With the recent release of the first teaser trailer for Star Wars: Rogue One, it brought with it reviews and reactions from all over the internet.
There was a general buzz when it premiered, the excitement was obvious amongst the majority of fans, and since then, raking up a total of nearly 19 million views.But, there was a backlash amongst some fans of Star Wars, in particular, complaining about the female lead. The lead in question is Jyn Erso played by Felicity Jones, who appears to be fighting with the Rebellion, her character’s quirks and story is yet to be seen in the teaser.
In the comments section of the teaser, the character was not being seen as something positive. Many commenters, were unhappy about the fact that the movie had another female protagonist, following on from the strong female protagonist in episode seven, Rey. The complaints were also claiming that the movie itself was being made to ‘please the feminists’ and comparing Jyn to a ‘Mary Sue’ character profile.
What is so bad about strong female characters in leading roles? According to The Centre for The Study of Women in Television & Film at San Diego State University, in 2015, females comprised of only 22% of the protagonists of that year.
33% of women were including in speaking roles of the top 100 domestic grossing films. Both of those percentages are extremely low. As movies and television continues to develop in this digital age, more and more women from different ethnicities, should be landing lead roles, rather than being pushed aside and doubted. (x)
At the end of 2015, we saw Rey, played by Daisy Ridley, take to the screens in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
It’s no secret that too often in movies and tv, female characters aren’t given enough depth and meaning, and just there for show, but when a female protagonist was introduced to such a highly anticipated movie like this, it opened doors for women and men everywhere.
At times, people seem to underestimate the girls in big sci-fi films, but this one, proved herself to be more than what she was expected to be. More and more girls (and boys) of all ages, ethnicities, backgrounds and shapes have been feeling empowered and proud of this character, and that’s more important than you might think. With Felicity Jones to take her spot light this December, the mindset in which surrounds this movie currently, desperately needs to be changed. Not all female characters are a ‘Mary Sue’. Mary Sue, by definition means ‘ an idealized and seemingly perfect fictional character, a young or low-rank person who saves the day through unrealistic abilities’ and is label commonly given to female characters. Not all characters are perfect.
It’s amazing that more female and male characters are finally being given some depth, rather than being rather 2D. Backstory is key with a character, and backstory is what you’ll get in the Star Wars movies. Jyn Erso isn’t perfect, in the teaser, it’s made evident that she has been alone since she was 15, the words used are “Reckless, Aggressive, and Undisciplined.” If you’re looking for a Mary Sue, you’re not going to find it here.Jyn Erso, like Rey, is a strong female character, that is capable of handling herself in the face of the enemy, but also staying true to herself. Neither characters have been put there ‘to please feminists’ or to be ‘token’, they’re there to kick some first order and imperial army butt.
So what’s the big deal?