I’ve been traveling for the past week, so this may be a little late, but it’s given me time to confirm that what I saw was not a few internet trolls: People are freaking out about the fact that “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” stars a woman. Well, not just because it stars a woman. It’s because “The Force Awakens” did as well.
Now, last time I checked there were more than a few men among the “Force Awakens” main cast: Finn, Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren, General Hux, Han Solo and Chewbacca. Meanwhile, besides Rey there were only General Leia Organa, Captain Phasma and Maz Kanata for the female cast. That’s more men than women. It’s also, by the way, not a complaint — merely stating a fact.
Also, let’s just mention that the lead in “Rogue One” may be a woman, but there are a ton of male characters as well. In fact, Felicity Jones is really the only featured woman in the trailer other than a brief moment with Mon Mothma. So, why is everyone freaking out?
Excellent question. No one freaked out when the star of the prequels, all three of them, was a man after the lead in the first trilogy was also a man. Yet all I got online was grumbling about how there are too many ladies and how we’re all being too PC and was Han Solo’s film going to star a woman as well?
Of course some of these guys are just jerks. Others really seem to be upset. We’re still not used to seeing female leads that often, despite the “Hunger Games” movies and “Mad Max.” This is why we talk about representation. One guy on Twitter told me that he couldn’t relate to the new film because the lead was a woman. Welcome to the life of every girl, every minority and every LGBT person, buddy. It matters that you get to see yourself up there. Did you freak out when yet another superhero film was led by a man? No? Hmm, why is that?
That’s why this is important. Studios, keep casting female leads as well as male leads. We’re 51 percent of the population. Did you know that? Well, you didn’t seem to know that before. Thank you, Disney, for keeping Kathleen Kennedy’s promise. Thank you for getting the world used to this. Thank you for another female lead.