On Tuesday, Disney and Lucasfilm announced the official cast of Star Wars: Episode VII, and guess what? It only includes two women, one of whom is Carrie Fisher, otherwise known as the original films' Princess Leia. Great. Good to see everybody over there at Star Wars HQ is working really hard to make sure the new movies feature strong female characters who aren't dressed in gold bikinis. Oh, wait.
What exactly is going on in the minds of people who run Hollywood? Does anyone out there realize that women consume sci-fi and fantasy too, and would really like to see ladies on screen who do something besides stand around and look pretty while the men do all the fighting? I mean, nice try with that lady elf in The Hobbit, but couldn't you have made some of those dwarves women too?
And before any fanboys get up in my Twitter feed and start telling me there aren't any other female characters to depict, let me say to you: I do not give a f*ck. It is 2014, and these are fictional movies that take place in a fantasy world. There is absolutely no reason why there can't be new characters added to account for the lack of women in the original trilogy and the newer trilogy. Game of Thrones, despite its many rape-related flaws, manages to fill its roster with tons of strong, amazing female characters, even though it exists in a (fictional) time period when women really were expected to do nothing but get married and have children. So what's the excuse for a futuristic space epic leaving out the girls? Women can't fly X-wings on their periods or some such bullshit? Please.
What if all the female nerds in the world banded together and boycotted these movies every time this stuff happened? Would they even make any money? Would that be the way to convince Hollywood that they really, really need to stop giving women the shaft every time they write a movie or TV show that's about something allegedly loved only by men? According to Wired, 42 percent of Game of Thrones's audience is women. Yes, that's a potentially different audience than who would see the new Star Wars film. But the point stands that women do watch these types of movies and TV shows, and we can only be ignored for so long before the bottom line starts to look a little weak. Also of note: 52 percent of movie ticket buyers are women even though only 15 percent of movie protagonists are women. So maybe let's all skip this one, and teach Hollywood a lesson. I love Princess Leia, but surely there's another woman or two up there in a galaxy far, far away who are worth a few scenes.
This post originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com.
Photo credit: Disney/Lucasfilm