Forces of Destiny is Part of the Bright Future of Star Wars
The reaction from fangirls reveals the importance of representation in the stories we love
“How did I find you? I’m just lucky I guess.” (Rey, Forces of Destiny)
Around teatime yesterday in the UK, Star Wars unexpectedly let a wonderful thing drop onto the internet — the new trailer for Forces of Destiny and the news it will premiere next week. Understandably, fans were excited to get a further glimpse at the action, in a new 2D animated style by animation studio Ghostbot.
What struck me though was how emotional the reaction was, both from myself and other fans, particularly the fangirls. Lots of women were talking about how they wished they could have had this show when they were growing up, and how they were so excited to show it to their children, in particular to their daughters, friends daughters, granddaughters or nieces. Lots of us admitted we even found ourselves crying a little when watching the trailer.
Well here it is:
In these strange times, I find myself generally more emotional about positive things than I would usually be, and I’m sure many people feel the same way. Star Wars has always been an important place to escape for many of us.
However there was more behind this strong reaction from fangirls. That is, the emotional power of seeing yourself and your voice finally represented positively in the the stories you love. I’m aware that women of colour and the LGBTQ community have yet to be adequately represented by Star Wars, but I would like to hope the existence of this series centring women for the first time represents a small step towards this overdue goal.
So for those narrow-minded people who sneer at Forces of Destiny as being just for young girls (as if young girls can’t have excellent taste), it is also unashamedly for the women who have loved Star Wars for years, and the children they once were. And it is of course for other genders too, because stories not centring men are not a niche concern, and should not be pigeonholed as such by male fans who feel like Star Wars is somehow their territory, that they have earned the right to it purely by seeing their own faces and stories repeatedly reflected back at them. The frustrated, entitled voices of these men complaining about feminism in Star Wars are increasingly echoing into the void, and it is not long before they will be left behind entirely.
A new generation of fans of all genders will grow up with the heroic acts of these women of Star Wars at the forefront of their minds, they will play with the dolls, they will create their own stories, and they will take them out into a (hopefully) more fair and equal future world.