Tomorrow, Star Wars: The Force Awakens finally arrives. We don’t know much about the plot yet, but we do know that the cast includes more women than any other Star Wars movie. Daisy Ridley plays Rey, who is rumored to be the main character; Lupita Nyong’o plays the pirate Maz Kanata; Gwendoline Christie plays the evil Captain Phasma; and Carrie Fisher returns as Princess Leia - now GENERAL Leia.
But before we start fangirling over The Force Awakens, we’re taking a look back at our favorite female characters from the previous six Star Wars movies. While we wish many of these characters had been more fully developed and had more screentime, they still have a place in our hearts - as Star Wars fans, they were all we had. We’re excited knowing that the next generation of Star Wars fans will have many more female characters to look up to.
Poor Oola spent her brief time in Star Wars as a slave dancer for Jabba the Hutt, before he got angry with her and fed her to his pet rancor. Although she’s often creepily drooled over by a certain type of Star Wars fan, we admire how Oola - even after years in captivity, knowing the risks - kept fighting back against Jabba. Also, her hair tentacles are cool and I definitely mimicked them by wearing tights on my head as a mini Star Wars fan.
6. Shmi Skywalker
Shmi had a hard life. She managed to keep her only son annoyingly happy despite living in slavery - then lost him when he went away to become a Jedi. Her gruesome death at the hands of Tusken Raiders is a prime example of violence against women used as a plot device to further male characters’ development. It’s enough to make us Darth Vader-level angry.
5. Aayla Secura
Aayla Secura has zero speaking lines and only a few minutes of screentime, but she’s the only female Jedi we see onscreen. So that's something.
4. Mon Mothma
Mon Mothma gets just one major scene - in Return of The Jedi - but in that scene, she pretty much kills it. A Chancellor of the Rebel Alliance, Mothma’s white and silver robes make her look like a cool space judge, and her speech before the Battle of Endor is brilliant.
Sabé - played by Keira Knightley - is Queen Amidala’s handmaiden who has a habit of switching places with Amidala in times of danger. So, she’s super-brave and totally rocks the half-lipstick thing.
2. Padme Amidala
In three movies, Padme went from a political genius teenage queen to just another love interest, but even then, she had her moments. We love her for leading Naboo, standing up to Anakin and for her battle skills.
1. Princess Leia
Of course, our Number 1 is Princess Leia. How could it be anyone else? Gold bikini aside, Princess Leia taught many of us that princesses can be snarky badasses, wielding a blaster while rocking those side buns. We can’t wait to see what she does in The Force Awakens.
Images via Wikipedia, StarWars.com
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Erika W. Smith is BUST's digital editorial director. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @erikawynn and email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.