Something that sets the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens apart from the original trilogy and the other three for that matter, is the number of strong female characters, both good and bad, at that centre of the story. Now, J.J. Abrams has discussed the thinking behind writing strong female roles – something I applaud him for.
“From the very beginning of our discussions about this movie, the notion of a woman at the centre of the story was always something that was compelling to me and exciting,” Abrams said at a press conference. “It was important that – in addition to Leia, who we knew was a critical piece of this puzzle – we wanted to have other women and not necessarily human but female characters in the story”.
Oscar-winner Lupita Nyong’o portrays Maz Kanata – “the voice of Force wisdom in the story” – while Game of Thrones star Gwendoline Christie plays Captain Phasma – “the evil side leading the stoormtroopers”. Abrams revealed that they “…wanted to have female stormtroopers, which we do, and we wanted to have female pilots, which we do. We just wanted this thing to not feel like it was not inclusive and so we did that”.
“We always wrote Rey [played by Daisy Ridley] as this central character but as we started casting the movie, it just felt like the kind of thing we wanted to do and make the film look and feel more the way the world looks and feels”. Abrams added. It’s refreshing to see so many female characters front and center in such a huge franchise. This will, hopefully, only pave the way for more female characters in future Star Wars outings.