Tricia Barr writes a piece at Popsugar entitled, Is Star Wars: The Last Jedi a Feminist Film? Here’s How Rian Johnson Did.
In it she writes:
Which demonstrates how feminist ideology and the female gender are now two separate things.
Leia as the Skywalker sibling who persisted is an obvious nod to women in this era we are living in. She isn’t morosely moping over the loss of her son to the dark side, but rather mentoring the next generation, particularly Poe Dameron, whom she wants to step up and become a leader. The Last Jedi finally reveals she is strong in the Force.
Chief among them; listen to your mommy.
Generally, war stories (the opening scene is modeled on Twelve O’Clock High, a classic World War II movie) sideline the roles of women, so the presence of Paige and A-wing leader Tallie Lintra subvert a Hollywood norm.
It also subverts a war norm, since wars are predominately fought by men. It’s this subversion that aids in the shattering of suspension of disbelief.
She fell through a floor.
Rey finishes the movie in a place feminist Star Wars fangirls like me thought was an impossible dream a little over five years ago, before Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm, before the sequel trilogy was a certainty on the horizon. Johnson created a hero’s journey for a great female character that is relatable to whoever watches.
Except that Rey gets to skip the first phase of the hero’s journey; knowing everything and doing everything on her own. Apparently knowledge and skill can be absorbed through cosmic osmosis for the Mary Sue.