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George Lucas' A New Hope begins with the Tyrannical Darth Vader boarding a Rebel submarine. From there, the story follows the life of Luke Skywalker, an average farm boy, as he, along with his newfound allies, tries to rescue Princess Leia, the Rebel queen, from the clutches of the Empire. Notably, the inference is drawn when the Rebels mount an assault on the Death Star, the Empire's most ominous and powerful weapon. The purpose of this paper is to look at women's representation in Star Wars: A New Hope. Usually, in most action movies, women play a subordinate role. Apparently, the major female characters are present merely as "token chicks" so that women do not feel that they are underrepresented, or they are there as being a romantic interest. Markedly, it is hard to see a female lead take charge and exhibit her intelligence rather than using her gender as being the primary tool to evade or escape tricky circumstances. In the film in Star Wars: A New Hope, the depiction of women offers the impression that, even though they are underrepresented; they are fighters and not mere individuals who need help.
In the film Star Wars: A New Hope, Princess Leia can be considered a female representation of empowerment via her personality, actions, and image. The portrayal of Leia in this movie's universe presents her as being a figure of feminism since she is among the few female people in the whole movie. Apart from that, Leia is quite able and has candid leadership skills among other essential qualities. Moreover, Leia is the sole female lead, and the movie does not have supporting female characters. In this regard, the Stormtroopers are all men, and even the droids or robots are exhibited as male. The image of Princess Leila in this movie is not shaped by the people in her group including Luke Skywalker and Hans Solo, but by her qualities. In relating to the image depicted by individuals in this movie, one can see that Leia has some of the qualities they have. The system of governance in the Star Wars world, referred to as the Empire, may easily be viewed as being a dominant patriarchal figure in the film, having a primarily male presence, particularly in the higher rungs, which are the people having more top command.
There is more women representation in the Rebel Alliance, and it is in this group that the image of Princess Leia as being a feminist figure stands out and has significance. In this sense, Leia is not just a prominent Rebel Alliance’s figure, but she as well occupies one of the greatest political power positions. Leia was the one holding the plans to destroy the Death Star. On the same note, when Darth Vader ambushed her ship, she was intelligent enough to put the plan in the robot R2D2. Indeed, this action was what saved the revolt and assisted the rebels to defeat the Imperial Senate. Such representation of Leia reflects her self-driven and determined personality. To be in a position of reaching the top level of the Rebel Alliance, this calls for having intelligence and drive, just the same way as any other significant leadership position. Princess Leia's image as a capable and energetic leader of the rebels indicates that the females can be just like males. The women can become courageous, powerful, gallant, and influential. Leia's position in the Rebel Alliance as well indicates that she is respected and people pay attention to her; these as essential qualities of a leader. At some point in the movie, she sternly tells Han, “Listen, I don’t know who you are, or where you can from, but from now on, you will do as I tell you. Okay?” (Lucas). Evidently, this shows how courageous and authoritative Leia is. In most cases, a typical female figure has been considered to exhibit more "feminine traits" in the sense that she is more weak and passive. However, a woman can choose to become healthy and challenge the traditional beliefs concerning women, and in this case, Leia is a good example of such a female.
From the analysis, it is clear that in the film in Star Wars: A New Hope, the depiction of women offers the impression that, even though they are underrepresented; they are fighters and not mere individuals who need help. Traditionally, women have been considered as weak figures, and in the movies, they have only been playing secondary roles. However, as seen in this film, Leia plays a role effectively that would have been played by a man. Through, people can learn that women can choose to be strong and to play leadership roles even in a better way than men. Indeed, the issue of having women being underrepresented in every area is not a fair move and should stop.
Lucas, George. “Star Wars: A New Hope.” Journal of the Whills, 15 Jan 1976.
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