Liberals are really no fun at all:
Why aren’t there more women in Star Wars? Why is Leia out there all (or mostly) alone? Hudson argues that this man-surplus is entirely arbitrary—and therefore easily reversible.
I’m not so sure, though. To me, Star Wars’s lack of women seems linked to a deliberate lack of interest in women. The film franchise is designed to be a series of male genre pictures, and for proof, all you need to do is look at the innovative, non-traditional approaches to gender other sci-fi works have taken—which Star Wars and other Hollywood films avoid.
First, though, I want to acknowledge the force of Hudson’s argument. In some sense, as she says, the dearth of women in Star Wars is arbitrary. There’s no diegetic or contextual reason for it. If Star Wars were the Western that it in many ways imitates, then of course you wouldn’t necessarily expect there to be lots of female gunfighters, because gender roles back in the time period when Westerns are often set restricted what women could do. But Star Wars isn’t a Western; it’s a science-fiction story, which means anything goes. As Hudson says, “Science fiction in particular has always offered a vision of the world not myopically limited by the world as it exists, but liberated by the power of imagination.” The creators of Star Wars could have used those powers of imagination to create a world with lots of important female characters. Instead, they chose to create a world in which women barely exist.
I hate to be nitpicky, but it is an important point. Star Wars is fantasy movie and not science fiction. And as such, all the drivel about ”science fiction in particular has always offered a vision of the world not myopically limited by the world as it exists” is pointless.
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