You have a lot of interesting thoughts and you make some very good points here, but let me ask you this: How often do Leia and Padme drive the action? Think about it. Because I am looking at this through the POV of a writer. Strong characters take actions and make decisions that drive the plot forward. Now Leia did have a few good plot-driving moments in the first movie. She puts the Death Star plans into R2, and records the message for Obi-Wan. Perhaps she even instructs R2 to get into the escape pod for Tatooine. Major props for that. She also has that wonderful moment when she grabs Luke's blaster and takes charge of her own rescue, directing them all into the garbage masher. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think that's pretty much it in terms of Leia driving the action forward in Ep 4. For the rest of the movie, she is reacting to, and going along with, things that the men initiate and decisions made by men. In ESB, we see Leia briefing the men before battle. But again, she is a cog in larger plot and we never see that she had anything to do with setting this battle in motion. For the rest of the movie, she is with Han and he is the one making all the decisions and initiating the action. She argues with him a lot, but she also basically goes along with what he wants to do. Until they get to Bespin when Lando and Vader become the ones to drive the plot forward. ROTJ? Well, she does rescue Han (and I'm pretty sure I read Leia had nothing to do with Han's rescue in the early drafts of the script), and she does choke Jabba -- after being a silent and sexy victim for a solid chunk of time. But other than that, she spends the bulk of the movie reacting to Han and Luke, reacting to decisions they make and things they do. It's harder for me to talk in depth about Padme, as I am very much an Original Trilogy kind of gal. I have seen all the PT films at least a couple of times, but I don't have them memorized like I do the OT. But honestly, I can't remember any instances where Padme drives the plot forward, other than by being the object of Anakin's adoration and by getting pregnant. If she does have some moments where she makes a decision or takes an action that drives the plot forward, please remind me. But the point is, the ladies get very very few of these plot-driving moments in comparison with the male characters. This puts them in the passive role, comparatively speaking. Being able to shoot a blaster well doesn't make up for that.