Clone Wars Women in TCW

Discussion in 'Star Wars TV' started by Seerow, Dec 23, 2012.

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  1. Seerow SWTVā˜…Manager

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    I love a good heroine. I've always loved strong female characters from as far back as when I was a little girl watching the likes of Sailor Moon, Kimberly the original pink rangers, and lets not forget Gadget (that's Rescue Rangers). I count my self lucky since I've found no shortage of them to look up to.

    TCW has no shortage of cool, strong female characters. We've got Padme and Ashoka obviously. But there is also Satine who tries so hard to stick to her beliefs. There is Miraj, a rather dark lady who sees the weak serving her as the natural order of things and lectures three Jedi on the flaws of their order being pretty much dogs of the republic. There is Suu Lawquane who greets your ass at the door with a big old shotgun (the redneck in me loves that). There is Bo-Katan who is atlast a female on armor and I think will be the closest thing to Major Kusanagi in TCW. Lets talk about these characters here and what we would like to see from TCW in the future.
    Last edited by Seerow, Dec 23, 2012
  2. QuangoFett Force Ghost

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    Cross-posted from the Barriss thread:


    I'd prefer it if that discriminatory hiring policy never came at all. It's ridiculous, IMO, that the Empire would actively alienate such vast, powerful swathes of human society if it depends on it. I consider all the homogeneity in the OT's Imperial ranks to be only a "snapshot" of the Empire and GFFA at large, caused by filming limitations in the 1970s and 80s. Lucas himself even said that female stormtroopers are not few in number beyond the Death Star, and neither Lando Calrissian nor Bail Organa are shown to be treated as inferior because of their darker skin. However, I agree with your point that this homogeneity should absolutely not be seen in the ranks of the Republic military, particularly in light of the diverse, mixed human and non-human populations seen in the PT.

    In general, the humans seen in TCW are not the most diverse of groups, even compared to the films. Onderon was better than most settings for the hints of human diversity, but all of the humans had the same body and face designs, albeit recoloured. The Naboo are ridiculously homogeneous in TCW compared to the films. The background Alderaanians seen in TCW are all many shades whiter than Bail and Breha Organa and they're more uniform in appearance than the damn clone troopers. You'd think that a company based in the San Francisco Bay Area would have higher standards, but apparently not.

    By now, TCW's animators should have enough of a selection of faces, body parts and attires to create some passable kitbashes.

    The relative lack of recurring female characters is unfortunate. TCW is superior to the films in this regard, what with Talzin, Ventress, Ahsoka, Satine, Sugi and Aurra having the roles they have. The imbalance is still felt, though, which is why a few more female OCs and returning established characters (such as [Barriss]) would not be amiss.
  3. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

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    To someone of my generation, TCW is far ahead of what I grew up with. Female leads were damsels in distress, largely. Well, there was Dale Evans (Roy Rogers and Dale Evans) in the Saturday matinees, although I don't remember much about her roles (cowboy westerns - not a lot to remember). Women largely existed to be rescued or to become the love interest (often both).

    That Girl (Marlo Thomas) was unique in showing a single career woman (with a boyfriend, of course). Mary Tyler Moore as a divorced career woman was considered unlikely to be accepted by a large chunk of the population at its debut.

    Diversity is great, the trouble is the default is white male - many roles could be played by either gender, any background but unless written as such, is not seen that way. That IS changing, though slowly.

    Trouble is, still, the perception that women action leads don't appeal to men, the largest audience base, and that females in a movie make it a "chick flick" unappealing to that audience.

    Marketing still drives a lot in the movies as in TV.
  4. Jordan1Kenobi Host of EUC Battle of... Games

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    There are a lot of awesome female characters in TCW, my favourite being Ahsoka Tano, Aayla Secura, Shaak Ti, Barriss Offee, Luminara Unduli and Duchess Satine. And from your list, it sucks that there's a high chance two of those characters, Ahsoka and Satine, will be killed off, I think they need to keep strong female characters like that, and if Ventress gets killed off too, Padme will be the only main female character left. I'm a guy but I like to see a lot of strong female characters in TCW, so I think it's best if they kept Ahsoka and Satine around for more story lines and didn't kill them off at all.
  5. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    Good thread.

    I became a Star Wars fan in part because of wanting to be Leia when I grew up (my interest in Anakin's story didn't come until a little later). It was unusual for a kid in the 1970s to see a strong female character in action, Wonder Woman not withstanding. And Valairy remembers as well as I do the flack that Leia got for not being that subservient damsel in distress character.

    On TCW:

    Padme. One reason I enjoyed her so much in TPM and AOTC was her strength as a political leader, and I think we got some of that in TCW, particularly in the much-maligned Pursuit of Peace.

    Other strong female political leaders: Satine, Mon Mothma, and at least to some extent, Mina Bonteri.

    Ahsoka: I really enjoyed her in the movie and the first two seasons because she held her own against Anakin and didn't allow herself to be pushed around by any of "the guys" (and that would include the clones).

    Ventress: she's a cool villainess and is just fun to watch, especially with Obi-Wan. I wish she'd kick Dooku's ass one day for the way he plays her, but we won't see that happen. I think I like her background from the comics better than the show but she's still fun in the show.
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  6. QuangoFett Force Ghost

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    I'd heard of Flash Gordon's love interest, Dale Arden, but was Dale really so common back in those days as a female name? There I was, thinking Dale Earnhardt was a Real Man rated M for Manly. :p

    [IMG]

    Speaking of women in TCW, does anyone else remember Dono (voiced by Nika Futterman)? She was the Onderonian rebel scout sent by Steela to tail Saw. I liked how TCW gave this secondary role to a female character rather than the default male. This was how Bo-Katan was conceived as well. A secondary character in the script for A Friend In Need - Vizsla's henchman - was brought to the finished product female rather than male. That's a good process, as diversity helps flesh out the setting.
    Last edited by QuangoFett, Dec 23, 2012
  7. Valairy Scot Force Ghost

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    Flash Gordon was just a bit before my time - my earliest memories of movies/TV are early 60's - Lassie, Walt Disney Hour, The Rifleman, Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best... Movies were westerns or Disney.
  8. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    I'm not a big fan of the whole "women warrior" thing in general (though I do still like some of the characters who fit into that mold, with my current favorite among them being Korra), so I suppose my favorite strong TCW herione is Mina Bonteri. There's more than one way to be a hero, and being strong doesn't necessarily involve punching people in the face for a living.

    I wish they'd develop Padme a little more. I want to like her more than I did in the prequels.
  9. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

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    @QuangoFett

    I agree to a point about predominantly white males within the Empire possibly just being a product of the times. E.G. I don't recall seeing a single non-white character in Jaws either. But when it comes to the discrimination of certain groups by the Empire, whether Lucas' intention or not, just works IMO.

    The Empire wasn't against using an alien to track down the droids in ANH, and wasn't against maintaining an implied relationship with Jabba the Hutt. But still there does seem to be an implied discrimination against non-humans that Lucas has mentioned in that diversity is a strength of the Rebels while the Empire is not. An Equal Opportunity Employer Empire just isn't as evil as space Nazis. The rebels might have few females in their ranks in the films, but the Empire had none and it just seemed to suggest a military attitude not unlike that even in modern militaries. I've heard American soldiers defend the status quo of keeping females out of combat roles because they tend to be (not my words) weaker, lazier, complain more, and are an unnecessary distraction to the male soldiers. Meanwhile some nations do allow women in combat roles. Having the Empire be the male chauvinistic entity just makes them easier to hate.

    Now as for racism. I do find that to be a little odd IU. With hundreds of other species out there, it just seems odd IMO for humans to not only see themselves as superior, but to also restrict that sense of superiority only to whites. So the absence of non-whites in the Imperial ranks in the films I can accept as being possibly just a product of casting/prejudices in hollywood at the time, whatever.

    I could see a sense of male superiority IU though for the Empire, but I think that Filoni and Lucas should make a greater effort to differentiate the Republic from the Empire. The Republic is the good entity that the Rebels try to restore. It just doesn't have the same impact if aliens, non-whites and women are already kept out of the officer corp.
  10. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    It's more like that filmmakers want things to have a certain look and feel that works even on a subconscious angle. This also relates to why the Imperials seem to have a lot of upper-class British accents - American filmmakers employ these with villains all the time. The rather brilliant BBC animated comedy series Monkey Dust has made fun of this a few times in their parodies of American action movies. Here's an example - warning for extreme political incorrectness in this clip:

  11. Nexumaster Force Ghost

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    Feb 21, 2005
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    Really good idea for a thread. I have so far really liked how they have handled this aspect in TCW; there are many cool and independent female characters on the show and the majority of them can really kick some tail so the show definitely gives quite a fair bit of equality between the genders, which is important. One thing I'm really looking forward to in the currently ongoing season is to see Bo-Katan get fleshed out as a character.
    Last edited by Nexumaster, Dec 23, 2012
  12. rumblewagon Jedi Grand Master

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    Sep 24, 2004
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    I try to imagine GL or Filoni directing their group of writers to create a story for Padme and what ideas those writers could come up with.
    There seems to be only a few avenues: Padme making a speech - Padme with a gun chasing someone/being chased by someone - Padme in danger of being assassinated.
    I certainly do not envy those writers attempting to create a story for her. What other ideas could there be? Perhaps off on some mission to assist refugees of the war? Mentoring junior senators on the various intricacies of politics? Her smuggling Anakin in and out of her penthouse suite? None of those seem like they'd be enough to carry a single episode; much less interesting to watch.
    The upcoming Clovis arc seems to be one of their better ideas as Clovis is under the impression that Padme is "available" rather than secretly married to an extremely possessive and volatile Jedi Knight. That's one of the main reasons I like Senate Spy because of the deception Padme commits by not being forthcoming to Clovis about her relationship; which she cannot obviously - but which causes a great deal of problems the longer the deception goes on.
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  13. QuangoFett Force Ghost

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    @TaradosGon

    Yes, I see the merits of keeping the Empire male chauvinistic and keeping the differences between the Republic and Empire stark. I agree that it works well to show the fairer society being restored. There definitely should be much more of these female military personnel in the Republic era. Historically, women who support reactionary political movements often do so because of (not despite) the reactionaries' dim view of women going against traditional gender norms, so there's not necessarily anything preventing the Empire from winning their support while embracing male chauvinism. On the other hand, it's not that hard to imagine a dystopian regime that embraces female empowerment as well. One thing I liked about the Fire Nation in Avatar: The Last Airbender was the ubiquity of female minions. In KOTOR, one of the lead Republic admirals is a woman, so such egalitarianism might be ingrained into the society of the GFFA after thousands of years and thus nigh on impossible for any Imperial regime to supplant.

    A misogynistic Empire is indeed much easier to hate, but it's a bit superfluous IMO.

    However, the lack of Imperial non-white males is less understandable. Much less. Non-white humans are ubiquitous in the PT, on the affluent Republic/Imperial member planets - Coruscant, Naboo, Alderaan, even warship-builder Kuat going by the backstory of Giddean Danu - which are likely to be the source of much of the Imperial officer corps. The notions of who is considered to be part of the "in-group" often change as a society evolves, and non-white men are definitely considered to be part of the in-group in the PT. There are powerful non-white senators like the aforementioned Giddean Danu and, of course, Bail Organa. These two are opposed to the Empire, but this is because of their ideals rather than the amount of melanin in their skin. It's supposed to be a huge shock when Alderaan is destroyed, with Bail still on it as well. The public perception of the clone troopers - which might be explored in TCW - could make the thought of non-white men being excluded from the in-group utterly inconceivable.
    Last edited by QuangoFett, Dec 23, 2012
  14. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

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    And while such imagery of prejudices work when characterizing the evil Empire, it just seems odd for Filoni and Lucas to already be establishing this in the Republic (all the naval officers are white and speak with various British accents).Tarkin's depiction obviously has to hold true to that of a white Englishman, but when it comes to the other naval officers, I don't see why the Republic would neglect women, non-humans, non-brits (or whatever the accent is supposed to be in universe), and non-whites.

    TOR has introduced the idea that the "English" accent of people like Tarkin is actually the accent that the Sith Empire under Vitiate had. Perhaps it is a Sith accent that goes back to the original Sith Empire (though accents obviously don't register in novels and comic books).

    The in universe idea could be that people like Tarkin are the non-Force sensitive descendants of the Sith culture of Vitiate's Empire thousands of years earlier, in which Palpatine might see those individuals as being superior due to their heritage.

    But under the Republic it would just be odd to see such bias because I don't think such decisions would be up to Palpatine yet, until he has absolute control as Emperor.
    Last edited by TaradosGon, Dec 23, 2012
  15. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    You and I have obviously been watching different shows. May I suggest the oeuvre of Joss Whedon?

    But aren't, like, 95% of the Republic Navy's personnel all Fett clones?
  16. TaradosGon SWTV Mod - Like Palpatine with animals

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    What does Joss Whedon have to do with Star Wars films? There was like three women in the OT: Leia, Toryn Farr and Mon Mothma. The prequels had many more serving as extras and in minor roles while really only Shmi and Padme stood out with Zam being prominent in the beginning of AOTC as well.

    It can't be helped when it comes to the clones. When it comes to commissioned officers graduating from a military academy, it's just odd that they all conform to the same image of caucasian, male, human with an accent. The accent which seems like it would indicate they are all coming from the same planet/culture. Seems like the academies do not accept female applicants.
    Last edited by TaradosGon, Dec 23, 2012
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  17. QuangoFett Force Ghost

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    The "British" accent is Coruscanti, or Core, or some variant of that "central" theme. The EU explanation does evoke the 18th century British/American colonial divide. The residents of the Rim, with their American accents, are supposed to be the descendants of colonists from the Core, which was originally the heartland of human, Duros and other spacefaring species' civilisations.

    There are actually quite a few Imperials with American accents in the OT. There are, of course, the stormtroopers. We also encounter Commander Praji and Admiral Motti in ANH, along with a few ISD crewmen in TESB and a number of Imperials on the surface of Endor in ROTJ. This was due to the mix of British and American actors playing them, while all the Rebels with the exception of Mon Mothma - irrespective of their actors' nationalities - were given American accents, often through redubbing, so the stereotype/convention mentioned above was still invoked.

    [IMG]

    Speaking of redubbing, the above (cut) female A-Wing pilot had her voice dubbed over with a male actor's according to Buzzfeed. It's kind of appropriate, considering how she looks a bit like Julia Gillard, Australia's male president female prime minister.
  18. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    Again, there are lots of ways to be heroic and strong that don't involve shooting someone. I think the TCW writers should go back and watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington for some ideas.
  19. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    I thought you were talking in general, and not just SW.

    Hmm? There is a certain point of view that says that sending women into war is uncivilized.
    Last edited by Narutakikun, Dec 23, 2012
  20. anakinfansince1983 Chosen One

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    War itself is uncivilized (although sometimes necessary, I don't want to debate that point) but that "certain point of view" is misogynistic as hell. Hence a misogynistic Empire.

    I'm on board with seeing some political heroism, but I'd be just as happy to see Bail Organa's character fill that role. We've seen Padme do it a few times already. I'd actually like to see her wield her blaster a bit more as she did in TPM and in a few TCW episodes.

    And more female Jedi as well as more Ventress is always fun. No reason whatsoever to relegate all the ass-kicking to those with a Y chromosome.
  21. QuangoFett Force Ghost

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    (Undead) Mrs. Bonteri Goes To Coruscant
  22. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    War itself is indeed uncivilized, and some would say sending women into it even more so.

    Besides, you'll find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly... well, you know the rest.

    I was thinking more that Padme does.
    Last edited by Narutakikun, Dec 23, 2012
  23. QuangoFett Force Ghost

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    Padme lives on Coruscant. :p
  24. Narutakikun Force Ghost

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    Padme lives on Naboo. She has an office and crash pad on Coruscant.
  25. QuangoFett Force Ghost

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    True.

    Yes, that sort of episode would be appropriate for Padme. She had something similar in Pursuit Of Peace when she stood up to the militarists in the Senate. However, the details of her political positions in AOTC and ROTS need to be handled with care, and I feel that episode did not do so. As with many things related to IU politics, TCW needed a bit more subtlety.
    Last edited by QuangoFett, Dec 23, 2012
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