ByJake Kraemer, writer at
Star Wars, Marvel, Pixar, HIMYM
Jake Kraemer

The first teaser trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was recently released, and, naturally, fans have tons of opinions. There is certainly a place for fan theories, easter eggs, breakdowns, and opinions in the online community. Fans have a right to pick apart their favorite content, but there is no place for baseless gender-shaming. Since the video has debuted, some fans have chastised the decision to make the protagonist of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story a female. Here are some of the examples that I found online:

Now, you must know that I am not a vocal feminist or anything like that. I do not even like the word "feminist" because I think people have too many different meanings for it. However, I do believe in equality. The silly thing is, the fact that the protagonist of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is female is not a statement of equality by Disney. Its simply fit with the story they were trying to tell.

Another common complaint online was that the Star Wars franchise as a whole is becoming too feminist. The proponents of this complaint usually cited the fact that the protagonist of the last Star Wars movie, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was female as proof that the franchise is headed in an all-female direction. However, when you examine the timeline of the Star Wars movies, this couldn't be farther from the truth. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is a non-episode movie that fits in loosely with the plot in the seven episodes. On a timeline of the Star Wars movies, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story fits in between Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. So, if you were to list the gender of the protagonists of the movies in order, it would look like this: male, male, male, female, male, male, male, female. The number of films with male protagonists triples the number of films with female protagonists, and there are always at least three movies with male protagonists in between movies with female protagonists. Given these numbers, it certainly doesn't seem like a female-oriented franchise.

Finally, to say that Star Wars movies should only have male protagonists seems to go against the ideas and themes embedded in them. Star Wars has always represented a place where anything can happen and anyone can exist. It is a franchise where seemingly impossible things happen: a young farm boy defeats the most powerful Sith lord, the weak Rebellion destroys the monstrous Death Star, the twisted Darth Vader reverts back to Anakin, etc. Also, anyone can exist in the Star Wars universe: a green muppet-looking being is the most powerful Jedi, a car-sized slug is a ruthless crime boss, a blue elephant is a famous musician, etc. Yet, people still do not think women can be heroes. This is ridiculous. I mean, c'mon, Star Wars is a place where Admiral Ackbar, who, might I remind you, is basically a red humanoid betta fish, is a respected general. If a betta fish can lead a rebellion, then a woman can certainly be a courageous protagonist. Any argument to the contrary is not only misogynistic, but also wrong, when you consider what Star Wars stands for.


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