The news that Lupita Nyong’o is to play a motion-capture character, Maz Kanata in the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is a breath of fresh air due to the lack of female presence and color in past Star Wars films. Fans just can’t seem to get enough of the award winning actress.
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According to Vanity Fair, Kanata is a pirate with no allegiances to either the Resistance (the new name for the Rebel Alliance) or the First Order (the new Empire).
Though the fame around the epic space film series is undoubtedly male driven, the trilogy may not have been as dynamic without its hardcore female characters adding to the storyline. There have only been about six female characters in Star Wars Trilogy history and only three of them have actual dialogue, but prequels and extended universe changed the pro fem game.
Here’s a look at five other ladies of the galaxy that rocked their roles in Star Wars films:
Played by Natalie Portman, is described as a courageous, hopeful leader, on StarWars.com, served as Queen and then Senator of Naboo — and was also handy with a blaster. Despite her ideals and all she did for the cause of peace, her secret, forbidden marriage to Jedi Anakin Skywalker would prove to have dire consequences for the galaxy in The Phantom Menace.
Briefly seen overlooking the pod race in The Phantom Menace this female felon played by Michonne Bourriague, is actually one of the galaxy’s most notorious and dangerous bounty hunters…and she’s also a trained Jedi who has made it her mission to kill Jedi. A trained sniper and habitual wielder of double pistols, she brings death upon any paid-for target when she’s not carrying through her vendetta against the Jedi.
Played by Leeanna Walsman, this female bounty hunter and assistant to Jango Fett, is pretty much responsible for the inciting incident of Attack of the Clones and leads Jedi, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker on a high-speed chase across Coruscant according to cinameblend.com.
The first lady of the Star Wars mythology, portrayed by Carrie Fisher, has been said to be an obvious choice for a starring standalone film. However, the context of such a film will be the key. In the beginning of the first Star Wars, A New Hope, you first meet Leia as a thoughtful, but tenacious, fully-realized badass femme fatale. She would essentially become the cinematic archetype for such a concept and we would reach the point where subsequent movies deliver the same thing to no second thought.
Actress Nalini Krishan portrayed Barriss Offee in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith (though her scenes in the latter were cut). Studying under Luminara Unduli, Barriss was often depicted as a mindful student who used powers of The Force to heal people. However, she became increasingly alienated by the role in which the Jedi found themselves in the Clone Wars. Tempted by the dark side of The Force, she would conspire against the Jedi.