What does a highly anticipated film have to do with feminism? A lot actually. Not only does the new Star Wars film deal with women power, but it also has underlying themes of race and standing up for what you believe in. The Force Awakens is not only one of the most anticipated films and throwback for the older population, but it is also a new voice for the younger generation. The Star Wars enterprise has drawn people of all races and ages from all around the world, causing it to be one of the most popular enterprises ever. Now with The Force Awakens it shows how much of an impact it has made on many people’s lives. If you had not been a fan of Star Wars before The Force Awakens, this movie will cause you to feel reminiscent (mostly you’ll just want to go home, sit on your couch, grab some snacks, and watch all of the previous six movies in one sitting). If you were already a fan, most likely the latter will also happen to you too.
The Force Awakens circles around the lives of the three main characters; Poe, Finn, and Rey. Each character deals with struggles of their own that end up intertwining with the others. The messages hidden in the movie cause it to relate to everyone, no matter if they have seen the previous Star Wars movies or not. Although, it may take away from the understanding of the movie if you have not seen the previous ones, it does not take away from the underlying feminist tones of this one.
The first major underlying feminist theme in The Force Awakens is, of course, the amount of girl power in the film. Rey (played by actress Daisy Ridley), lives by herself and has to use her own talent and motivation to survive. Shown early in the film is her dream of becoming a fighter pilot for The Resistance. She’s not dreaming of having a relationship or other stereotypes that are placed on many Hollywood-esque women in movies. Instead she’s real. She isn’t in the movie just to be a love interest. She’s in the movie because of so much more (I don’t want to spoil anything), and that makes it easily connectable to all types of women. I think that’s one of the main reasons she is such an amazing character, she’s just a person. She isn’t overly feminine, which is a huge step for a Hollywood blockbuster film. She is super strong, able to protect herself (and others) and is able to stand up for herself. Also Leia (Carrie Fisher) is the head general of The Resistance, which shows that women in positions of power are just as powerful and impactful as a man would be. By having this type of character in the movie, it shows young girls that they can be so much more than just a love interest, and it shows that they are special and are important for the world.
The second major underlying feminist theme in The Force Awakens is race. Even without the theme being part of the movie, two out of the three main characters are POC (people of color)(Finn played by John Boyega and Poe played by Oscar Isaac). Another supporting character (Maz Kanata) was voiced by Lupita Nyong’o. Yes, this is not enough and doesn’t excuse the fact that most of the cast was still white. But it does show that there is change going on in Hollywood for the better with casting more POC. Having these actors be main characters helps children of color have a character who looks like them who they can relate to. Also how the theme was translated into the movie is the fact that it showed all types of characters who all look different but were getting along (if they were on the same side). This shows that no matter what someone looked liked, they were still valued and not discriminated against.
The third major underlying feminist theme from the movie was the fact that the characters stood up for what they believed in. This is shown throughout almost each and every character. Finn goes with his gut and stands against what people had been telling him to do for basically his entire life. This is so incredibly important because it shows how that no matter how you were raised you can always have your own opinion and your own beliefs. Poe, doesn’t give into the bad side even when it seems like there is no hope. This shows the audience that you should not give up no matter how dark it may seem. Also even though Rey at first does not understand the importance of herself in relation to the Resistance, she believes in herself and uses her strength to help stay on track and not give in.
Overall, The Force Awakens is a great movie for everyone. Anyone can relate to the characters easily because of the amazing themes and characterization. Honestly, this is not a movie you’ll want to miss.
Watch my YouTube video on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9ONQkM1gx0