Stronger Women Needed in AOTC

Discussion in 'Attack of the Clones' started by LeavingTashiStation, Jun 4, 2002.

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  1. LeavingTashiStation Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    As much as I love AOTC there is something I've noticed to be missing in the film: strong heroic female characters that girls can emulate. As in every other action film, the vast majority of characters who have something to do with the action are male. I wouldn't be complaing about this, except that every action film I see is the same. If there are female characters, if they are important (ie: Padme) they are necessarily sexual.

    As far as I can remember, there are only a handful of women with speaking roles in the movie:

    1. Beru: she says "hello" and gets some drinks. Quite unlike the Beru of Episode IV who is more of a foil to Owen

    2. Shmi: she dies

    3. Jocasta Nu: the archtypal wise old woman. Yet she comes across as far too sure of herself, the type of person who is pleasant only if you agree with them

    4. Queen Jamilla: she might be a Queen, but we never see any effect of her power or authority

    5. Zam: she fails twice to assisinate Padme and takes orders from Jango

    6. Finally, there ls Padme: she mignt be a Senator, she might shoot down a few Geonosians. But she doesn't really do anything else but stand around and look pretty.

    That's the thing about Zam, Queen Jamilla and Padme: they never have a profound ability to affect events. Zam takes orders. Queen Jamilla is not shown doing anything much but sitting behind a desk. And Padme's only role in a major action sequences is to avoid being killed.

    Yes, we might see female Jedi fighting in the arena, but the closest we get to characterisation is one of them yelling "yaah". Think of a character like Mace Windu. It woudln't matter if that character is female or male. But think how cool it would be for girls if Mace was a she. Then girls would have an action hero they could identify with.

    A change like this would do nothing to distract from Lucas' story and would be a nice recognition that Star Wars does have a positive role to play in our popular culture. Think how much of a difference this could make to the young girl who is used to getting strange looks from her father as she asks how a boat's motor works even though he has just been showing her brother. She becomes scared of asking such questions anymore, beliving that there are proper roles for men and proper roles for women. Unfortunately, there are many girls who feel trapped by their gender and would love to see someone on screen who does not make them feel ashamed for wanting to do more that be obidient.

    I know I've been privileged to grow up in an environment where both boys and girls could play any game they wanted to, work towards any job they dreamed of. Sadly, this isn't always the case. Lots of girls would like to be able to identify with an action hero. It would be nice if Lucas would let them.
  2. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    Lucas is also a racist didn't you know?

    Just kidding. He makes his films the way he wants them. Padme' looks good, but she's also a strong character. She bosses Anakin around quite a bit - she's in control of that relationship. She's handy in tough situations just like Leia. Leia was one of the strongest female roles I think I've ever seen. He has had two female bounty hunters. Zam is a great character if you ask me.

    He does his bit, but he is making a fantasy flick for entertainment, the last thing he probably needs to be thinking about is pleasing all demographics with his characters.
  3. Rabid_Ewok Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 1
    Isn't the past great. I wish we could go back.
  4. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    GL should have procured the acting talents of Tanya Harding to play Padme, I am sure she is available. That would have made her seem stronger. Thye could just say that after becoming senator, she dyed her hair and got into a fight with a droid who mamed her.
  5. Darth_AYBABTU Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2001
    star 6

    Padmé -- former Queen; current Senator; overrides Anakin's decisions on multiple occasions; leader of doves in Senate; good shot

    Shmi -- overcame slave's life; loving mother; loving wife

    Jocasta Nu -- doesn't take crap from Obi-Wan; keeper of Jedi knowledge

    Queen Jamillia -- Queen of Naboo (second consecutive woman elected queen)

    Cordé -- gives her life for duty

    Zam -- obviously a successful entrepreneur; it took three men, two Jedi and a bounty hunter, to dispatch her; drives like a bat out of hell; good shot

    Other women in Star Wars...

    Mon Mothma -- leader or Rebel Alliance

    Leia -- didn't take crap from anyone; leader within Rebellio, giving plenty of orders to plenty of men; good shot

    It would appear that the only group without active, strong females is the Empire. You know, the bad guys. Looks to me like Lucas did just fine promoting stong female characters, not that he had any obligation to uplift feminism through entertainment.

    AYBABTU?

  6. Gay-LenKenobi Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 20, 2000
    star 5
    I think being a galactic senator at the age of 22 (14 was queen, 2 4yr terms meant she let that office when 22 and was asked to be senator) is pretty darn respectable.

    She actually shoots a lot. She, like her daughter, never misses. AND, Zam hit the assasin droid with one shot. The chicks of SW have perfect aim.

    Plus, she took care of herself in the arena, instead of crying out for ankin to save her or something. I think, of all the action flicks out there, SW is the last one I would accuse of under representing women's capabilities.


    And yes, I am a female.


  7. obhavekenobi78 Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2002
    star 5
    They should have had Jar-Jar have a sex change to accomadate the gender changers.
  8. Jawa70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 1
    Anakin becomes a eunoch in the next one, not a sex change but damn close.no wonder Vader is pissed at everyone!
  9. Padme Bra Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jul 2, 1999
    star 6
    Oh give me a break. A few weeks ago we had people complaining that Padme was too tough. There were women Jedi. A woman assassin...yes they take orders but virtually everyone in the movie does. Where else would you put any more strong women?
  10. LeavingTashiStation Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    It warms my heart to see that most of the responses so far have been serious. Makes me even happier that the only reference to "Lucas is a racist" was made in jest (I was waiting for someone to make that comparison in all seriousness...guess it's too early for the trolls).

    Still, what if someone saw AOTC outside the context of the other films. Here, we're TOLD of Padme's rank and importance. Yet she is basically running throughout the movie. For that matter, I wonder if we don't see Padme as a stronger character in TPM. And when she fights in AOTC, she has to look sexy. I'm not saying that its bad for women to be sexual. But hey, if we can have Porkins attacking the Death Star, why not have his sister fighting somewhere as well?
  11. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    Porkins didn't do anything but sit on his butt.

  12. MINI_YODA Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    star 2
    Although I sort of see your point, I think SW does a very good job of portraying women.

    In other action movies they often try and empower women by giving them guns and acting macho. Sometimes it works like in T2 but other times these women just come out like bitches.

    Some movies just portray their women as helpless damsels in distress. Though Spidey is an excellent movie over all, Dunsts' character is a horrible example for women.

    On the other hand I feel that SW does an excellent job portraying women. Think about it. They don't act like men to portray them as tough in this movie.

    No the movie portrays them as intelligent, decisive leaders with great responsibility. Padme with the most screen time is beautiful, but she is also the leader of the opposition, a great believer in democracy and diplomacy. But if things get down and dirty she has nothing against getting tough either. What an excellent lesson.

    Other characters such as Queen Jamilla, are excellent tertiary characters. (and a good portrayal of minorities I might add)

    The goal here is to recognize that tough doesn't mean empowerment. It is intelligence, diplomacy and wisdom that lead to empowerment. And it is the job of parents to point out this fact to young girls who watch this movie.
  13. Autumn_Skywalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2002
    star 1
    I can see both sides of this...The Emporer is male, Darth is male, the entire Empire who were the embodiment of the Dark Side seemed to all be male. So there's an antithesis/balance for the male heros.

    But I do have my complaints how women are portrayed. Or maybe not portrayed as much as what happens to them. That ripping of Padme's shirt was the cheapest shot I've seen in a film in a long time. Oh, but ObiWan or Anakin have layers of clothes and they don't even get a stitch out of place. Cheap shot cheap shot!

    Ever seen Ewan's other films? He would have been more than happy to have his pants ripped off..HAHAHA!

    And I won't even go into that slave outfit Lucas put Leia in...gimme a break. It's demeaning on so many levels.

    But I think this portrayal of women is more a reflection on George Lucas than the women who are portrayed.

    And as for Zam, I don't see her as taking orders from Jango...I saw her more as a partner. She told Jango what happened about the decoy (which she had no control over) and he said "WE have to try something more subtle this time, Zam.." He didn't say 'you'...and in the book when she walks up he says "You know that we failed?" Again.."we". That points to partnership to me. Just a thought.
  14. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    I have no problems with Padme's wripped shirt or Leia's metal bikini.

    Please. No naked Obi-wan.
  15. Jawa70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 1
    I remember a large lady in Jabbas palace, she was a dancer i believe (i don't think she was Porkins sister though.)

    I think that women in SW are portrayed just fine.Both Leia and Padme are shown to be Equally as capable as any of the men around them.It's good that their are a few more women in the PT that actually do things, and contribute,than there was in the OT.It make the SW galaxy a more rounded place.

    Remember SW is a fantasy with Princesses and Wizards and young hero's.It wouldn't do to have a fat ugly princess now would it?

    It's the same reason Mattel don't make an ugly Barbie, little girls won't buy it or like it.I Guarantee little girls like Padme and Leia though.
  16. Rabid_Ewok Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 1
    Yeah, I saw a ROTJ this weekend and leia's metal bikini is tasty.
  17. MINI_YODA Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2002
    star 2
    I do see your point on Padme's outfit in the final scene. It would have worked better I guess if they had BOTH Padme and say OB1 have their outfits ripped.
    I think the intention here was more to show that Padme is a woman (after her moderately androgenous take in TPM) and to differentiate her from the Jedi. To show that she was not 'superhuman' like the Jedi.

    Still I would say that the good images far outweigh any negative images in the movie.
  18. Darth_AYBABTU Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2001
    star 6

    The simple fact is that Natalie Portman is hot. As such, Lucas allowed her character to be hot in order to propell the love story forward a bit. That ripped shirt showed off a pretty incredible set of abs, and further established that Padmé was a hottie. No wonder Anakin fell for her. And from a marketing standpoint, Lucas was catering to his predominately male audience. People are glad that he seemed to listen and reduce Jar Jar's role, but they're mad because he seemed to listen and let Portman show some skin. The poor guy just can't win.

    AYBABTU?

  19. Autumn_Skywalker Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2002
    star 1
    All the above posts prove my point...she's an object.

    ObiWan is a hottie, too. So is Jango. But they aren't stripped. The only thing the guys lose in SW Universe are body parts...man, that's kinda weird, too, now that I think of it.

    Believe me, no girls/women I know like Padme. Not one. They do like Luminara and Zam. I have no idea what that means, but that's what it's like where I am.
  20. Green_Destiny_Sword Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2001
    star 4
    MINI-YODA said: In other action movies they often try and empower women by giving them guns and acting macho. Sometimes it works like in T2 but other times these women just come out like bitches.


    Ha! LOL! I know, man, you have to hate it when women start using guns in war movies!! Esepcially ones that threaten apocalyptic destruction of the planet? What are women in movies like these supposed to do? Act like cowards? Worry about their make-up? They fight. Just like the men do. Should Ridley have crawled into a storage closet and waited for the men to take care of things in Aliens?? Give me a break.

    LEAVING TASHI-- I totally see your point. Padme is a leader in title and clearly helps the Jedi, but she is basically a target throughout the entire movie. People want her dead, the Jedi must protect her, Anakin uses her as bait etc..etc... Her scenes in the arena fight were clearly to sex her out. I mean, let's face it, the publicity pics of her with the torn outfit and padded booty shot were released months in advance. There were many long threads devoted to her sexiness. But then the ironic thing is, people on here say "Lucas does not have time to cater to fans needs!" Well, I wonder which demographic he was trying to appeal to when he threw Padme in that outfit and ripped it (read: mine-- SW male geeks).

    And then, there are clearly no other strong women in the PT. I think Padme may be shown to be strong in Ep. III. She has some very difficult decisions ahead of her, and will also have 2 babies to think of. But who knows?

    When I watched AOTC, the thoughts you had did not cross my mind. But after reading your post, I definitely give credibility to your opinions and experiences.
  21. LeavingTashiStation Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 4, 2002
    That's the problem then, isn't it: Jawa 70 notes that:

    "Remember SW is a fantasy with Princesses and Wizards and young hero's.It wouldn't do to have a fat ugly princess now would it?

    It's the same reason Mattel don't make an ugly Barbie, little girls won't buy it or like it.I Guarantee little girls like Padme and Leia though."

    Here its being suggested that fat=ugly. Well, no, that's not the case. And wouldn't it be a good thing to have a hefty hero? Girls also want to see people who look like them, and you'd be hard pressed to find that many girls who naturally look like Padme. That's the problem I have: people holding the body type of someone like Padme or Leia as a perfect example of what a woman looks like. If we can aliens of all shapes (for who "size matters not") then why not women?
  22. Darth_AYBABTU Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 8, 2001
    star 6

    The other "hot" characters aren't involved in a budding romance. The one that is, Anakin, goes shirtless. Any more questions?

    AYBABTU?

  23. Rabid_Ewok Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2002
    star 1
    Beacuse fat women are not eye candy. Name a great movie that had a fat women as a heroin? I can't think of any.
  24. Jawa70 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2002
    star 1
    Am i the only male that didn't find padme's arena out fit remotely sexual.I have to wonder at what some people are seeing.

    Now, the Dominatrix outfit she wore by the fireplace...WOWSERS!
  25. Uruk-hai Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Oct 26, 2000
    star 5
    Come on now, LeavingTashStation. What film has overweight people in it - male or female?

    John Candy maybe. Who else?

    I think you are being too critical.

    Edit: Well said AYBABTU. I forgot about Anakin gettin sexy with himself.
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