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Here's to More Girl Power in All Corners of the Universe

May the force of feminism be with you.
IMAGE Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Today is May the 4th, and what better way to celebrate the galactic institution that is Star Wars than to take a look at how they’ve taken steps toward a more inclusive universe?

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When you think about the first six episodes, you think of Luke Skywalker and Han Solo's adventures and attempts to save the day. You may have identified with the lead female characters, Princess Leia and Padme Amidala, who for all their strengths and capabilities were not given as many world-saving opportunities as their male counterparts. You may have wondered why Padme's promising storyline devolved into a doomed romance, and what the heck they were thinking with "Slave Leia." 

And then you take a look at the two new movies, Episode VII: The Force Awakens and the standalone Rogue One. Heroines finally front and center, rebelling against the Empire and the First Order and the patriarchy. Rey is a hardworking scavenger who rises to the challenge when she crosses paths with the Resistance, while Jyn Erso's difficult childhood has made her hard and cynical but not indifferent to the call of the rebel force.

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They can take care of themselves. They're dressed in functional, adventuring-appropriate clothes. And they don't need any handholding, romantic or otherwise, thank you very much. They are complex characters whose storylines don't revolve around a love interest, although some romance is still in the picture.

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They can take care of themselves. They're dressed in functional, adventuring-appropriate clothes. And they don't need any handholding, romantic or otherwise, thank you very much.

Jyn, Rey, and a handful of other female characters like Maz Kanata and Princess-turned-General Leia, give us hope for the future of the saga and the generations of girls and boys who will be watching. Young girls who will identify with them, and be inspired to be as brave and kind and smart as them. Grown girls who will relate to their struggles and celebrate their wins. Boys of all ages who will look up to them as much as they idolize Luke and Han.

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While we've got a long road ahead in terms of female representation—yes to women of color taking the lead, and more women fighting the good fight—in this galaxy and beyond, the presence of these heroines indicate that we are on the right path. May the force be even stronger, with more equal opportunities onscreen and off!

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About the author
Dyan Zarzuela
Council of Cool 9, Managing Editor, Columnist
Stalks celebrities, watches TV, marathons movies, curls up with books, and flails at concerts for a living. Also: semi-hardcore Whovian.
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PRIMO.

First. Pixie dust and paper cuts – these are the first things Wendy knew about Peter Pan. Aurora first met Prince Philip when she was sixteen. Learning how to ride a bike was also a first while I was growing up, but you are probably the first of too many. The first collection of dust and stars; maybe Luna will try to ask, who was your first? I might answer and tell her that it was you.

The first of too many stars in the sky. You are the first of too many fallen leaves during fall – and you will be the most anticipated snowflake as winter comes. A dark path that you can’t see without any light, hence, you were once the moon and there are the stars that shine so bright at night. Are we too early? Or we just really want to be ahead of time? Even in a glimpse, I would like to see the two of us connect as if we can reach the sky. There are other parts of the heavens you have never saw and other oceans you haven’t laid your feet onto – but the constellations will always wait for you. Close your eyes, love, close your eyes. Start counting backward: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Count backward until you see the twinkling lights that will guide you to the right path. To the right satellite; to the right person. A first.

There are many firsts – first love, first heartbreak, first sport you played, the first thing you do in the morning, the first thing you remember about the person in front of you. There are a lot. It’s actually up to us how we will consider something as a first. So, Primo, you are already a first of too many.

Bea Alamis A day ago
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