Project Title

Feminism and Star Wars

Academic department under which the project should be listed

RCHSS - English

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Faculty Sponsor Name

Anna Weinstein

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) received much acclaim for finally portraying strong women in the galaxy far, far away. At last! A Star Wars movie without princesses with an attitude problem and flamboyant queens with a flair for the dramatic, we are gifted a plethora of female characters whose toned muscles serve as indicators for just how strong they are. Feminists everywhere cheer on our brawny heroines as they whoop ass and take names. Fans of the new films enthuse about how Rey is such a great change from the misogynistic characters of Leia and Padme. Those who grew up idolizing the original galactic women, however, may be wondering why they are not allowed to appreciate all the women in Star Wars for the qualities and ideas they represent. Is a woman who embodies femininity a worse feminist icon than her physically adept peers? Is there a certain type of female character that serves as the ideal role model for impressionable young girls? This presentation will demonstrate the ways in which Star Wars has served to empower women since 1977 and portrayed its women in a manner far ahead of its time. By listening to the creative minds behind the films and examining feminist expectations, this presentation will uncover how the Star Wars films have been delivering feminist messages since the first film was released in 1977, during a crucial moment in second-wave feminism.

Disciplines

Other Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Other Film and Media Studies | Screenwriting

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

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Feminism and Star Wars

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) received much acclaim for finally portraying strong women in the galaxy far, far away. At last! A Star Wars movie without princesses with an attitude problem and flamboyant queens with a flair for the dramatic, we are gifted a plethora of female characters whose toned muscles serve as indicators for just how strong they are. Feminists everywhere cheer on our brawny heroines as they whoop ass and take names. Fans of the new films enthuse about how Rey is such a great change from the misogynistic characters of Leia and Padme. Those who grew up idolizing the original galactic women, however, may be wondering why they are not allowed to appreciate all the women in Star Wars for the qualities and ideas they represent. Is a woman who embodies femininity a worse feminist icon than her physically adept peers? Is there a certain type of female character that serves as the ideal role model for impressionable young girls? This presentation will demonstrate the ways in which Star Wars has served to empower women since 1977 and portrayed its women in a manner far ahead of its time. By listening to the creative minds behind the films and examining feminist expectations, this presentation will uncover how the Star Wars films have been delivering feminist messages since the first film was released in 1977, during a crucial moment in second-wave feminism.

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