Speculation we need more women main characters.

Discussion in 'Star Wars: Episode VII and Beyond (Archive)' started by CoolyFett, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. Julius Vernon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 7, 2012
    star 3
    I don't understand the "need" threads for characters of a specific gender, race, sexuality, etc.

    I'm not opposed to a strong female character as the lead. In fact, I think it could be fantastic. But I always find it odd that a contingency jumps out and says that the saga needs more of "X characters" or has a responsibility because of its status to supply us with strong heroic "Y characters."

    First and foremost should be the story. Lucasfilm, Disney, et al are under no social responsibility to help support the cause of a specific group of people. I find it offensive in some ways. Whenever I hear suggestions that the news media or entertainment media is responsible to support causes/traits/ideals for which I am in the minority I am quite turned off. No one owes us anything for our diversity, that is up to us to make strong.

    If the next steps in the saga have female/alien/racial minority/etc protagonists with clever storytelling that is compelling then I'll be elated, but I in no way think anyone is obligated, or there is a responsibility, on the parts of the creators to fill those gaps.
    Pro Scoundrel and TreborSabreon like this.
  2. Trebor Sabreon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2010
    star 4
    I don't know. I mean, I've got nothing against Tano at all, but I'm honestly not all that interested in seeing an 80 year old Aksoka making a splash in Episode VII. TCW is her story. That is not to say she can't survive that series (though for story purposes, part of me prefers that she does not) and show up in some other medium one day, but the 'Episodes' features are the Skywalker saga. With that in mind, and after years of "Ahsoka's fate" threads, what purpose would be served by making Ahsoka Tano's long-awaited, next big appearance be as an ederly side character with little to do? I just don't see it myself, but if there was a good enough reason dictated by the needs of the plot, then I'm willing to forego all that.

    As to the OP and Star Wars needing "more women main characters," I've always felt that from the very beginning, George Lucas has made a concerted effort to buck the trends of the times and put very strong female characters in main character roles vital to the story at-large. If this is true (and I believe most would agree it is), then what precisely is the point of "more"? Is it simply a numbers thing? Most would agree that each trilogy has featured three main characters, with each comprising one woman and two men. Women have always been among the main characters, so, I don't get it - is it important that we go to two women and one man? Three women to no men? I've heard the argument before and the facts tell me that it just doesn't hold water.

    Now as to the question of the one overarching lead of each trilogy - Anakin and Luke - yes, there have been no women in these roles, but the Skywalker saga has been, in important ways, a story of fathers and sons. It's just that a big part of what this story is, at its heart, happens to hinge on that particular dynamic and changing this solely as a means of satisfying a quota doesn't sit very well with me, personally. There have been other Star Wars media where women have been featured as the "big" lead in the past and surely women will continue to have the chance to do so in the future.
  3. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    Being somebody's father and&/or being somebody's son isn't defined by your/their biological gender!!!!
  4. Snydbo Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Nov 3, 2012
    Haha Tyrannus.
    Trebor I see what you are saying but Yoda wasnt a Skywalker either and he was a wise old sage for them.
    Regarding the numbers thing, I dont think a quota type thing has ever been a part of the Star Wars story and I think it will continue to be told using whatever characters are needed. Man, Woman, Alien, etc.
    Does anyone know where to find the actual Lucas quote on the bad mothers thing?
  5. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    Last edited by Zuckuss the Ruckuss, Jan 7, 2013
  6. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    [IMG]
  7. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    Google is your friend. At least you will get a laugh out of it.
  8. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 16, 2005
    star 5
    You make some fine points, and I'll agree with the "obligation/responsibility" in a large sense. No one person or corporation "owes us."

    But.

    If it weren't for years of complaints and a corresponding change in culture, we'd still not see many minorities or women in "ordinary people" roles. Mom's once were pearl-wearing, apron over dresses stay-at-home mom's and when TV dared to show a single career woman (Mary Tyler Moore) - a segment of society was offended. Ellen offended a large segment of folks who didn't want to be exposed to "gays." Some folks all but crucified GL for having a woman heroine who wasn't your typical girl lead - she shot back both her mouth and a big gun; many of the same folks were offended at Billy Dee William's casting as Lando - "PC" casting and fulfilling a quota.

    Sometimes the media has to take the lead to show PEOPLE in people role's - not just men in "man's roles," etc.

    But you are right in that they are not obligated to do so and it may indeed be "safer" (especially to profits) to keep the status quo.
  9. Trebor Sabreon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2010
    star 4
    I agree and I'd hate to see that change, is all.

    And you're sure right about Yoda, of course!
  10. Trebor Sabreon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2010
    star 4
    You said it (and proably far better than I). Thank you.
    Julius Vernon likes this.
  11. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Mary Tyler Moore was my favorite TV show when I was 6. True story.

    There's not a "responsibility" to put forth a female lead character, it's just something some of us would like to see.
  12. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    Racism is a far much more bigger/large/severe/much more common issue than sexism, in my opinion!!! For example, most superhero films/movies will contain a lot of female characters, but very few colored characters; and well, that means that anybody who is black, hispanic, asian, latino, middle eastern, central asian, chinese, japanese, native american, african american, and so and and so forth!!!

    My extreme punctuation is just an obessive compulsive disorder. I am trying to gradually stop that, and that will start of by gradually reducing my punctuation to three exclamation points, by the way, by the way, dudes!!!
  13. Trebor Sabreon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 15, 2010
    star 4
    I hear you, I honestly do. I guess what I don't understand is that each and every one of the six Star Wars features already has had a female lead. To me, saying that a female lead is "something (you) would like to see" makes it sound as if this weren't true, but of course, the facts are the facts. Are you saying that you'd like to see this trend continue, or do you not consider Padme and Leia to be lead roles? Because along with Anakin and Obi-Wan, Luke and Han, they were the leads, with each receiving top billing.

    Honestly, I'm not trying to come off as aggresssive and I fear my temperement may not be translating well to the written word here, so no offense intended. I guess I'm just confused. [face_dunno]
  14. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    A Leia type character or a Padme in TPM type character, with more of the spotlight on her.

    Leia and Padme were both lead characters, but the main focus of the story was on Luke and Anakin.
    Lady_Skywalker87 likes this.
  15. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    I find it also interesting to point out that the damsel in distress in the OT was not Leia. It was Luke.

    He gets rescued more than any other character in Star Wars, almost to the point of incompetence.
  16. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    Good point.

    How about absolutely no damsels in distress. Male or female.
  17. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    Why not???
  18. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    I'll go ahead and say Padme and Leia aren't leading characters. Leia is tertiary to Luke and Han among the heroes, and behind Vader as well. Leia is the damsel (though a fierce one) in ANH, half of a romantic side plot in ESB and nothing more than eye candy in ROTJ.

    Padme is behind Anakin and Obi-Wan among the heroes, and behind Palpatine as well. Padme is a fierce leader in TPM no doubt, but turns into a romantic possession to be won in AOTC and nothing more than a sobbing wife in ROTS.

    There's a difference in the importance between characters like Luke and Anakin/Vader and characters like Leia and Padme.
  19. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    And that brings up-my next main point/my next main idea-all of the racism in the star wars films/the movies!!!!
  20. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    What I feel is going to happen logically for episode 7 is that the Skywalker character will most likley be Luke's son.

    With that said Han/Leia will have a daughter, and both Skywalker/Solo will both have some sort of Jedi powers. Both having to work together to fight whatever foe they will face. I will be willing to bet that Leia's/Han daughter will be action orientated than previous female leads. That also works in regards to the original story dynamics of 7,8,9-the relationship of brother and sister.

    That is the "safe" approach that I think the production will take. I'm sticking to that
  21. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    Doesn't work. Its melodrama, all the lead characters have to be put in a position of peril and rescued by other characters.

    All the characters in Star Wars, male or female, are defined by their relationship with others. Thats why that Breschel test(spelling whatever) would never work in something like Star Wars.

    Unless they moved away from the ensemble format, and worked within a single character format. Something they may experiment with later.
    Last edited by Zuckuss the Ruckuss, Jan 7, 2013
  22. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Mar 4, 2011
    star 7
    I disagree. One character does not have to be a helpless little **** in order for a story to be good. The characters can all be strong and work and fight together to get themselves out of bad situations, and a good story presents itself. A good example to me was Endor. Nobody was a whiny helpless *****, not even the Ewoks. 3PO came close but he proved somewhat useful as well.
    Darth Chiznuk likes this.
  23. Lord Tyrannus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 18, 2012
    star 4
    When I write adventures stories and&/or fanfictions, I usually include that good, well, umm, a sorta of umm, balance, a balance between helplessness and bravery and strength!!!!
  24. Zuckuss the Ruckuss Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2013
    star 4
    Its not true, it isn't even true in Return of the Jedi. Both Han and Leia get bailed out by the Ewoks when they are captured. Luke gets bailed out by Vader when he is at the mercy of the emperor.

    If you don't make your characters vulnerable, the audience doesn't care.

    Plus, another thing. Luke is not the most badass character of the three leads. Each character has their own strength and weaknesses. Luke may be gifted in the force but he is headstrong and often, due to his naivety, bites off more than he can chew. Han is easily the best pilot, but he is the most stuck up and arrogant. Leia is the best planner/leader, but she is not honest with herself at times or others.

    But they all compliment one another. That is what an ensemble is or at least an interesting one.
    Last edited by Zuckuss the Ruckuss, Jan 7, 2013
    Pro Scoundrel likes this.
  25. CT-867-5309 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 5, 2011
    star 5
    I think we're getting into opinion/point of view/definition territory here.

    I don't see Han and Leia being in trouble for about two seconds before the Ewoks show up as an example of damsels, nor do I find Vader saving Luke right after Luke put it on him and willingly gave up the fight as an example of Luke being a damsel.

    But that's my opinion.

    Damsel in distress is not just vulnerability, imo. There can be vulnerability without damsels.

    Yes, but that's not even close to a damsel, imo.

    http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DamselInDistress?from=Main.DistressedDamsel