This week, I’m talking about female characters in movie and web series “Forces of Destiny” (2017–). Now, as I’ve previously stated, my favorite character has always been Leia. She’s strong, resourceful and the leader of the Rebellion. She didn’t shed a tear (onscreen) when her home planet was blown up. That, my friends, is a tough character. I did, however, have new favorite characters when “The Force Awakens” (2015) and “Rogue One” (2016) were released.
After watching both of these films, I fell in love with their characters. Rey became my favorite character for a while. I loved her struggle with identity, the suddenness of her being pulled into this galaxy-wide conflict and her discovery of being this extremely powerful Force user. Sure, audiences can see loneliness and sadness in her, but she doesn’t spend the entire movie talking about it (cough, Anakin in the prequels, cough). I hated those articles and viewers that claimed she was a Mary Sue. She isn’t a Mary Sue, and you can guarantee I’ll have a column about that soon.
“Rogue One” brought me a new favorite character in Jyn Erso. I loved Jyn’s story, especially since it really showed this transformation from being uninvolved with anything to literally sacrificing her life for the Rebellion (spoiler, but also, if you haven’t seen “Rogue One” by now, you have a problem). One of my favorite things about “Rogue One” was that there wasn’t a forced romance subplot. I was fearful that she and Cassian would fall in love, especially considering they were both doomed to die from the moment the movie was announced.
I remember getting so frustrated watching “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980) because I hated that Leia fell in love with Han. It felt extremely forced by Lucas. An unpopular opinion, sure, but also, it just felt like there was little context for this relationship to build off of from “A New Hope” (1977).
Now, as Disney continues to bring us amazing female characters and hopefully continues to explore previous female characters (give me more Ahsoka, please), I have to say how thankful I am that it seems Rey won’t be pushed into a romance plot. There was context for a relationship with Finn, but then Rose took a Crait ski-speeder and wrecked that idea in “The Last Jedi” (2017).
With “Forces of Destiny,” fans like me have gotten to explore these characters more deeply and watch short episodes solely following these characters. There is no denying the fact that Disney has done a fantastic job providing the canon with interesting, strong female characters and exploring the canon’s already-established female characters.
I now have multiple favorite characters, from Leia to Rey to Jyn. Disney is doing these characters justice, and it makes me so happy. From “Forces of Destiny” to expanding plots, one can only hope that this is the permanent future of the series. I’m personally excited to see Emilia Clark’s character, Qi’Ra, in “Solo” (2018) this upcoming May. As always, may the force be with you and feel free to email me any thoughts!