“Star Wars” is one of the best franchises available in the entire galaxy — there, I said it.
I have an endless list of reasons behind my love for George Lucas’ sci-fi masterpiece: the plot, the visual effects, the never-ending family drama (Kardashians who? I only know messy Skywalkers), the wars, and the like. But probably one of factors that truly set “Star Wars” apart from the other franchises is its characters.
It’s natural for us to automatically think of the “Star Wars” basics: Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, Yoda (aka best Jedi master ever) — they are the “pillars” of the series. But for me, the men aren’t the only superstars in the series.
“Star Wars” wouldn’t be what it is without the badass women of the galaxy.
Here are some of our faves from the movies and the Expanded Universe (EU)
[WARNING: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER SPOILERS AHEAD]:
Princess/General Leia Organa-Solo
Princess Leia is probably the first female character of the series you can think of, probably because she’s the most iconic of the bunch. Leia has made plenty of things iconic: her cinnamon bun hair, the sexy Slave Leia attire, and her “Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!” outbursts are just a few of them.
But what makes Leia a true badass of the universe is how she has always been a mover in the anti-imperial world.
We first meet her as part of the Rebel Alliance in “A New Hope” and we reunite with her as the leader of the resistance in “The Force Awakens.” Her unwavering dedication to defeating the Empire sets her apart from the rest of the characters. Witty, outspoken, passionate, and one hell of a fighter, this Skywalker is undoubtedly one of the best representations of women in this galaxy.
Starting out as a scavenger in “The Force Awakens,” Rey had no idea she’d be pivotal to the resurgence of the Force and the Jedi movement. She’s self-sufficient; the mere fact that she survived by scavenging on Jakku in exchange for food is enough. Did we mention that she also has an impressive knowledge of spaceships and is one damn good pilot?
Let’s not forget that the Force is strong with this one!
Sure, we can attribute her strength to her Palpatine heritage (I’m still not over this one. REALLY?), but Rey managed to use the Force according to her will. Whether she wields a really cool staff or duels Kylo Ren with her lightsaber, she always fights her way out of her messes in spite of her fear of her Force sensitivity or her tendency to go Dark.
Fans of the “Clone Wars” are still disappointed that this amazing padawan was not included in the film franchise. Ahsoka, Anakin’s apprentice, did not let her captors keep her in prison for too long. Organizing a coup against their captors, she frees herself and takes the rest of the captive Jedi younglings with her.
She even survived the purge of Order 66! Instead of disappearing, she formed a rebel cell as secret Agent Fulcrum and eventually faced her old master on Malachor in probably one of the most epic lightsaber duels in the “Star Wars” universe.
Mara Jade (Skywalker)
Out of all the female characters introduced in Star Wars Legends, Mara Jade is the most popular of them all. Introduced in Timothy Zahn’s “Thrawn Trilogy,” she started out as a Hand of the Emperor who was sent to kill Luke Skywalker. But when she first encounters the Jedi legend, she realizes that they need each other to survive and override the Emperor.
It takes her several books before she returns to the light side of the Force and eventually marry Luke.
Mara contributed immensely to the new Jedi Order. She fought plenty of wars alongside her husband, trained young Jedi (including her niece Jaina Solo), and defended her son with her life.
It was too bad that her nephew Jacen killed her, but what’s worse is that she wasn’t included in the series AT ALL. That’s just my opinion, of course. I think the movies could have benefitted from the red-hair bombshell/badass that is Mara Jade.
Not everyone’s a big fan of this princess from Naboo because of her love for Anakin Skywalker (which indirectly caused her demise). But I think that’s what makes Padmé one of the most relatable characters in the franchise.
Love shouldn’t be a weakness; if anything, it’s a sign of strength since this Queen (and eventual senator) believed in hope and all things good, even if her husband turned his back against the light.
Padmé is the role model of women who never give up. Even though she could not save Anakin from the dark side, she spent the last minutes of her life trying to bring him back.
And like the other women in this list, Padmé knows her way around attacks. Her compassion for her people fuels her to defend them. She knows how to command a room with resolve — something her daughter Leia inherited from her. She’s good with a blaster, and she’ll fire at you if you dare touch the people she loves.
One of the main stars of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Jyn Erso shines just as bright as her male colleagues as she leads a motley crew of rebel fighters, pilots, and quasi-jedis into the heart of the Death Star, a weapon capable of destroying planets (and something her father, scientist Galen Erso, was forced to build).
Strong, independent, and a fighter, Jyn is the embodiment of hope in the midst of a hopeless world.
Daughter of Han Solo and Leia Organa-Solo in Star Wars’ EU, Jaina Solo started out as the Princess’ daughter who was always protected from the evils of the world. But the Skywalker in her wasn’t going to let the dark side keep her in a corner. Dubbed as “the Sword of the Jedi” by her Uncle Luke, Jaina becomes the hope of the New Jedi order against her twin brother, Jacen (Darth Caedus).
Forced to kill her twin, Jaina does what is right even though it hurts. Her sacrifice, however, ends up for the good as she restores her brother to the Light before he dies in her arms.
Blessed be this character whom some of us probably didn’t know until “Rogue One.” Mon Mothma is one of the reasons we have the Rebel Alliance. This senator opposed Supreme Chancellor Palpatine during his rise to power because she believed in the importance of democracy. Eventually, she became the New Republic’s Chief of State.
This brilliant and strategic politician refuses to let anyone, not even Darth Sidios, to stomp on her and crush her ideas.
The women shine just as bright as the men of “Star Wars,” if not brighter. Without them, we wouldn’t have enjoyed the stories from a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away.