'Star Wars: Episode VII' to Cast Another Female Lead, Thank Goodness
In the wild excitement of actually getting an official cast list for Star Wars: Episode VII, we can all be forgiven for failing to notice something that seems pretty important in the fresh light of day. In fact, considering that this is Star Wars that we're talking about, the oversight kind of just seemed true to the original narrative. The Star Wars original trilogy had Carrie Fisher, the Star Wars prequel trilogy had Natalie Portman, and the Star Wars sequel trilogy is going to have newcomer Daisy Ridley. Fair enough, I thought. However, J.J. Abrams still has a substantial female role yet to fill in Star Wars: Episode VIl, which means that not only could Episode VII beat all of the previous films in terms of crucial female characters, but it's giving me even higher expectations than I already had.
There's absolutely nothing known about this "substantial female role" — not her identity, not any potential actresses, not her role in the overall franchise — but the Star Wars extended universe has a lot of female characters running around that we'd love to see make the jump to the big screen. Of course, the only characters that we have names for in Episode VII are the returning characters of Luke, Leia, Han, Chewbacca, C-3PO, and R2-D2, so it's jumping ahead of ourselves to even speculate who could be playing whom. (Remember when Lupita Nyong'o was rumored to be starring in Star Wars? Can we make that rumor a reality, please and thank you?)
Just the fact that there will be two female roles in the main cast instead of one is a step in the right direction. Star Wars is the kind of franchise that is incredibly difficult to improve upon, to be fair. Some fans still can't mention the Jar Jar Binks character from the prequel series without spitting on the ground in disgust — unless they're in their homes, in which case I assume they just throw up in their mouths a little.
But this is the franchise that brought us amazing characters like Leia Organa and Padmé Amidala and recounting all their exploits and accomplishments would take up this entire article. We have no doubt that Leia is going to bring more badassery to the big screen and that Daisy Ridley will more than hold her own in whatever role she ends up playing, but I have a great need to see more back-to-back female fighters forged together by strong and complicated lady friendships. They don't even need to fight together to make me happy. I'm still at the point where two women sitting down and having a conversation rife with inside jokes and warm familiarity makes me cry happy tears.
Only two of the original six Star Wars movies passed the Bechdel Test and if Episode VII wants to open itself up to doing that differently then it's a welcome change. Even if Lupita Nyong'o isn't involved.
Image: Star Wars.com; Tumblr