It’s about time that Hollywood got with the program — women can kick butt too. Thank the Lord that the ‘Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens’ producers are promising to feature more heroines in the upcoming sequels.
Star Wars fans have rightfully been in a frenzy, demanding more strong female characters in new films and producers have finally listened.
‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ — Women Kick Butt Too
Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced the exciting change at a Star Wars panel on April 16.
Millions of women have waited to hear forever that the new spinoffs will feature “really strong women”, with even more to come.
As in more than one staring female character per film. Yes, Princess Leia was great and Padme was ok, but they were the only key representatives of their sex in multiple films. At least, the only ones with only one head each, appearing outside of a space bar.
Meanwhile, women do represent fifty percent of the population on Earth and have been the leading drivers to the movie box office in recent months, filling theaters for Fifty Shades of Grey, Cinderella, and The Divergent Series: Insurgent.
Fortunately, multiple female heroines have at least populated one other hugely successful film franchise as heroines: The Avengers. But all the Star Wars films were almost universally a bastion of testosterone, with women thrown in to produce one witty romance — Leia and Han Solo — and twin royals Leia and Luke Skywalker.
Now, producer Kennedy says it was a personal mission to get more women into Star Wars films. She herself admitted to not having enough female role models when she grew up. Millions of women would second that. And her mission has already taken off in a big way: the new Force Awakens film trailer features star Daisy Ridley in promising action.
But upping the power women quotient in Star Wars isn’t just about role models. It should be about money, too.
‘Star Wars’ Sequels’ Female Leads Open Doors For American Women
Huge female Hollywood stars have notoriously been paid far less than leading men. Check out these examples: American Hustle‘s female stars, Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams, were paid 23 percent less than the male stars, Bradley Cooper, Christian Bale and Jeremy Renner.
In 2013, the highest paid male Hollywood star, Robert Downey Jr., raked in $75 million, while the highest paid woman, Angelina Jolie, earned $33 million. And she earned less than six other top paid male stars.
Charlize Theron recently had to fight for pay parity with Chris Hemsworth to star in the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel. She refused to sign on to replay her evil queen Ravenna until her paycheck was $10 million, just like Chris’.
If ordinary American women are ever going to earn more than 76 cents for every dollar a man earns and occupy more than 5.2% of the CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies, then they need to see women in power positions on screen.
Hollywood influences both popular and business culture in a big way. More female Star Wars leaders influences our entire culture. Seeing women on screen in power positions, as well as being paid equally, has far reaching effects. That’s why it’s such good news for the new Star Wars films to feature more strong women.
Do you agree, HollywoodLifers? Is it great that Star Wars will feature more strong women characters? And do you think this will help open more doors for women everywhere? Let me know.
— Bonnie Fuller