The Glass Ceiling In The Star Wars Triology

Here’s something to annoy the Sad Puppies crowd, a super-cut of all the spoken dialogue from women other than Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy of movies. Or rather the lack thereof. Okay, admittedly Leia Organa, played by Carrie Fisher, was one of the main characters in the initial sequence of films (Episodes IV to VI). And I suppose they do reflect the times they were produced in, the mid-1970s to early ’80s. However with all that said, just over one minute out of 386 minutes is a damn poor showing, especially in a supposedly boundary-breaking genre such as Sci-Fi. Have things improved over the last thirty years in terms of SF and Fantasy movies? Or has any progress for female characters and actors been largely superficial?

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6 comments

  1. Interesting “textual” analysis all right, grma. “Alien” and “Aliens” were two good and popular Sci-Fi films with a woman in a lead role and some good roles for some other women too (the third film was crap, in my opinion). But by and large, Sci-Fi films do not break the paradigm of exclusion or marginalisation of women and don’t even crack the glass ceiling.

    Despite the likes of Ursula Le Guin and some others, including some male writers, it seems to be largely that way too.

  2. But it’s only very superficially SF, it’s really good old ‘Boys’ Own’ stuff, the girls are off somewhere else playing at tea-parties or whatever it is they do. We boys play adventure games, although just occasionally we have to include someone’s sister who becomes an honourary boy for the duration. At least that’s how it was back when I was a kid.

    Hey, maybe Yoda was a girl! Or if you want to get into real SF, was a member of a race of seven-sexed polymorphs, or had a vestigeal male permanently attached to her backside like one of those deep-sea fish, the possibilities are endless. But as I said, Star Wars is not really SF, it could just as easily be fantasy or mythical history etc. Pass me my claidheamh sholais, yes, the Gaels had light sabres fadó fadó 🙂

  3. English author Philip Pullman( mostly children’s fantasy) is one of a few writers who campaign against age and gender label ling of books and has done many short interview s on related topics

    1. I have a lot of time for Pullman, a far superior writer than any of the current crop of celebrity “children’s/young adult” authors. He is also just a fascinating thinker full-stop. I like his determination to avoid the usual stereotypes of Fantasy literature, especially the “destined one” and quasi-royal blood stuff that others so rely on for plot.

      1. There are very few authors writing material that would appeal. to this age group. Wow!Imagine I’ll be 13 soon and can’t wait to see the new reading material I can delve into that is not adult rewrite s of The Classics ,books based on successful television series! The kind that my offspring hzted were the dumbed down version of biographies and real life events.
        Philip Pullman also does much of his own illustrations which offers very strong and coherent theme especially in books for younger children Detailed and /or colourful illustrations provide a great way creating a story even if I can’t read and my white Black birds still have the books that offered many wonderful hours changing to an alternative take on yesterday’s outlandish composition, The nightly ritual of reading in the presence of parents or being read to (even when they were older and quite accomplished readers) was a great opportunity for closeness in time spent together

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