t done. Gone may be her buns, but not her spark, her sass, and her legacy. It was only after watching The Last Jedi that I realized what an overwhelming force Carrie Fisher brought into Star Wars, and what a gaping hole she has left behind.
Art by Lara Intong and photos courtesy of Star Wars