How many times have you read that incredibly stupid comment, or equally stupid variations of it? This accusation requires an ignorance of the distinction and difference between feminist ideology and the female gender, which I’ve written about here. Caitlin Busch of inverse.com specifically addresses this distinction within the context of the Star Wars universe:
“Side note: feminism isn’t just about people who identify as women. The film’s main male characters — Finn, Poe Dameron, Kylo Ren, and Luke Skywalker — were all allowed their own room to grow and change and feel their feelings, which is a subject that more male-focused feminism often looks at. In our world, men are often told time and time again that they’re not allowed to feel emotion; the guys in The Last Jedi were not only allowed to feel emotion but encouraged to, and that’s lovely.”
But when attempting to articulate that distinction, many debaters will counter with the accusation that there is no feminism in any Disney Star Wars film, and that we’re reading too much into it or looking for conspiracy theories where there are none. One writer expressed this as such:
And there’s people who proclaim to be…
But the notion that there is in fact feminism in The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and especially The Last Jedi, is celebrated by a multitude of feminist writers. Here’s a small sampling of some of their statements:
“A number of commentators have identified and celebrated feminist themes in The Last Jedi. These include Anna Smith in The Guardian, Tracy King in the New Statesman, Rosie Fletcher in Digital Spy, Tricia Barr in PopSugar, Joanna Robinson in Vanity Fair, and Kayti Burt in Den of Geek, among others.“
“Dern told Vanity Fair: “[Rian is] saying something that’s been a true challenge in feminism. Are we going to lead and be who we are as women in our femininity? Or are we going to dress up in a boy’s clothes to do the boy’s job? I think we’re waking up to what we want feminism to look like.”
“This all adds up to what Annalise Ophelian, a documentary filmmaker whose latest project, Looking for Leia, takes a look at female Star Wars fans, called the “first truly Bechdel Test passing scene” in the franchise.”
“In many ways the female power of The Last Jedi feels like a fitting tribute to the late Fisher, the fearless and unapologetically feminist Force of Star Wars. It may have taken four decades, and one infamous gold bikini, but women are finally running the galaxy far, far away.”
Women are finally running the galaxy far, far away? Star Wars’ future is female? Star Wars belongs to a new generation, and this time it’s women? The women steal the show?
So it would appear that we’re all supposed to celebrate the wonderful inclusion of feminist ideology into the Star Wars universe. Unless we start criticizing the abject stupidity of feminist ideology as applied to Star Wars, in which case, then there is no feminism in Star Wars at all, you sexist and/or misogynist you.
At the end of the day, we need to remember that the story of The Last Jedi, is the story of two days worth of failed missions that happened all because the women in charge forgot to gas up, resulting in all but a couple dozen Resistance soldiers being killed. Nothing could be more feminist than that.