With the last film of the "Star Wars" franchise quickly approaching, I felt as though I needed to speak my piece about girls in the Star Wars fandom...
WE HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE.
Though there are many young girls today who are being introduced to the "Star Wars" films and dressing up as Rey for Halloween, that is not where girls started to take an interest.
Though the female fans may not have been in great numbers at first, as the years have passed, they've only grown (even though there are still those who believe the female fans only peaked once the new movies came out).
Some people go as far as to say, "just because the newest trilogy is led by a woman, now girls actually like 'Star Wars.' They'll never appreciate what the originals were like."
Um...little girls were able to grow up with Princess Leia as a role model, and you don't get much better than her.
Don't get me wrong. Rey is a fantastic character, and her story arc is so interesting. We need more strong female characters like her for young girls to look up to. The point I am trying to make is that females did not begin liking "Star Wars" just because she is the new lead. Whilst her character is phenomenal, and she is creating a new generation of female fans, she was not the beginning of female "Star Wars" fans.
I myself grew up watching "Star Wars" with my dad. As a huge fan who went to see the first film in theaters, he wanted to pass that legacy on to me. Even today, we can spend almost an hour talking about fan theories together and picking apart pieces of the new trailers.
This has not only allowed me to form a unique bond with my father but has also allowed me to see how a person can take their interests and use them for good. Today, my dad is a member of the 501st Legion. An organization of "Star Wars" fans with film accurate costumes that go to events, parades, and hospitals to bring the joy of Star Wars to others.
My dad is a real-life Stormtrooper. Who else can say that?
That is the "Star Wars" I grew up with. The Star Wars that inspires people, that makes lifetime fans, the "Star Wars" that shows little girls that we too can fight for what is right and not take no for an answer.
Though this new trilogy is led by a female (which is incredible, no doubt), female fans did not begin to emerge once Rey was introduced. We've always been around. Those true fans, like my dad, have passed their love for "Star Wars" on to their kids, male and female alike.
Don't get me wrong. Rey is a fantastic character, and her story arc is so interesting. The point I am making though is that females did not begin liking "Star Wars" just because she is the new lead.
I am proud to be a part of such an awesome fandom, and I am so stoked for "The Rise of Skywalker" film to be released so that I can sit next to my dad in the theater and experience the excitement with him one last time. However, let it be known to all the haters out there, the force has been in us girls, long before Rey came along, and we aren't leaving this fandom any time soon.